Chico’s ‘Rat Lady’ dies at 59 – Chico Enterprise

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 9, 2018 in Rat News | Subscribe


Rat Lady Debbie Ducommun prepares the stage for Merlin, a hairless rat to perform a trick during a demonstration at the Museum of Anthropology at Chico State in March 2002.

Rat Lady Debbie Ducommun prepares the stage for Merlin, a hairless rat to perform a trick during a demonstration at the Museum of Anthropology at Chico State in March 2002.
Bill Husa — Enterprise-Record





Chico Chico’s “Rat Lady” has died.

Debbie Ducommun, a nationally known expert on the care of pet rats, died Sunday from what a friend said were complications from the flu. She was 59.

She achieved a level of fame through her unabashed fondness for rats, earning appearances in 1998 on the Jay Leno and Howie Mandel television shows, among others.

She was a technical consultant on the Pixar movie “Ratatouille,” according to the Rat Fan Club webpage.

Ducommun graduated from Chico State University with a degree in animal behavior and worked in the animal care industry starting in 1977.

She founded the Rat Fan Club in 1992 and took it online as a Facebook group in 2007, which now has 24,000 members.

“Rats are like little dogs, personality-wise,” she told this newspaper in 1992.

She started a “Rat-alog” selling rat design merchandise such as T-shirts, notecards and jewelry, including items she designed and produced herself.

She wrote regular columns and numerous books on rat care, and maintained a rat rescue center out of her home in north Chico.

Arrangements are being handled by Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home.

Article source: http://www.chicoer.com/obituaries/20180306/chicos-rat-lady-dies-at-59

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