When you look at all the animals that exist in the world, some of them are obviously adorable, but others… not so much. Of course, they all deserve our respect no matter how unappealing they may seem to us. Still, many people wouldn’t deem certain animals to be lovable… at least not at first.
Rats are a good example of this. In fact, most people would consider them pests as opposed to pets. Under normal circumstances, farmer Andrea Davis would certainly agree; rodents constantly caused problems in her barn. But when she came across one on the brink of losing his life, she changed her mind—and her actions caused her friends to go into a bit of an uproar.
Not all animals are created equally, especially when it comes to those we think of as cute and cuddly. Farmer Andrea Davis knows this all too well, as she often has to rid her property of all sorts of vermin in order to keep her crops healthy.
One day, while making the rounds around her farm, Andrea heard a noise coming from her cow’s water trough. She was positive that when she gave the cow his water earlier there was nothing inside. So, she nervously approached…
When she peered inside the bucket, Andrea discovered something completely unexpected—there, inside the trough, was a rat! The tiny animal was desperately treading water, trying to escape before it was too late.
Normally, seeing a rat might’ve been cause to call pest control to the farm. Rats, after all, could cause plenty of damage and wreck havoc on her animals’ food supply. But this one was looking up at Andrea with pleading eyes as he clawed at the side of the trough. Andrea felt sorry for him…
Normally, she would dispose of the rodent like any other pest, but something was different about this one. He was clearly exhausted and suffering from hypothermia. He needed help!
“Someone fell into the cow’s water trough tonight, and I noticed when I went to give night cookies. He was a young rat, not a baby but not an adult,” Andrea wrote in a Facebook post following the incident.
“He seemed to be almost all outta swim by the time I got there,” Andrea continued. “And when I lifted him out and put him on the ground, he could barely move, just rolled over, shivering.”
It was at that point that Andrea knew the right thing to do. After weighing her options, she decided against leaving the animal to freeze. Instead, she would do what she could to help, even though it wouldn’t be easy.
Andrea had never cared for a rat before, but she was determined to try her best. She figured if she could feed him and keep him warm, he would hopefully be okay. It was going to take a skill set she wasn’t used to employing.
At that, Andrea quickly dried off the little rat, wrapped him up in a towel, and put him in a carrier cage with a hot water bottle. This way, he’d be warm and protected from the cats that roamed the barn.
Andrea didn’t immediately know what the rat needed, as far as nutrition went, but after some research, she came up with a recipe for a meal that would nurse him back to health. She fed him soft bits of chicken and some grains, and slowly it appeared his strength began to return!
Meanwhile, Andrea couldn’t help but be amazed by the rat’s sweet nature. “Even as he regained his strength, he didn’t bite, just crawled into my hand and sniffed everything curiously, crawled around using his funny tail as balance,” she claimed.
Before long, he started acting like a rat again! He was lively and his appetite had returned. Andrea never thought that she would have been so proud to protect the life of a rodent, but she was.
“Once his blood sugar came back up, he started to make tunnels in the towels and realizing he was in a cage, started to climb the walls. It was time to go back home to his family,” Andrea’s Facebook post read.
When Andrea checked the replies to her post the following day, however, she was taken aback by how her friends responded. “I have been chastised for not killing the rats who live here. Yes, they are naughty and chew up things they shouldn’t, get into places I don’t want them and have way too many babies,” she wrote…
“But there was no reason I should not have responded to his need for help,” Andrea continued. “No reason to wish him ill will, and I have no good reason to try to kill him or his kind.” At that, she continued to nurse him back to health.
Andrea noticed the rat began moving freely around his cage, and she knew it was time for him to return to the wild—a cause for celebration! He was feeling healthy again and she didn’t want to keep him from his natural habitat. But he almost seemed sad to leave her…
“I was happy to see him happy as he scurried away,” Andrea remembered in her post. “The others popped their heads up through their holes as he joined them, and I am sure he will have a wonderful story to tell tonight.”
Even though wild rats aren’t thought to have an emotional attachment to people, the bonding experience that he and Andrea had was special to her. It sounded strange, but she would remember this chance encounter for the rest of her life.
Andrea’s act of kindness might have received some initial backlash when her friends learned what happened, but in time, they’ll hopefully understand she just wanted to do the right thing. And the little rat is surely happy she did!
Say what you will, but Andrea simply wanted to help an animal in need, and that’s exactly what she did. Her friends will come around to understanding in due time!
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