I have a vivid memory of being ten years old and opening the bathroom door and seeing a golden rat.
And what had happened — I was m-, moving it with the door as I opened the door. It was trying to get some water and it was loose in our house. We had lost the hamster. We’ve lived in this big old drafty-ass farmhouse. And we had lost the hamster in the house somewhere, as children sometimes do. But the hamster mated with a rat that was also loose in the house. And that’s how we came to have a golden rat running loose in our house. My mother finally got it, and killed it, and got the rat, but the rat — or, the hamster, but the hamster had gone wild in the walls of the house, or maybe it just went crazy. I don’t know. But mom had to put that down and put — she put the rat down so we would have no more rat-golden-hamster mixes running around the house. It was the only one that made it to adulthood. It’s the only one we ever saw. But then they were — what a freaky mate. A golden hamster and a rat. But there were some scary moments before it got caught. One time, my mom came and jumped on my bed when I was sleeping because the bathroom was right across from my bedroom, and that was the closest place to, to, — was my bedroom to the bathroom. And she jumped from in the bathroom where it liked to go — that’s where we fed the dog and the dog’s water was in there. So I’m assuming that the rat wanted water, being that it was being poisoned. Hm. Very distinct memories.