Boys’ Life

boy rats are couch potatoes

The books say that boy rats are quiet homebodies and couch potatoes compared to girls. Who am I to disagree?

The summer before I painted this picture there was a litter of young rats up for adoption at the Humane Society, where I was then a volunteer. By the time I named them, there were three boys and three girls left. So the girls became Patty, Maxene and Laverne (their white sister had already been adopted and named Bubbles), and the boys were Groucho, Chico and Harpo. One by one they went their separate ways, until only Harpo was left. By that time he was a grownup PEW, not especially eye-catching, so in the end I had to take him home.

At first he lived in a cage by himself while waiting for his neutering to “take”. My two youngest girls were all over the cage lid, cooing “Hellooo big boy.” When he finally got to mingle, well, he just couldn’t remember why he had been so anxious to get out and meet the girls.