Yes, my children had rats for pets and yes, I waited until they were over 21 before sharing this fact with very many people.
Erica, on the left has Midnight perched on her shoulder. Audrey has Chelsea and I Can't Remember His Name on the other shoulder. This all came about when some close friends' son had outgrown this
Never a dull moment when these girls were around--I was scheduled to bring Midnight for Audrey's 3rd grade show-and-tell one afternoon. I collected the rat in a shoe box and on the way to the car, she jumped out and I stepped on her, squishing her. My neighbor heard my scream and, what a gentleman, collected her flattened remains and disposed of her for me. When I got to school Aud wanted to know why I had Chelsea instead of Midnight and I gave her some lame excuse like Midnight was taking a nap and I didn't want to wake her.
Or the time one of the rats was scurrying under the family room couch and Aud pulled its tail which and it came off in her hand (!) After a trip to the vet where the remainder of the tail was glued shut we had to put out heads together for a cogent and unified version to explain the vet bill to their Dad.
They were, in fact, nice little pets; playful, friendly, soft, clean, and amiable...
...and as for the rats, I never could get past the creepy hairless tail factor--which I never did.
Now I'm off to find the snow boots I packed away for next winter. Silly me.