NaNoPrep 2015 Day 12: Rats

by Robin de Voh on October 22nd, 2015

"I'm telling you, he's forgotten about us," Berk said to Bob.
"Nah man, he'll be back. He always comes back. You'll see," Bob responded between sips of the water bottle. "Have a bite to eat or something. Relax."
"I'm worried. That's all I'm saying."

Berk went over to the food bowl and saw that it was nearly empty. This didn't give him much hope either, but he grabbed a piece of food anyway. He munched on it a little but he wasn't hungry. He dropped it on the floor and looked out over the room around them. There'd been more stuff before. It was empty now. He'd seen him, the guy who gives them food and water and scratches them behind the ears, but he'd been moving stuff out of the room, and they'd never seen that stuff again. It had been ages since he'd been here. There had been other humans too, people they either hardly or didn't know, and some of them had picked them up and scratched them behind the ears too.

It'd been nice, but this empty room wasn't. It was bothering Berk. Where was the guy taking all that stuff? Why had he left them behind? He looked over at Bob, but it was obvious he didn't care as much. Bob was cleaning himself. About time, he was starting to smell.

Suddenly there was a clanking sound. Both Berk and Bob looked up. Once they heard the door opening, they were at the cage bars, standing on their hind legs, trying to smell and see what was coming.

"The guy! It's the guy!"
"Told you he'd be back."
"You're too trusting."
"And you're not," Bob said as he playfully bit Berk in the neck.

Berk squeaked.

The guy walked up to the cage and warbled in those weird noises he made instead of squeaking. It sounded friendly, as it usually did, even if they had no idea what he meant. He opened the cage and picked Berk up.

"Warble warble bluh bluh meeeeh," he warbled.
"Yeah, hi to you too," Bob said.

The guy grabbed a smaller container, and Berk started squirming. He hated the small container. Usually, by the time they were let out of the smaller container, the cage had been made to smell weird. Not like them anymore. They didn't mind their waste being gone, but it was always weird when they got back into it.

After Berk had been put into the smaller container, Bob was put in too. Bob didn't care as much.

"Guess it's time to clean the cage," Bob said while continuing his cleaning.
"I... I don't think so. Look."

The guy wasn't alone. There was the old guy who'd taken care of them for a few weeks a while ago, the one who looked like the guy but less hairy and with more wrinkles. They were moving the cage.

"Aw, come on, I liked that cage!" Bob shouted. Now he cared. "Give that back!"
"I am very confused, Bob. Are... Are we living in this little thing now?"
"If so, this is my corner."
"You're in the middle."
"Yup."
"You're an asshole, Bob."
"Bite me."

Berk bit him.

Then the guy came back in and picked up the small container.

Both Bob and Berk braced themselves, and after the movement stopped saw they were in a smaller room, with both the humans. And while it didn't look like they were moving, it still felt like they were. They stuck their noses to the openings in the small cage's roof and sniffed. They recognized only the guy's smell, but everything else was new, weird.

After a short while they were out of the smaller room and moving again. They again braced themselves and just waited.

"Bob, where are we going?"
"I don't know, man."

When the movement stopped again, the roof was opened and they were picked up. After a scratch behind the ears, they were put back into their cage.

"Home!" Berk said.
"Dude. Look."

Berk looked out of the cage.

"It's all the missing stuff!" Berk said, standing on his hind legs.
"No, I meant he's cleaned the cage again. It smells all new. Let's rip shit apart!"

And thus, they ran through their fresh cage, ripped the towel to bits and shat on everything. But even if they didn't realize yet, they were now home. Again.


Author's note: When I was moving, I decided to spare my pet rats some of the stress and left them at the old apartment for a few days before moving them over as well. I visited them daily and played with them and fed them, but I still felt guilty. Additional note: While I was writing this, the rats were walking over my desk and making typing exceptionally difficult. They're adorable.