It's always interesting to see which of my designs prove popular at various moments throughout the year. I've only been selling through Redbubble since April this year! (Gosh it feels like it's been much longer!) but in that time I've seen some of my designs catch the hearts of some people.
It has mostly revolved around Mama Bear and Foxy Naps but this little guy has managed to wriggle his way in.
I love my rats, whether it's the pets I've owned or the doodles I create, the little fuzzers will always have a special place in my heart even though I am unfortunately highly allergic now. So when somebody likes any of my rat designs it fills me with a different kind of joy than my other designs.
Lately Little Roan Rat, pictured above or as he was better known as 'Rufus' has become popular and seeing that little sales email saying another one of these guys has been loved and is off to a new home fills me with so much happiness!
What people may not know is that all of my rat designs are based on my own or my partners rats. Between us we've owned a good many who we adored.
I've spent the last ten years sharing my life with these gorgeous creatures, there were ups and downs and many veterinary lessons but I don't regret a moment.
So I thought I would take the time to feature the little guy who inspired the ratty doodles and the rat featured above. I'd like to introduce Rufus.
Rufus was a rather chubby, extremely lazy, food loving Husky/Roan rat who loved his cuddles with mummy... that would be me.
He was originally my partners rat and lived with him throughout his baby rathood until my partner had to move to a place that unfortunately didn't allow pets. So Rufus and his brother Ghost came to live with me. Amusingly whilst he lived with my partner he hated me. If I held him he'd desperately scrabble to get away from me and was always desperate to get back to his cage or at least my partner.
So when he suddenly became a big softy and became besotted with me I can honestly say I was shocked... but loved every moment. I'm not going to lie, sure I felt a bit bad at kind of stealing my partners pet but... having rat cuddles made the bad feelings disappear.
He was our special boy who bumbled around his cage, perching and wobbling on precarious platforms, eating his way through any fruit, veg or chocolate he could get his paws on, leaving little puddles and snuggling up on our laps. He was also an impressive boggler...
To anyone who doesn't know rats, Boggling is basically... rats bouncing their eyeballs when they get super happy... It sounds horrible but it's actually quite adorable.
Unfortunately we lost Rufus a couple of weeks ago and it's still fairly painful. People think rats are just a pet in a cage in the room, something that eats, pees and needs cleaning. In reality rats are much more like a cat or dog. They are extremely interactive and love attention and in the case of males they just want cuddles and food.
I still find myself going to where his cage was to get him out for cuddles, I didn't realise just how much I loved that rat and how much of an impact he had on my life. My mental state hasn't adjusted just yet.
But I don't want to be morbid and grim. He was a wonderful rat and brought lots of joy and happiness along with much laughter to most people who met him.
So now when I see people liking the Rufus doodle I smile knowing that even now he's still making people smile.
It's also lovely to see how many rat fans are out there. I can't stress more over what amazing creatures they truly are.
I've also found myself wanting to draw more rat designs and maybe focus on them early next year... alongside every other project I have going on! So maybe the rats will take over in January. There's also a ratty project that's ongoing with my partner that is going to be happening soon! Once I get my head in gear and out of birds!
Gosh it's been a crazy December.