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Bridget Johnson


May 11, 2012 - 10:55 am
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This is my first rat (never even lived anywhere where rats were pests, so could use any advice from reader rat aficionados), but I’m really enjoying him. He’s a bit shy as far as being picked up and handled (and a bit round and difficult to hold on to), but enjoys a good petting/scratch behind the ears and will make that happy chatter sound (which I had to Google for  explanation because in my guinea pigs, chattering means mad). His cage came with wood shavings in the bottom, and when I cleaned it and put Carefresh natural (what I swear by for my guys) in the bottom, he plopped down for a rest in the pile of new fluff with a contented look on his face. He loves the paper stuffing that they put in handbags, and I tear a bit of that up each night for him to shape into his “nest.” He sleeps more in the open than in his hidey-hole, which I’m not used to with hamsters.

He was a snappy and grabby at first with food tibdits, but has since gotten a bit gentler. He definitely wasn’t used to fresh fruits and vegetables, and threw a baby carrot to the side the first time I gave him one. His people-food snack favorites are bits of bread and cereals such as Cheerios and Crispix (hello, kiddie-size variety pack to share). He gets along great with my other pets and has never snapped at them. I find his extra-long snake-ish tail fascinating to watch. Red’s just a very sweet rat with a twinkle in his eye. And he promised not to tell about the piece of french fry I let him eat.

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Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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