The first pet that Mama and Dada acquired together, in 1991, Feathers was a domestic white and cream hooded rat.
Feathers got her name because, as Dada put it, when she first came home from the pet store, she was a chicken, frequently dropping “poopums” (which looked like Raisinets — don’t get them mixed up!) out of fright when the humans would approach. But she quickly learned that humans meant good things like food, nose/ear strokes, play sessions, and rides on shoulders, all which Feathers quite enjoyed.
Feathers originally lived with Mama and Dada in the basement of Dada’s parents’ house, which they shared for several months after getting married, where she soon became a favorite of Dada’s parents, as well as becoming acquainted with their Miss Marple, AKA Missy, the dachshund mix.
After Trouble and Pooh Bear were added to the family, it was apparent that, for her own peace of mind, it would be best if Feathers went to live somewhere without a couple of young cats prowling around — one of whom had a pretty strong hunting instinct. (In case you were wondering, the other one was Trouble.)
And so Feathers returned to live with her paternal grandparents, where she spent most of the second half of her life riding around in Dada’s father’s shirt pocket or on a hat that he wore especially to give her a place to sit. She also spent a good amount of time chilling on Dada’s mother’s shoulder.
When not out gallivanting, Feathers could usually be found snoozing in her little house. (Feathers had a tiny house before tiny houses were cool.)
Unfortunately, rats have very short lives, and after having had one cancerous tumor removed, Feathers succumbed to a second, and went to the Rainbow Bridge in late 1992, no doubt arriving as one of the most well-loved and spoiled rats the Bridge had ever seen.