(ARLEE) If you're looking for a pet that's clean, has a great personality, and can travel with you on road-trips, have we got a story for you: rats.
One house in Arlee is crawling with them -- just the way they like it. “I snuggle with them all the time I like them so much," Braxtyn said.
For this family, the rat race is a way of life. “I like rats because they’re cuddly and they literally sit and watch TV with you. My mom at first said 'No!' And then we got one and here we are -- with two full cages!" Casidy told us.
Sadi Chadwick and her family have dozens of pet rats, all lovingly cared for with their own names and personalities.
“They make wonderful pets. They are like little dogs. You can teach them tricks and potty train them. They can walk on leashes," Said said. "We’ve taken them on road trips and to the lake and walked with a leash on. They make good pets and are misunderstood."
But in some circles, rats rule! They keep the boys and the girls apart, but when love happens, the results are often hard to resist.
“I can’t post a picture of a litter without Facebook going nuts. I have to educate and explain that they have to have a cage mate, they’re social, they cannot be alone, they can get depressed and die," Sadi said.
There are no dirty rats in the house and you won’t smell a rat either - rats are quite clean. Even so, sometimes people misunderstand this family’s regard for rats.
"They think they’re sewer rats and stuff and that they're dirty stuff and that they don’t live in good places, but they do," Skylar said.
"Anytime I get a negative reaction, I invite people to see them. It's not what you're thinking, they are not disgusting sewer rats, they clean themselves like cats do," Sadi said.
History has not always been kind to the rat. But Sadi’s family is - even taking in rescued rats.
One downside to rats: they only live for a few years, so you run the risk of having your heart broken.
Sadi has a Facebook page called the Chadwick Rattery if you’d like to see more of the little critters.