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We're Moving!
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This year we've already had days that make this apartment hot enough that we have to open the doors and turn on the fan. Given how miserable last summer was, we really didn't want to go through another summer here. So we're not!

We have found this adorable little place a bit closer to downtown Mountain View; the building is made of, basically, two houses with parking spaces in between them, and another house suspended above the parking spaces. We will be in the floating house. It is cute like a button, and has the most awesome bathroom of any place I've ever lived. It has marble floors (in the entry and the bathroom)! And a great big living room! The bedrooms are small but there are three of them, so we'll be able to reshuffle things somehow, although we are not yet sure quite how.

It does not actually have air conditioning, but it does have decent insulation and windows on three sides, so it shouldn't have quite the heat issue that this place does (except maybe in the front bedroom; that one's got a south-facing window so I am a bit nervous about it). It also does not have an Evil Heater of Roaring and Burning Dust and Melting the Coffee Table, which is a big ol' plus.

We are thinking that the rats will go in the living room, since that will be the room with the fewest cords and the least-easy-to-damage flooring. In the interest of reality-checking this thought, I have a crude no-paid-account-so-I-can't-actually-make-it-a-poll-but-I-totally-would-if-I-could questionnaire, which I invite you all to answer in comments on the theory that people on my friendslist who are not local probably make a reasonable substitute for people who are local but not on my friendslist:
1. Would you come to my house if it didn't have rats in it?
2. Would you come to my house if it had rats in it somewhere you couldn't see them?
3. Would you come to my house if it had rats where you did have to see them?

(Some people really like going upstairs to meet the rats, and some people quite deliberately stay downstairs on the couch, so I am not sure whether having the cage out in public space is an entirely good idea from a having-visitors perspective.)

Today I have cleaned out the downstairs bathroom so I can start piling packed boxes up without having them in the way and begun filling it with boxes of books. I'm doing a bit of a cull while I'm at it, but Andres is going to have to agree to get rid of anything, so that may not wind up being much (it's not much so far anyway; once I get to the paperbacks there will be more). I have also wrapped up some of the little decorative things and put them in a shoebox for transport.

We have not yet determined exactly when we're hauling things over, but it will be some time this month. Whee!
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(Deleted comment)
Yes, it's about three or four blocks from your place. That might even be easy hopping-on-one-leg distance.

There a few things to consider: (1) will the people you are trying to talk to / play games with get distracted by the cute pets? (2) will the rats get terrified by all the strange people making noises at them?

For myself, I am fine with pets.

(1) Historically speaking, yes but not for very long.
(2) Not as long as they're in the cage and the people aren't, no.

(Deleted comment)
There are reasons we live in California and not in Minnesota. Brrrrr. I'm with Pirate on that one.

We would have no problem with the rats, and would visit you happily, were it not for the fact that you are a whole country worth of states away!

The only people I know who might have been upset by rats in cages were also upset by our ferrets in cages... and were secondarily people that we were glad didn't come over.* Of course, the ferrets always got the most prominent places in the living or dining room to live. Most people just wanted to pull them out and play with them.


*The main person that comes to mind was our housemate Jeremy's mother. I have never been particularly fond of her (Jeremy and I were best of friends in high school) and I was very glad that she would squeal and try to stay as far from the ferret cage as possible. When she insisted on coming over, I'd just make sure I was tending to them in one way or another, and then I didn't have to deal with her annoying presence.

Most people just wanted to pull them out and play with them.

The thought of unauthorized types opening up the cage also worries me. I'm pretty sure most people who'd be over know not to do that, but Andres' youngest cousin and other kids might be around sometimes.

I don't see her as a problem, given that she's been over all of twice, and at 10 is fully capable of understanding "Please don't take the rats out without supervision."

Count me as a person-who-wants-to-play-with-the-rats. Rats is cute.

Woo! Can't wait to hear how well you love the new place!

1. yes
2. yes
3. yes

:-)

I used to have pet rats. I think rats are cool.

I'd happily come over to your place with or without rats, when invited. :)

I have not really directly interacted with rats much. I would say that if they were in a cage, it wouldn't bother me at all. (Out of the cage wouldn't bother me per se, but I would be anxious about how to interact with / share space with rats.)

How to interact with rats:

1. Do not step on them. This is harder than it sounds, because they do not try very hard to avoid feet, and may be trying to climb your pants leg instead.
2. If they know you have food, they will go to great lengths to get some.
3. If you are very interested in something, they will assume it has food in it.
4. Don't move your hand/arm/other body part too quickly if a rat is standing on it, or the rat will lose her balance and you will get scratched as she tries to get her footing back.
5. Do not be startled if a rat tries to climb up your sleeve or down your collar. (They like dark enclosed places.) Just block the space with your hand, and she'll get bored and do something else instead.

Otherwise they are much like friendly, peaceful cats or the less frantic sort of dogs; they're happier being offered a hand to climb on than being picked up or patted, and generally want to sniff people for a while before climbing aboard. They'll lick you if they like you, or if you taste like food. If there is actual food on offer, they can get careless about what exactly they are grabbing, but will otherwise only bite if they're in serious pain or fear (and you'd know the difference; real rat bites are nasty, but accidental grabs don't even break skin unless you go yanking your hand around). That said, you still shouldn't stick your fingers in anybody's cage; some rats are territorial, and some think anything being poked into the cage is food.

These are good tips! Thank you! :)

Speaking as someone with a python in her living room, I don't think I have grounds to object to rats.

Mind, I'm also three thousand miles from you either way, so I'm not sure I count. ;)

Yes, yes, and yes! I am also curious to hear whether your new place will be closer to me than your current place or further away...

I don't know where you live. The new place is about a mile south of the old place, if that's helpful.

Hmm -- given that nothing runs due north/south around here, I guess it depends if south means "closer to Castro" or "closer to California." :-) I live right behind the Target store on Showers, so I guess the largest nearby cross streets for me would be Rengstorff and California.

In any case, you're still not going to be very far from me so I'd love to see the new place at some point!

I meant "closer to California". I know that Target; we will definitely be closer to you at the new place. There will be a housewarming at some point, because I want to show off the new place probably more than anybody wants to see it :), but first we have to pack, move, and unpack.

I would prefer rats I don't have to see, but I'm OK with caged rats. I can deal with being around uncaged rats if I don't have to interact with them, but I don't enjoy it, and will be concentrating on ignoring the rodent rather than anything else.

It is likely that, were I around pet rats regularly, I would get over it eventually, but I don't think any of my local friends have rats on purpose.

Congrats!
I do not mind the rats at all. I would visit easily. If you had a snake, now, things may be different. But Small'n'Furries I'm fine with.
The only problem I could imagine would be the issues with moving furniture like a couch up TO a floating house. One imagines there are stairs, which can be very fun in the rain or while moving heavy objects. People don't make great Slinkies.

There are stairs, but they are very straightforward and direct stairs, so no bending should be required.

I have no phobia related to rats and think they're kinda cool, but I do tend to be allergic to creatures with fur. So, were I in the position of coming over, I would like the rats to be in a room that I didn't have to go into in case they made me wheezy. I'd prefer not to have them in the room where the majority of socialising would be happening.

Other people have mentioned snakes as a problem - I'd have no issues at all with reptiles, because I haven't yet been allergic to one :)

Edited at 2008-03-05 06:47 pm (UTC)

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