Kind of a brag (and I hope I don't jinx myself with it!!)
I seem to have ever-lasting rodents in my care. Anytime I go into a petstore and see *insert whatever here* and say Ohhhhh honey wouldn't that be a cool pet?! He always says, "yup, after the rats are gone". Now in my defense most of the time I'm not serious about taking home said amazing animal. In fact the last time such a thing happend was a couple of months ago when a parakeet caught my eye. Having always wanted one I was fascinated. John went about pricing the cage and the food and said "well... go ahead. what are we going to name it?" I thought about it for about half a second and passed it up. I have enough just now. Still though, that phrase "after the rats are gone" is driving me up the wall. I', begining to think they will live forever, (which don't get me wrong would be great!).
You gotta understand part of the attraction for me with the rats is their short-ish life span. They aren't a 16 year commitment like a dog. The day to day care is also as simple as it gets for the most part. Having an average lifespan of 2-3 years means that you get new babies pretty frequently. The novelty never wears off, and if you see the latest and greatest color/marking/coat type then you dont have to wait forever like you do with a dog or a cat to add that baby to your family. Of course, the down side is that you have just long enough to get really attached and then they leave you
which is always hard.
I love my babies dearly but they look awful... I mean really awful. If you didn't know better you would wonder if I was really taking care of them. They are a bit skinny, and their hair is falling out because one of them is OCD about grooming all the others. They don't care to come out and play as much anymore either. They are just five little old men lol
I ran into the girl I got one of my boys Bond from this past weekend. I told her that her Bondy baby was still kickin'. She was shocked, apparently he's the only one in the litter still alive. Dang he's OLD she says lol. His brother died over a year ago! Rats don't live but a couple of years on average, about 2 years has been normal for me. We are pushing 3 1/2 with some of our guys I believe... Bond is by no means the oldest. He's probably 5 or 6 months or so younger than the three older brothers, which is a lot in rat years.
I dunno what I am doing differently with this group of ratties, four out of five are petshop babies which usually live about 18 months in my experience... Too bad they are almost all neutered, I could have used those genes to create rats that live fooorrevah!! LoL..
On another notes I also have a betta that john bought for me before we got married that seems to be living forever too. we've had Alpha Betta for like two years. I don't know what the life span of a betta is, I've never had one for more than a year though.