Pierre was an agouti hoodie.
Pierre was a lone boy in the Pets At Home adoption centre that me and Jon decided to take on. Lone rats vex me. I can just about manage to walk on by rats kept in pairs, but the lone rats are always worrisome. Pets At Home don't seem to understand the importance of companionship for rats, and happily adopt out lone rats and tell people they will be fine that way. Usually, it is because Pets At Home have witnessed that rat having a minor scuffle with another, or have just thrown him in with others and expected him to get on instantly, and then, when a scuffle happens, take that as evidence that the rat is unable to live with others.
Every single lone rat I have gotten from their adoption centre has come with a statement about how it doesn't get on with other rats, and every single one has gone on to live harmoniously with other rats with little effort.
So I couldn't leave this boy to be homed out to a life kept alone when I knew he could have better with me, particularly when he was written down as being a little nippy, which would severely cut back on the people willing to adopt him, meaning he'd be alone even longer.
When Pierre arrived, he was certainly a bit of an odd rat. So long kept on his own had given him a few strange behaviours. He was nippy, which is not unusual for a Pets At Home rat in general, but particularly one that has been socially isolated. But he also 'tail wagged'.
Tail wagging in rats is not completely understood, and no-one can ever seem to agree upon what it means. Rats can do it when stressed, when excited, and some swear they do it when happy.
I personally believe it is just a sign of intense emotion or arousal, but not all rats do it.
Pierre would tail wag like mad when you placed your hands on him. He'd freeze, and his tail would begin writhing like a snake.
With him, I believe it was part excitement and part stress, because he would exhibit jumpy, excitable behaviour afterwards, but at the same time, was clearly unsure about human contact.
Pierre soon had rat friends. He stopped tail wagging once he gained his rat family.
Pierre was generally a grumpy, opinionated rat. He didn't suffer fools gladly, and had to be in the right mood to want to interact with me. If he was, I could pick him up and give him a cuddle. If he wasn't, he'd squirm away and give me evil looks. He improved from when he first arrived, but generally he was always a bit of a surly personality!
He adored other rats, though, which made me even happier I took him on. A rat like this needs other rats, and is not the kind of boy who would do well without them. Had someone gotten Pierre just wishing to have a single rat as a companion for themselves, I daresay they would be disappointed; this is not a people rat, this is a rat rat! I do wish Pets At Home would stop adopting out lone rats unless there is a genuine reason to do so, not just because they can't be bothered to do a proper intro.
Pierre was found dead in his cage one day, not long after the same thing happened to SwatCar, his cage mate. We now realise that the deaths were something to do with Vanya but it did take a while for that to become apparent. More details can be found on Vanya's page.
Why Pierre? Im rather fond of Marco Pierre White.