blame it on Mary

Here’s a little bit of trivia about the Top Secret Projects I’m working on at the moment:

Two of the three stories involved so far have pets in them.

You all know what a huge animal lover I am, & as often as humanly possible, I like to promote the idea of animal adoption/rescue, spay/neuter, etc.—in real life & in my novels.  (Yeah, it’s a soapbox…so sue me. smilie#22 )

So for Top Secret Project #1, I wrote in an adorable set of rescued cats.  (I’ll let you discover for yourselves whether they were rescued by the hero or heroine & what their names are.)

And Top Secret Project #2 contains a really cute adopted bulldog.  I sort of fell in love with him as I was writing; if he were real, I think I’d steal him. smilie#21

Now it’s time to start Top Secret Project #3, & I want to include pets again.  But because the hero & heroine are turning out to be a little different from my original plans, I’m thinking the pet should be a little different, too.  But what kind of pet could it be? smilie#29

Well, this is where the “blame it on Mary” part comes in.  I’ve decided Top Secret Project #3‘s loveable pet(s) is going to be…a RAT!

And we get to blame that on our own Darling Mary Kirkland because she has pet rats & regularly talks about/posts pictures of them!  (I actually think she may have been subliminally trying to get me to write about rats all along! smilie#9 )

I’m very excited about this, because even though I’ve never had a pet rat of my own, I’ve always loved rats!  I think they’re adorable & make wonderful pets, especially (over hamsters, gerbils, etc.) for children.

At the moment, I’m leaning toward one brown-&-white or gray-&-white rat named Marbles, but that could change to two or even three.  And I should probably ask Darling Mary‘s permission to use that name for one of my character’s fictional pets, since I’m pretty sure she has a furbaby named Marbles of her own.

So what do you think?  Are you ready for a romance with a rat in it?  I think you’re going to love it. smilie#32

And how about it, Darling Mary—can I use your baby’s name?  (And do you think I can pull this off? smilie#20 )


31 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Mary Kirkland says:

    Oh Heidi,

    I think my Marbles would have loved that idea. He was a grey Rex rat. Rex rats have soft, curly coats and if you breed two Rex rats together you can get a hairless rat, which I also have.

    Marbles lived to be 3.5 years old and I just love the fact that you are going to incorporate a rat into one of your books.

    Of course you can use the name Marbles. I would love that!


    • Gerald Rennie says:

      As the author of The Rat Chronicle series, I have always seen rats in a good light, like I portray them in my books. I love the idea that there are other authors who see them the same way.

      • Heidi says:

        I’ve always loved rats & kind of wish I’d had one as a kid. Now, with cats, it’s probably not a great idea, but I still play with a friend’s when I visit her house. smilie#29

    • Heidi says:

      I’m so glad you like the idea! I’m even toying with the idea of giving the heroine a second rat & naming her Coco. smilie#31

      • Mary Kirkland says:

        I think having a second rat would be a great idea because rats are supposed to live in pairs. They are social and don’t like to live alone.

        • Heidi says:

          That was my thinking exactly! And you know how I feel about pets: you can’t have just one! smilie#29

          My biggest qualm about that—& this is *totally* a writer thing—is that I desperately want to name her Coco, but I already have a few other “C” names in the story that I can’t really change at this point. I’ll probably still do it, but I *dont’* like to have too many names/characters that begin with the same letters because it makes it harder to read. smilie#30

  2. Donna A says:

    My son had a black and white rat he named skunk.

  3. Kathleen O says:

    The only Rats I have any knowledge of, is the two-legged variety.

  4. Barbara Pomales says:

    smilie#19 cool u can care and travel for rat easy right??

    • Heidi says:

      I’ve never had one, but from what I understand they’re fairly easy to take care of. No more trouble than a guinea pig or hamster, anyway. Though you may want to ask our in-Dungeon rat expert, Darling Mary. smilie#3

      I know they’re also very friendly & loving & much less bitey than hamsters or gerbils. (Which is the reason I never particularly liked having hamsters. smilie#1 )

    • Mary Kirkland says:

      They are really easy to take care of. The only thing different from a guinea pig or hamster is that they really like to live with other rats and you have to spend time with them each day. Rats like to come and hang out with you.

