I've witnessed karma in action with Bear. Bear bear, baby boo, baby bear...pet names for a rat that wiggled his butt so that he could sink his teeth into my arm on the first day we met. The bruise took nearly two weeks to heal.
This morning, we use every excuse to touch each other gently...him rubbing against my hands, nose to my face, reaching to be picked up...and I tickle or touch him each time he passes me. I adore him and know he loves me deeply.
Love is a given after trust-training. I've never trust-trained a rat and not had a mutual bond form. But Bear and his biting brought an extra blessing of laughter.
I don't laugh much. This business is too sad; I don't always feel so good; and I don't work very hard to bring laughter into my life. But Bear...well, Bear has me giggling twice a day.
I guess it's his huge, muscle-packed enthusiasm. Everything is great fun to him and his whole body shows it. Most of his movements are hops, leaps, bounds or running. He is excited about: my peeling an orange, the smell of an apple, the smell of other rats on the sofa, the possibility of a hidden rat in the blanket, getting a piece of orange, getting a peanut, finding an M&M and being tickled.
He lets me know when he is ready for tickling by leaping toward my hand and doing a 180 degree turn. Then he grabs my finger (gently) and wrestles a bit.
He's ready for any new game. I pat my lap, wanting him to hop up and roll over so I can rub his belly. He eagerly hops onto my lap and looks at me...not sure what I want, but ready to try.
He appears to be trying to squeeze in all the happy moments he missed in his previous life, into this life. Everything I do, everything I give him delights him.
And even when he has kept me laughing for 30 minutes straight, when I put him back on his table this morning, he has one more trick. He picks up a toy, carries it to the edge and drops it on the floor right in front of me. He looks very pleased as I burst into laughter one more time this morning.
I have often sensed that when we laugh, our rats enjoy the sound. Our laughter seems to increase their antics. Bear works twice as hard as any other rat I've known, to keep me laughing. The bite didn't even leave a mark, but the laughter is carving some deep grooves into my marred soul.