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Ep 27 | Pets in the House


We have a new addition to our home and that’s the rats! Nelly and Savanah joined us earlier this summer and are Ellie’s pets that she is responsible for. It was important to her to have a pet that she could call her own and not the dog that the family shares. She’s responsible for cleaning the cage, buying what they need, and playing with them. She also enjoys trying to train them.


Full Transcript

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] You’re listening to conversations with my daughter, Episode 27.

[CANNED INTRO]  Hi there. I’m Sami. And I’m Elinor. And you’re listening to Conversations with my Daughter where we sit down and discuss food, books, pets, and anything else that comes to mind. So we look forward to seeing you every week. And I hope you enjoy.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so do you think that every family should have a pet?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Why didn’t you say, “Hi, everyone.”?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Oh, sorry. Hi, everyone. Welcome to Conversations With My Daughter.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. That’s much better?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay. We’re trying to be professional here.


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  So today we’re talking about pets in the house. Everybody knows we have,


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No, who have we had longer.




[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yes. And she is a rescue.


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But then recently, you decided you wanted to get rats. Why?

[ELINOR MULHERN] I don’t know. I actually don’t even know why. I wonder. Like, I was kayaking with my uncle. And then when we were walking back home, and I was like, you know, I really want another pet. My mom won’t let me have a ferret, she won’t let me have a hamster.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yea we didn’t want a ferret or hamsters that’s right.

[ELINOR MULHERN] or guinea pigs, right. So I’m like, Well, what about rats?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, and your arguments were that they are not as stinky because they clean themselves.

[ELINOR MULHERN] We got that wrong. Well they’re not that bad.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] The rats themselves aren’t stinky. It’s just that uncle Bucky built them a house. And that just happens to be where you like to pee.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, right above is where they like to pee.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. Okay, so you got to and they’re called fancy rats, right?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. I don’t know if I’m a Top Hat Ear one or a Dumbo ear one.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I don’t I didn’t know that was a thing.

[ELINOR MULHERN] I didn’t know that either.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so you wanted to so for any families out there that their kids are like, I want to get a pet. So what was the deal that we made when it came to getting a pet?

[ELINOR MULHERN]  I had to pay for everything. And I still am paying for everything.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So you the paid for the rats. You paid for the cage. You pay for the bedding you pay for the food?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, right. Yeah, I still am paying for everything.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, cuz that was the rule.

[ELINOR MULHERN]  Yeah, and I will I have a job kinda.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] What’s your job?

[ELINOR MULHERN]  I have to pick , wait wait wait. But what if people don’t like is a p o o p word.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Oh, that’s better than other words. It’s okay.

[ELINOR MULHERN] I have to go pick up doggy dodos in my uncle’s backyard.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, who paid you to do that?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Right. Yeah. And wait. Let’s just say my uncle that I went kayaking with wait can I say his name, Bucky? Yes, he’s our editor.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] He’s our editor. Okay, so

[ELINOR MULHERN] Wait, wait, wait, can I tell something exciting?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Is it about therats.

[ELINOR MULHERN] No, I lost my tooth.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay. Let’s stay on topic.


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so what? What is a day in the life of a rat mom? Like how do you take care of your ex? Like what is if somebody out there is considering getting rats? What should they know?

[ELINOR MULHERN] That you have to feed them every day?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, that’s true for all the heads know what it what do you know that doesn’t need to eat every day?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Oh, my friend. sugar gliders don’t eat every day.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay. Oh, another one on the list that we weren’t going to get sugar gliders on.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. And then I didn’t want to get sugar gliders. Like, you can’t teach them any tricks.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so the daily life of a rat, Mom.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Um, I wake up, I say hi to them, I go in my bed, wait am I sharing my whole entire day?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No just like how you take care of the rats during the day like not what you do all day.

[ELINOR MULHERN] And when I first got them, I’ll get in the bath with them.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Not with water, just in the bathtub.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. And then they would play and climb all over me. And that’s what I tried to teach them tricks. But if you ever want to do some tricks, don’t keep them in an enclosed space as like, they can see where the walls are like if you’re in a room. That’s much better. Like when I was training them today, I just let them run. So and it they definitely learn how to do tricks a lot more better, because I would try to get them how to, like teach them how to spin and do other stuff. But they weren’t really they would just try to climb out

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  When they were in their cage.

