How do you gain temporary celebrity status on a college campus? Animals. Find one, walk one, ride one, become one. Whatever. Animals are synonymous with instant popularity. If you don’t have that feline feelin’ and aren’t ready to make the conversion to a stray cat, fear not. Whether you’re seeking stardom or simply going through fuzzy-wuzzy withdrawal, having a clandestine dorm pet seems to do the job. We talked to a few students to get a glimpse of life with a four-legged roommate.
What kind of pet do you have? What is its name?
STUDENT 1: We have a hooded fancy rat and his name is Cecil.
STUDENT 2: I have a pet rabbit. His name is Wallace.
How did you come to acquire your pet?
STUDENT 1: [A student] sent out an all-stu asking if anyone wanted a rat, and we did! She got it for a class project and didn’t want to bring him back to the store so he is a rescue rat.
STUDENT 2: I had heard about people with pet rats and wanted one. [I] did some Google searching and got stuck on bunnies. I found him off an eBay kind of site and picked him up from a breeder in Gambier.
Why did you decide to get a pet?
STUDENT 1: We’re very giving people and wanted to save a life.
STUDENT 2: I think I decided to get a bunny because I wanted to take care of something other than my schoolwork. Bunnies make a great pet and definitely help with anxiety, depression, etc. It’s been a gift to my friends and me to have him around. He’s also adorable and loves to be stroked by his ears!
Where do you keep your pet?
STUDENT 1: In my dorm room, on top of the dresser.
STUDENT 2: In my dorm room. He has a cage where he sleeps and goes in when I’m in class. But normally, he’s free to roam around. I hide cords and anything else he might chew on.
How do you control potential odors?
STUDENT 1: [We] clean the cage frequently and use cage wipes to wipe it down.
STUDENT 2: Eek! Rabbits are smelly. They poop a lot. I clean his cage usually twice a day and his litter-box multiple times a day. Yes, rabbits can be potty-trained! I have to vacuum weekly. Luckily, his cage is fairly easy to clean.
If your pet needs to go outside (for walks, bathroom breaks, etc.), how do you manage this without being sighted by a C.A.?
STUDENT 1: It’s too cold for rats outside!
STUDENT 2: He doesn’t leave my room/doesn’t have to!
Have you ever been caught/reprimanded by a C.A. or ResLife?
STUDENT 1: NO, and we plan on keeping it that way.
STUDENT 2: Nope!
Is there anything else we should know?
STUDENT 1: Do not attempt to keep puppies in school dorms, it is a bad idea and you will get caught. This is coming from a seasoned professional illicit pet keeper.
STUDENT 2: Wallace loves fresh parsley from the Market! He is also a noisy sleeper. But otherwise, he’s a very well-behaved animal that loves to be pet (as long as you don’t pick him up).