I’m not one to consciously make New Year’s resolutions, but I’m discovering that the end of every year comes with a bit of self-judgement on what I have and have not accomplished. In some respects, I’ve achieved more this year than I thought I would, but in other areas … well, let’s just say I’m not patting myself on the back.
With January around the corner I’m debating, in all seriousness, whether it’s time to truly set a list of goals/resolutions for myself. Perhaps my life would feel more organized if I could check off a few boxes this time next year?
While I procrastinate this philosophical debate, I think it will be much more entertaining to learn what New Year’s resolutions my rattie boys might have. So, I’ve decided to sit down with them and offer some help as they make their own lists.
Introductions To The Rats
My rats live in two separate groups and each group is in distinct stages of life: youngsters and seniors. I’m guessing these opposite phases will ultimately affect any pledge they make for next year. But we’ll see.
The Young Boys consist of twin brothers Moffett and Brinley, along with Kelton their litter mate, who may be from the same mother or a cagemate of their mother, we are not entirely sure. I adopted these boys in August from Any Rat Rescue, and they are roughly 6 months old now. They are rather naughty, but always funny, loving boys, full of endless energy and curiosity.
The Old Men consist of brothers Camden, Regent, and Gatwick. I adopted these boys back in November 2019 when I fostered their mother and her litter of 12 for Any Rat Rescue. As a self-professed foster failure, I couldn’t help but keep four of the babies for myself (their brother, Paddington, has since passed on). These three GIANT squishes are now a little over 2 years old and tend to spend their days eating, sleeping, and pooping. Oh, and more eating and sleeping. But they make amazing little cuddlers!
The New Year’s Resolution Discussion
The seven of us sat down on my couch to brainstorm.
Me: Hello boys! I appreciate you letting me help out with your upcoming New Year’s resolutions list. But first, won’t you please say hello to our reading audience?
Young Boys: Hello! Hi, we’re so excited to meet you!
Camden: Huh? Were you talking to us?
Gatwick (diving under a blanket): Oh my god are there strangers nearby? I’ve got to hide!
Me: Gatwick they can’t actually see you, you’re fine.
To get started, I looked up some of the most common New Year’s resolution that humans make. The top choices seem to be exercising more, saving money, eating healthier, traveling more, learning something new, spending more time with friends and family, and reducing stress. Any of this sound appealing to you?
Moffett: What is money, and can I eat it?
Me: Please don’t.
Gatwick: That’s the stuff that Mom says she needs more of for that scary place.
Me: The vet’s office? Dr. Moffett (yes, I named a rat after my vet) takes loving care of you there. But we’re getting off track.
How about I help each group make their own list? And I was thinking we could call them New Year’s “Ratsolutions” instead!
Regent: Seems a bit on the nose, but OK.
The Joy Of Exercise
Me: I think a few of the resolutions from the human list should stay. Like exercising. Camden, Regent, Gatwick, what about adding “exercise” to your list?
Regent: What are you implying?
Me: Um … well, I have noticed that you’re a bit less active than you once were.
Camden: Yeah. And?
Me: It’s just that I’ve noticed that you older boys are all rather … hmm how do I put it … round?
Camden: But we’ve worked so hard on these bellies.
Regent: Yeah, you’re ALWAYS kissing them!
Me: True, they are very kissable. But I also compare you to pears, potatoes, and pancakes.
Gatwick: Wait. Those aren’t compliments?
Me (not making eye contact): Uh…
Camden: So, you’re body shaming us?
Me: We’re getting off track again. For now, let’s put “exercise” as a maybe.
Open Those Ears!
Me: Brinley, Moffett, Kelton, what about adding “Listen to Mom more” to your list?
Kelton: I can’t hear you from over here.
Me (turning to follow the voice): Well Kelton, if you had stayed on the designated rat blanket like you’re supposed to, rather than being on the other side of the couch where you were specifically told not to go (five times already today), then you’d be able to hear me better.
Kelton (yelling): Still can’t hear you!
Brinley (sounding a bit muffled): I don’t know what you’re talking about, we’re great listeners!
Me: Are you chewing on the phone charger cord right now?
Brinley: Moffett dared me to!
Moffett: No I didn’t! (whispers to Brinley) Bro, don’t get me in trouble.
Me (with one raised eyebrow): So yes, “Listen to Mom more” is definitely going at the top of your list.
The Clean Routine
Me (again): You oldies, what do we think of adding “better hygiene” to the list?
Regent: Why aren’t you asking those annoying, hyper boys the same question?
Me: They could use a little work, but to their credit, they actually use their litter box, and their cage is way less gross than yours.
Brinley: You hear that boomer? Mom thinks you’re gross!
Me: Both cages stink, so I wouldn’t be so smug there Brinnels (a nickname).
Camden: Ha, owned!
Me: Moving on. This is for both groups. What about adding “less nibbling?”
Moffett: You want us to swallow our food whole? That’s a choking hazard.
Me: I was talking more about the holes and chew marks in your hammocks, blankets, space pod, AND my couch and clothing.
Regent: It’s called “redecorating.”
Gatwick (peeking out from under a blanket): Plus, how else do you expect me to hide if I can’t get under the layers of fleece?
Kelton: Agreed. I mean, you expect us to sleep in fluffy piles of blankets rather than on the cold plastic pan underneath them all? Pft, I think not! That’s why I had to tear giant holes in the brand-new liner you put in the cage; it’s the only way I could get underneath it.
The Rats Speak Their Mind
Me (staring blankly at all the boys): Moving on. What about…
Camden (interrupting me): Hold up. It seems like your ideas are cloaked critiques on our habits.
Me (glancing away): Well, I mean, um…
Regent: I think we’ll make our own list, thank you very much.
Brinley: Us too!
Me: OK then.
Sounds of whispering and murmuring among the two groups.
I drum my fingers as I wait.
Camden: My brothers and I have discussed it, and we unanimously agree that we all want to spend the next year really savoring every meal, focusing on quality rest, and redecorating more.
Regent and Gatwick nodding.
Me: So, let me get this straight. Your “ratsolutions” are to eat, sleep, and chew more holes?
Gatwick: I think you’re missing the nuance of what we said.
Me: Yeah, sure.
Camden: Well, this has been great. But we’re going to go get started on our “ratsolutions” now with a good long nap.
Me: I see. OK then, it was good talking to you three … I guess.
The three tubby boys saunter into a hut and pile on top of one another.
Me (turning my attention on the other three): What about you guys? What’s on your list?
Moffett: We’ve decided that we want to focus on exploring the world more AND not letting things get in the way of our goals.
Me: Hmm … so, I interpret this to mean that you plan on going places that are off limits to you?
Kelton: I mean you can’t exactly discover new things if you stay put, now can you?
Me: True. But again, it sounds like you’re talking about off-limit places. And I’m assuming your goals, as Moffett put it, are to continue getting under and through the multiple layers of blankets I put on the couch to keep you from … let’s just be honest … from peeing on and chewing up my couch.
Brinley: We kind of get the feeling that you’re selfishly keeping the couch all to yourself.
Moffett: Exactly! What are hiding under those blankets?
Me (giving them another blank stare): Alrighty then. Thank you, boys, for taking the time out of your “busy” schedules to discuss your “ratsolutions” with me.
Brinley to Moffett: I think she’s being sarcastic.
Well, it seems the boys have some differing ideas than I do for their New Year’s resolutions list. For better or for worse, however, I sincerely hope they have a great year and stay healthy enough to fulfill their promises. But it is my resolution to continue covering my couch.
Happy New Year everyone from me and my mischief!