My local paper, The Daily Herald, has an article today about good pets to give this Christmas. They consider these pets "good pets" because they are cheap. Now I like to save money as much as anyone - I proudly clip coupons and always check local gas prices before heading out to fill up - but this just seems wrong on quite a few levels.
The Daily Herald suggests pets such as a Scorpion ($25), Bearded Dragon ($50), Tarantula, Ferret ($50-150), Sun Conure bird ($50-500), Hedgehog ($150), Chinchilla ($170), or Rat ($8). Yep, you read that correctly. The Daily Herald suggests you give your kid a Rat for Christmas.
According to the article, Eric Hall of Pets Inc. in Naperville, Ill. says that Rats "can become part of the family. They are a lot of fun." Really? How?
Are things that bad that we really need to give our kids Rats? Frankly, $8 seems like price gouging to me. Just walk down any alley in a big city and you can find Rats for free.
All this talk of Rats reminds me that episode of Friends where Phoebe's is feeding a rat that lives in her apartment.
Rats may be cheap pets now, but when added to the therapy bills you will be stuck with for the next 50 years after traumatizing your child, I think giving your kid a Rat is just a bad idea.