Sunday evening, about 6:45 p.m., we were pulling into our neighborhood when a little white mouse ran out in front of us, coming dangerously close to becoming a Rodent Speed Bump.

Danny pulled the car over and went back to rescue the critter before it ended up on a major roadway. I stayed in the car, watching as he approached it and scooped it up with no resistance. Meanwhile, Zoey, totally pooped after a no-time-to-nap day at Disney World, was snoring loudly in the backseat.

Instead of letting the thing loose on the other side of the road, like you would with, say, a wandering turtle, he brought the thing back to the car and handed it to me.

We had no idea what to do with it. Once we got home, we put it in a shoebox while Danny ran down to Wal-Mart for some basic supplies so we could keep it long enough to figure out what to do with it. When he came back with a nice little wire cage, an exercise wheel, food, a water bottle and a little plastic hideout, it became evident that he was maybe planning on keeping it here.

After all, what would we put on a sign? “FOUND: White rodent. Call to identify.”

We figured out pretty quickly that it’s a little rat, fairly young, and accustomed to being around people. We also thought it was a girl, although we've pretty much changed our mind on that as of this evening. Maybe soon we'll be able to tell for sure.

What we do know for sure is that he's a cutie patootie, with soft white fur, pretty red eyes, little pink ears, a ton of lovely white whiskers, and perfect little rat hands that are just right for climbing and holding munchies. He bathes like a cat — lick the paws, wipe the face, wipe the nose, wipe the ears, repeat several times. He sneezes cute little rat sneezes. He makes an interesting tooth-grinding sound that supposedly means contentment, according to various rat Web sites.

And he ought to be content. The following night we went to Petco and bought a gazillion dollars worth of rat supplies, because we had learned that the Wal-Mart cage was actually too small and that we needed to give him different food. So, in 24 hours, he went from running around in the street to living in a tri-level wire condo with a built-in exercise wheel, chew toys, regular toys, food, treats, a walk-in closet, a gas grill and a set of custom-built Taylor Made golf clubs.

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