practice, patience and good reflexes basically!
good news is, your rats are totally 100% normal. when rats are young, all they wanna do is Go. they dont care where – they just Gotta Go. girls are particular culprits for this bc they have tiny clockwork mechanisms in their bums which means they can never stop moving or theyll die immediately (says local doe, claims unsourced).
its really just a case of letting them out in a secure area – on the bed is good (altho girls are atheletic and will hurl themselves into the abyss if given half the chance), in a bathtub/shower cubicle or fashion a playpen on the floor – and letting them get it out of their system. all they wanna do is explore, and ultimately you are way less interesting than an old sock or a piece of fluff. treat them a lot (preferably low-fat treats bc otherwise you’ll end up with bowling balls instead of rats), block off the gaps beneath the cupboards, give them hides, sit yourself in one spot and trust them if you can, and do that over and over and over, every single day. Eventually the area they’re in will become familiar and theyll lose a lot of the urge to Go Go Go because they know it already. As they grow older they’ll be way more likely to hang out with you and chill, rather than race off to Do Business with the goblin that lives behind the TV.
one thing to note – there’s little use in grabbing a rat and just taking it away from a certain area you don’t want it to be in (under a cabinet or whatever), because from that moment on, that rats entire life purpose will be Return To The Forbidden Lands and the attempts to get there will develop in ways you could never have anticipated. If there’s a place you want them to avoid, block it off completely at the start so they never get the chance to look, rather than spend the rest of your life foiling their ever-evolving plots to gain access. Locke is not allowed on our bedside table. He knows this. He also knows, in his infinite wisdom, that there must be stores of treasure there which are Bountiful And Plenty and that’s why we’re keeping him away – couldnt possibly be because of all those charger cables and fragile objects. His mission in life is to climb on that table and by god he’s going to do it, and there’s nothing whatsoever we can do to dissuad him because we made the mistake of accidentally letting him reach it once. Now it’s game over. Don’t give them the opportunity and it’ll save a potential massive headache and make the whole experiencing way more relaxing.
its all just practice and trust! Theyll get there – they always do – but it is pretty nerve-wracking in those early days when they’re small and wiggly and about as easy to grab as an eel. Secure an area, give them enough time and try not to worry – they’ll figure themselves out~
So back in the eighth grade (a good eight years ago) I thought of this scenario where the Marauders wanted to find a loophole for the ‘No students out of bed at night” rule. And I came to the conclusion that they would absolutely sit on their beds and levitate them throughout the corridors so that they were never actually technically out of bed. And it’s been eight years and I just remembered this headcanon and I still think that they absolutely would have done this.
someone please write a fic where they debate the technicalities of this with McGonagall
“Out.” McGonagall was practically vibrating, the tip of her hat quivering like a compass needle; from yearly observation, Sirius was reasonably sure its four Cardinal Directions were What Is Going On Here, Stop, Ten Points From Gryffindor and Detention, and there was no doubt the wind was currently blowing a strong North-North Detention. He grinned. Knowing they were going to lose eventually didn’t make this any less amazing; there wasn’t even room in the corridor for all four beds to float abreast, and Peter’s was behind his, listing like a boat in rough waters with his inevitable nervousness. Peter hated detention – the rest of them pretty much took it in their stride at this point. Besides, Sirius thought impatiently, he was enjoying it a minute ago. It was probably him giggling that woke her up. Or Remus, bouncing the end of his bed into one of the portraits by accident. That guy must have been pretty square in life; he went off like a roman candle.
Like always, in trouble, he felt giddy; it would be bad, but the consequences here were so easy compared to what he’d left behind that he could never help the hysterical weightlessness that came hot on the heels of the scandalised gasp of a teacher. Fifty house points still hurt a lot less than fifty other things. But James was talking.
“- and it’s good practice,” he was saying, leaning precariously forward over the edge of his bed, an earnest ship’s figurehead in striped pyjamas. “A simple levitation spell wasn’t strong enough, Professor, we had to do research.” The bed between them shook a little; Remus, laughing, trying to cover it up with a cough. James said research the same way Slughorn might say diet. Peter’s bed bumped into the back of his and it almost set him off, too. He bit the inside of his mouth, tried to focus on something not funny – James’s thin ankles, poking out of the ends of his pyjama bottoms, that would do. Guaranteed to stop him laughing, that was.
“Research,” said McGonagall, not at all the way Slughorn might say diet. “We did,” Remus protested evenly from a nest of blankets – nobody was seeing his ankles. “We spent four hours on it in the library. In a way, this is just a practical experiment.”
“Yeah,” said James, “Those are encouraged. Professor Flitwick was just talking about it on Monday.”
Remus looked at Sirius; Sirius looked back. On no account, Professor Flitwick had said on Monday, do any practical experiments outside of the classroom. He could feel Peter getting ready to say it, too; they both could, both turned to look at him at once. He’d been raising his hand. Sirius shook his head once, both discouraging and also giving him up as a hopeless case. For being the one who’d come up with the word marauders in the first place, Peter was awfully coy when it came to doing any actual marauding.
Being a person confronted with four large pieces of floating furniture suddenly seemed to become too much for McGonagall, and she snapped again, “Get down. Get out of those beds at once.”
“But Professor,” James explained patiently while Sirius’s stomach did that swooping drop thing again, “Then we really will be breaking the rules. No students out of bed. But we’re in bed.”
“Out of her favour where I am in bed,” Remus murmured and Sirius let out an unnecessary and, in retrospect, unwise shout of laughter. (They’d done a dramatic reading of the play when Remus brought in a battered Complete Works after the last holidays; James still occasionally greeted bemused students with Do you bite your thumb at me, sir? and they’d got a good amount of mileage out of Swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, as well.)
Later, the rules were amended to read or out of their bedroom, and they did all have detention, and there was a miserable business with a Howler, and they lost a significant number of house points – but it was worth it, for the looks they got when they explained what they’d done, and for Remus quoting Shakespeare in the middle of a crisis, and for James’s wretched ankles and his scruffy, innocent face as he almost fell out of his hovering bed. And for being one of four, Sirius thought, looking around at the others in said detention: Remus’s hair in his face, the way he gripped his quill like it was trying to get away from him; James frowning in concentration as he tried to clean up the inevitable ink stains he always left on the desk; Peter’s misbehaving roll of parchment that wouldn’t stay flat unless he leaned all of his weight on it. It was always worth it for being one of four.
- Hot cocoa in a Styrofoam cup but
there’s not enough room in the cup for a full packet of hot cocoa so it’s
either too strong or too weak
- A piano that hasn’t been played
since the 1980s
- A room that’s always closed and
has adults talking behind it but you’re not quite sure who they are or if they
- Donuts that you’re not allowed to
- Scented markers and multicolored
craft sticks in an old basket
- Veggie tales on VHS and two
rolling tvs on ancient tv stands
- A room behind another room that has christmas decorations in it
- This table:
- that one bitch who’s always always wearing tights and a dress even though the basement never gets above like 55 degrees
- Dusty ass bibles and one lone dusty ass hymnal
- Old programs for concerts, baptisms, events, and VBS printed with black ink on colored 8.5″x11″ paper folded in half
- Little acrylic bead craft projects in the shapes of lizards or cats that some girl made at church camp and forgot to take home
- Glitter but not in the joyful gay way
- Moms in fleece
This is fascinating to me because I never went to church, I’m not a Christian, and yet I can so clearly imagine this it’s like I was there