The male rat, later nicknamed Cooper, along with his congeners, were sold in a New York City pet store exclusively for snake food.
Cooper and other rats from this cage were considered to belong to the decorative breed of dumbo, but their ears were quite usual (dumbo rats have large ears), and the hair was the usual reddish color as in wild rats-passhooks. Therefore, as pets of these rats in the pet store almost no one bought.
When Pauline Maureen, 55, came into the store and saw a sign on the rat cage that said «Feeding Snakes,» she felt sorry for the rodents. Without thinking twice, Maureen bought the entire cage of rats from the pet store and brought them home.
Then one rat got out of its cage and went for a walk on the couch. That’s when Pauline’s cat named Prudence became interested in the rat.
Three years ago, Prudence was picked up off the street and Pauline took her in from the shelter. Prudence may have known rats before, but she did not show any aggression at the sight of this rat, and then she came over, lay down next to it and began to lick the rat as if it were her kitten.
Now they are close friends. Pauline gave the rat the nickname Cooper and Prudence and Cooper spend a lot of time together.