A warm'n'fuzzy one
Tue Aug 14, 2018 21:58

Russell nodded understandingly. Names were tricky and he certainly hadn’t expected Dade to have already picked one out. Even asking the younger boy if he had any name ideas when he had presumably just barely left the pet store (this seemed a safe assumption, considering the generic fresh-off-the-shelf appearance of the rat’s carrying cage) had probably been a bit of a stretch. Naming a pet, a member of your family, was a big responsibility, as their name would come to define them. Sometimes he wished that people took a bit more care when naming their human children; then they might not have to deal with the increase of butchered spellings and randomly appropriated nouns that kept popping up in newspaper birth announcements. Sometimes, he wished his own parents had been more thoughtful, too, and not bestowed on him the uncomfortably bold middle name of Sterling. At least he had a normal first name for daily use.

Now, it was true that Russell’s first mouse-slash-rat had been named within less than an hour of transferring the critter from its cage trap to a proper cage, but to be fair, he had been eight or so at the time. Younger kids were quicker on their toes, at least metaphorically speaking. (Older Russell was definitely quicker from a literal standpoint, courtesy in equal parts to his dance hobby and his desire to stay out of the way of unanticipated light sources... and his ability to trip over the pattern in a carpet. Sigh.) It was also true that the name Jaws had been passed on to his subsequent mice, but to be fair, they had all been hungry little dudes, and he had been tricked into thinking his first Jaws had left behind a baby that obviously had to become Jaws Junior, and then his current last Jaws was an homage to its predecessors. And the name had just fit. He couldn’t put it in words as to why or how, but it had.

“Yeah, pet stores don’t normally name their animals,” Russell explained, possibly unnecessarily if the younger Cetus already knew that, but he was now busy rotating his hands as the multi-tonal rat raced over them and could credit any unwanted details to his preoccupation, “unless they’re rescues or have been surrendered by past owners. Then it makes sense to keep the name they’re familiar with, of course, same as when people adopt kids. It’d be pretty rough to force a new name on someone, yeah? Want him back?” he added. “He’s pretty lively.” Still juggling his hands, he managed to slow the rat down long enough to stop and cradle it between his palms, little paws peeking out at top and bottom, feeling its breath puff the warm body in and out. Russell held it out to Dade, offering up a grin at the boy’s suggestion. “There’s no bad names,” he said diplomatically, “but sure, I like it. Kind of feisty, like a sharp minty flavour. You should test it out, see how your new buddy responds.”

  • Well, what kind of surprise is it? - Dade, Wed Aug 8 12:44
    It seemed like Russell was super into holding the rat, so Dade opened the carrying cage and waited for the older boy to scoop up the little critter inside. First, Russell let the rat sniff him and... more
    • A warm'n'fuzzy one - Russell, Tue Aug 14 21:58
      • That seems like a nice surprise - Dade, Thu Aug 16 19:55
        The idea of a rat rescue had never occurred to Dade. He supposed it kind of made sense. There were rescues for dogs and cats, so it stood to reason that people would want to give up a rat or... more
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