Domesticated Vermin

1207575270A couple of years ago, I happily signed a lease for a studio apartment in the Back Bay. Sure, it was in a basement, but I could walk to work and to Newbury Street. After years of commuting in from Brookline and Brighton, I’d made it into the city.

Then the rats came.

After three months of being woken from a sound sleep by the din of rats at play, I managed to get out of my lease and away from the vermin. So I’m a little grossed out by people who elect to keep rats as pets.

When called, rats respond to their names, and they can be litter-box trained. That gives Amanda Case’s four rats – plus 13 unexpected babies – free roam of her Sandwich home.

As might be expected, her rats like to hoard peanuts, chew holes in walls, and create nests in cabinets, which they’ve learned to open themselves.

Aren’t there laws against keeping over a dozen rodents in one home? And if there aren’t, I can recommend a great pied-à-terre for Ms. Case in the Back Bay where her 17 rats can make a bunch of new friends.