I stopped at Best Buy on my way home from work the other day to get an idea of how much a FireWire video input card for my computer would cost. After jotting down the name of what seemed to be a great digital video editing package so that I could check out some online reviews at my leisure, I was about to head out of the store when my eye was caught by an eye-catching SALE tag: Cool, a paper shredder for just twenty bucks!
Now you're probably thinking: "What's this got to do with the domesticated Rattus norvegicus"?
Well, like other pet rodents, rats need a generous layer of absorbent material in the bottom of their cages to soak up the moisture after the animals answer the call of nature. Incidentally, I've read that lady rats, being ladies, prefer to choose one corner of their cage as a designated WC, but gentlemen rats are less fastidious. Rugby pretty much "goes" all over his cage, except in his wooden nest-box.
"Drop the kids--"? Where did you hear that expression?
What summer camp? There's no such thing as summer camp for rats, and anyway, you weren't even born last summer.
But I don't even have cab... Never mind. Anyway, pet stores sell various types of litter material for rodents and other small mammals: pine or cedar shavings, pellets of compressed recycled paper, ground corncobs, etc. They're all about $4 or $5 a bag, at least, so it dawned on me that the paper shredder would pay for itself in just a few months. I started out with a brown paper grocery bag (which I tore into several pieces to avoid jamming the shredder), moved on to some junk mail and a two-week-old copy of the Washington Blade, and finished with a yellowing paperback called What Is Dungeons and Dragons? (That last item was unearthed from a box of books that had been sitting in my parents' basement since I was in high school.)