+
Pets

Rat mama brings her babies to her human owner in super sweet viral video

Despite the reputations of their sewer-dwelling brethren, fancy rats make awesome pets.

Rat mama brings her babies to her human owner in super sweet viral video
Annie Reneau

We started our pet rat journey with two baby rats, Cinnamon and Midnight.

Rats get a bad rap.

When people hear "rats," the first thing many imagine is the honking huge rats in the sewers of New York. Words like "infestation" may come to mind, along with horror stories of people's unexpected encounters with the creepy creatures.

However, such images and stories are a sharp contrast to the delightful adorableness people with pet rats associate with the word.

Our family has had several pairs of rats as pets over the years. The first pair came from a man we affectionately nicknamed Weird Al the Rat Guy, who had an entire rattery in his basement where he bred fancy rats. And after our first pair, we were hooked.


"Fancy rats" are one breed of domesticated rat. Dumbo rats are another. These are not your NYC sewer rats. They're smaller and cuter and smart and sweet. Yes, they do have that weird, hairless tail, but once you get past whatever willies you may have about rat rails, they're the best.

Have you ever seen a rat eating a Cheerio with its tiny little hands with almost-opposable thumbs? You'll never be the same.

Rats were our kids' first furry pets and they were perfect starter pets. They're comparatively low-maintenance, especially if you have at least two. (They're social creatures, after all.) They're affectionate and rarely bite. They love to play and are quite intelligent, so you can train them to respond to simple commands. (Rats have even been trained to sniff out land mines and conduct search and rescue missions.)

Their cages can get smelly if you don't change the litter frequently enough, but females tend to be less smelly than males and rats themselves are super clean. (A rat washing its face is every bit as cute as one eating a Cheerio.)

Our first rats were babies when we got them and oh so very adorable. Allow me to convince you:

Baby rats, Cinnamon and Midnight.

Annie Reneau

How could anyone resist those faces?

Anyway, pet rats are awesome, which is why people keep sharing a sweet video of a mama rat bringing her babies to her owner for safekeeping. Fun fact: Rats generally have between six and 12 babies in one litter. (Can you imagine having a dozen babies at once? OMG.) This mama appears to have nine or so, and she brings them one by one to the crook of her human's arm.

Watch:

The video was posted by Whispering Grove Rattery in Atlanta on YouTube two years ago and has nearly 6 million views. It was reposted this week on Reddit, which has pushed it into virality all over again.

How could it not, though? Teeny little baby rats, a sweet mama rat and a human she trusts enough to hand her babies over to? It's the stuff of dreams. (Or nightmares, if you really can't get past the common squeamishness about rats. I highly recommend reconsidering, though. They really do make awesome pets.)

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Grab your boost of serotonin here.

Polina Tankilevitch/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Holy moly—it's fall, y'all!

As pumpkin spice swoops in and we start unpacking our cozy sweaters and cute boots, we can practically taste the seasonal change in the air. Fall is filled with so many small joys—the fresh, crisp smell of apples, the beauty of the leaves as they shift from greens to yellows, oranges and reds, the way the world gets wrapped in a warm glow even as the air grows cooler.

Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Keep ReadingShow less