      • Heidi says:

        I can’t imagine having a furbaby & not spending oodles of time with him/her every day. So many people tell me, “Oh, cats are easy—they keep to themselves & you barely have to pay attention to them.” Not only do I not like the sound of that, but I always think, “Where do you find these cats?” smilie#31 Because mine are total attention hogs! I’d get *so much* more done every day if I didn’t have to stop to love them on a super-regular basis. Of course, I wouldn’t trade them for anything, so that’s just my life now. smilie#29

        • Mary Kirkland says:

          My brother and sister in law have 4 cats and a dog. And everyone who I’ve known who has cats if I go over there they cats are always looking for attention. I don’t know many cats who don’t.

    • Laura J. says:

      We took our 3 original rats (we’ve had/have a total of 14 over the last few years) with us to Gatlinburg for vacation one year.

      • Heidi says:

        So sweet! I intend to have the heroine of Top Secret Project #3 take hers to work with her every day! smilie#19

        • Laura J. says:

          smilie#13 I know some people have trained theirs to walk on leashes but ours will have none of that. And really only our male rat is big enough for the harness.

          • Heidi says:

            Hey, the same can be said of cats! It’s adorable if you can manage it, but many of them will have none of it. smilie#16

            • Mary Kirkland says:

              I love the idea of taking the rats on vacation. I know a few of my rattie friends on fb who have done that. They went camping and bought their rat his own tiny tent to sleep in inside the big tent. It was so cute.

              I’ve had 2 rats out of the 13 I’ve had that would walk on a leash. But they were big rats and they fit into the ferret leash I bought.

  5. Brooke C says:

    I’ve always loved rats too and really wanted one as a child, but my mom HATES mice and any sort of rodent was off limits. But I got to babysit my grade 5 class’s rat for March break (this was before we had a dog). His name was Ratatouille smilie#11

    • Heidi says:

      So many people have that reaction, but they’re so wrong! I’m not saying crawl into the sewer & grab a wild rat, but the domesticated kind are so adorable & loving! smilie#29

      Love the name Ratatouille! Was this before or after the movie came out? Cute aside: when that movie came out, a friend’s daughter was crazy for it & didn’t know ratatouille was also a food. So my mom made it for her; made the little girl’s week! smilie#8

      • Mary Kirkland says:

        My hubby wasn’t all too sure about rats before we rescued our first one and my mom was scared of them before she saw how sweet they were.

      • Brooke C says:

        Long before the movie came out. I think my parents allowed it because they loved ratatouille (the food) and thought his name was hilarious.
        I tried to convince my mom that pet rats and mice were different, but there are a lot of mice living inside our cottage and she grew up having to clean up after them every morning. She doesn’t really mind pet ones, but she would never want to take of one herself. smilie#18

  6. Laura J. says:

    Mary has been very helpful when I’ve had questions about our rats!! They really do make great pets.

    • Heidi says:

      She’s fabulous & would—WILL!!!—be my go-to girl when it comes to anything rat-related. And she really is totally the reason writing a rat into this story even popped into my head. I love hearing her ratty stories & seeing the pics she posts to FB. smilie#25

  7. Ruth C. says:

    smilie#35 I love the idea of pet rats in your story. I had pet mice when I was a young girl. Loved them. Had hamsters for my daughter. Female hamsters were nicer than the males. smilie#32

    • Heidi says:

      I think mice are adorable, too. Those little eyes & their twitchy little noses… smilie#22 I understand they make great pets, too! (A future inclusion in a work-in-project, maybe? smilie#20 )

  8. Sharon Stogner says:

    I love Mary’s rattie posts. My daughter had two ratties at one time. Drake and Josh 🙂 they were fun and playful. I miss them. Wish they lived longer. You should definitely have rats in your book!

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