- Cindy Lou
- Cindy Lou Who (very popular around Christmas time)
- Cinders Linders
- Ms. Linders
- Her royal cuteness
- Cinderella Lou
- Stinker Pinker
- Pee Face (I bet you can guess when I use this one...)
Anyway, Cindy Lou is the highlight of my day. I used to think this must mean that my days are pretty pathetically boring, but I have since decided that it actually means my rat is just pretty amazingly awesome. She is always happy to see me. Most caged animals do one of two things: either hide in corners and have to be forced to come out and socialize, or are constantly running around frantically trying to escape. Cindy does neither. She is perfectly content to sleep on her blue and red wooden hut or in the nest she's made for herself. She cleans herself and plays with her toys like a good little girl, but then as soon as someone stands next to her cage she abandons whatever she was doing and moves to sit or stand eagerly at the door of the cage, ready to come out and play.
Every time I open the door of her cage to take her out, Cindy first puts her front paws on my hand and licks my fingers as if to say, "Hi, Mommy! I love you!" Then she does a huge stretch (many times accompanied by a yawn), whether or not she was sleeping, and then scampers onto my hand wide-eyed and ready for adventures.
Cindy likes to just sit on my shoulder and watch whatever I'm doing. Once we watched Ratatouille together, and she happily watched the show until the part when the grandma started shooting at the rats. When this started she darted into my arms and buried her head into me as if she was scared for the rats. I think she was actually just scared by the loud noise, but either way it was adorable.
When I do homework, Cindy likes to help. She has turned pages for me when I was reading by picking up the page with her mouth and scampering across the book to land the page on the other side. She doesn't understand the idea that I actually have to read the page, though, so she would sometimes turn them too fast. I didn't really mind. College has taught me how to skim things. Also, when I write, Cindy grabs the end of the pencil with her mouth and holds onto it with her hands as if she's going to try to write as well. If I'm on the computer, she jumps up on the keyboard and runs around, making my essays and e-mails full of crazy typos that I have to go back and correct. She seems proud of herself, though. She tries to copy everything I do. Maybe she's trying to earn a degree.
If any rat could earn a degree, it would be Cindy. She is SO smart. She can stand up on two legs and can walk a few steps that way as well. Most recently Rex and I taught her to jump through a hoop, and she can make really high jumps! She knows to come to the door of her cage when I call her out to come play (even if I'm not standing by the cage). Teaching her tricks is so fun and easy, while with other rats it can be seemingly impossible (yes, I have tried). Oh, and she's potty trained. She sometimes has accidents and pees outside of her cage when she gets excited or scared, but she never poops outside of her cage. Ever. She's so smart.
Cindy loves her toys. Her favorites are chew sticks that I buy at Pruess Pets 5/$1.00 and the plastic rings found on milk jugs, which obviously are free. One time I came into my room to find Cindy jumping around looking very scared. She had somehow wriggled halfway through one of the milk rings. It looked like she had a bright orange belt around her waist, and she couldn't get it off! Rex theorized that maybe she figured since it looked like a hoop, she would get a treat if she could jump through it. It was a bit too small, though, and she got stuck. What a goof. Now I cut the rings before I give them to her so that she won't get stuck.
Cindy Lou is such a good friend. She is extra calm and loving when I feel sad, and when she knows I'm excited she gets jumpy and excited too. She loves me no matter what, and is constantly licking my fingers, ears, and nose with her affectionate kisses. She is always, always excited to see me. Do you have any idea what it does to my day when I know someone is waiting in my room, just dying to spend time with me? She makes me feel so loved and needed. I talk to her sometimes, which some people (*ahem CARLY*) think is super weird. I like it, though. Yesterday I practiced a twenty minute math presentation in front of her, and once I told her it was going to be twenty minutes about math she promptly settled down and closed her eyes for a nap. She knows the right way to respond to math lectures...
Anyway, lest you should think I am crazy, I'm not the only one who likes Cindy. Since meeting my adorable rat, many other people have gone out and gotten rats of their own: Rex, my mom, my sister, two of my cousins, Rex's little brother, one of Rex's cousins, a friend of mine who lives in my building, and most recently my roommate's friend who came over to visit my roommate, played with Cindy, and decided she wants a rat now too. Cindy is seriously helping to spread rat love.
Out of all of them, though, she's the best. YAY for Cindy!