Owning a pet in college is added responsibility, but worth it for some

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 20, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

Davisburg senior Jessica Frick has an unlikely combination of pets — one cat, Eva, and two rats, Templeton and Marv.

She said she has been trying to integrate the pets so they get used to each other, but it has been difficult. Frick said she rarely leaves all three alone together for fear that her cat might kill one of the rats.

“My cat has instincts — she sees them, and I don’t think she wants to kill them,” Frick said. “I think she thinks of them as a toy.”

Davisburg junior Jessica Frick gives, Marv, one of her two pet rats, a kiss on the nose Saturday morning. “They’re such lovable animals and great cuddlers,” Frick said. “Not to mention they are so cute.” (Victoria Zegler/Staff Photographer)

Templeton and Marv are the first rats Frick has ever owned. She has had gerbils and hamsters, but the rats have proved to be her favorite pets. She got them for free, and they only require $10 worth of food a month and require little maintenance, she said.

Frick said she most loves her rats’ personalities. She said they like parties and enjoy being around people.

Marv, named after the villain from “Home Alone,” got a lot of laughs when he started sniffing a candle and accidentally singed his whiskers, she said.

Frick said they are too lovable to ever be mad at, even though they did chew up her favorite sweater beyond recognition.

“When I have a bad day, I can just go home and they make me smile,” she said. “They’re so cute I don’t even remember that I’m mad, I love them so much.”

Katie Cooley said the added responsibilities of owning a dog at school have not made it any less rewarding.

The Monroe junior said she and her boyfriend made a spur-of-the-moment decision in December 2010 to get a dog, a 3-month-old black labrador named Griffey.

“We just kind of went with it and now we have a dog,” Cooley said. “It’s definitely made us closer, knowing that we have a responsibility.”

Cooley said Griffey is hilarious to watch. She said so far, the cutest thing he has done is splash and pounce in rain puddles.

She said the benefits of having a pet in college outweigh the disadvantages and it is rewarding.

“Playing with him is so much fun, you just forget about everything else,” Cooley said. “It’s definitely more responsibility, but it’s exciting.”

Come at a cost?

The costs of pet ownership are high for some, but worth it. Fort Gratiot senior Nicole Koppin said she paid $560 for a pet deposit to keep Lynx, her gray-striped cat, on a 12-month lease at Jamestown Apartments, 4075 S. Isabella Road.

“They allow us to have pets for a crazy fee,” Koppin said. “I keep telling everybody that my pet better love for me for paying that much.”

Although only a year-and-a-half old, Koppin said Lynx weighs in at 15 pounds and is almost as long as her bed when he stretches out. She said Lynx is a ball of energy, racing around the apartment at night and playfully jumping on people.

E-mail the author: Mike Nichols

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