[ELINOR MULHERN] No when they were in like a box.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Yeah. Oh, so we had a giant like Tupperware box that she had them in that she was trying to teach them tricks and so they wouldn’t run around a room. But today you just let them run around your room, right?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, and it actually wasn’t too bad because my room was clean.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And maybe that’s the motivation to keep your room clean.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, and they will just go in their cage and then go to the bathroom.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So they it’s like they’re potty trained.

[ELINOR MULHERN] No. They’re not potty trained.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But they went into their cage to go to the bathroom you said.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Well, yeah,

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, well, here’s hoping. She’s making a praying face. You just can’t see her right now.

[ELINOR MULHERN]  Please let the rats not poop and pee in my room.


[ELINOR MULHERN] So wait, wait but there’s one good thing and bad thing. Rats they don’t have like a like a like a gag reflex thingy. And so they’ll choke on food. But like, they can’t like spit it up, which sucks in a way but no throw up.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No throw up. Okay, so speaking of food, you feed them pellets and then they also like snacks. So what kind of snacks they like?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Carrots, apples, they went apple bobbing.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Cheerios. So explain to them with the apple bobbing is.

[ELINOR MULHERN] So you can do this with peas too. Okay so they know what peas are.

So you fill a Tupperware thing, like a small one with water. And then you put some food in there. Apples they’re not my favorite thing to use because the water gets all yellow grose but peas, just put them in there. I watched the video. Um, and I watched this video of a girl and she had her rats go apple or like pea fishing.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So you put the peas in the water. Yeah. And then the rats like play with it and try to grab the peas out of the water.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, they don’t really like the water like they shake.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Mm hmm. But it gives it help them from being bored.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. And also they also play together. Mine when she gets scared she squeaks



[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And what’s the other one’s name?


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And one of them is gray. And one of them is brown. Right?


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] That’s how you tell them apart.

[ELINOR MULHERN] I mean, they look completely different.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] They their tails creeped me out.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Oh, yeah, she hates their tails. I don’t really know why the tail stuff freaks you out.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] It’s weird. Okay, so you feed them. Upkeep. So if anybody’s thinking about getting rats.

[ELINOR MULHERN] You should always have two buckets of food with you, we made that mistake once. And but now we got two other two other food things. So they should be good for a couple of months  if you want to keep them good for a couple of months. And you don’t want

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Oh, you mean you don’t run out of food?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, yeah. So don’t feed them Takis?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Why would you feed rats Takis? I would argue that humans shouldn’t even eat Takis?

[ELINOR MULHERN] But they’re so good.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Oh, my goodness. So the rats, um, they have some hammocks in their cage. They have some toys in their cage. Because they and and they’re kind of nocturnal. Right. So they’re up a lot at night.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, they could, um, sometimes they’re up a day time to because I was playing with them today. So I don’t know. They do sleep at night sometimes.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But they stay up late.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Um, I was playing with them. And Nelly was sitting like in my lap. And I was like, sniff, sniff what in the world doesn’t smell and and I didn’t see any poop anywhere. And I’m like, Oh, well, I guess animals do fart I’m pretty sure. Yeah. everyone farts mother.


[ELINOR MULHERN] Toots sorry.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Toots. For your Popo out there. She doesn’t like the word fart.

[ELINOR MULHERN] No so if you’re listening to this. Yeah.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Um, what else might people want to consider before buying rats? So where should they get their rat?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Ya we got ours from a breeder in Salem? Mm hmm.

Yeah, it was a long drive. But it was totally worth it. Okay, and get him for a breeder because sometimes pets stre rats, they don’t play with them.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  So, so that’s a good point. So the rats get bored, right? You need to play with them on a regular basis. Otherwise, what they just chew on things, they chew on them. And they can also get mean and aggressive with each other. And with you, right? Yeah, yeah. So you try to play with them a little bit every day.

[ELINOR MULHERN] I saw some video. Um, whereas this one rat got into a scuffle or something like that or saw like something happened. And his two brothers, they came and sat next to him and cuddled with him until the felt better.


[ELINOR MULHERN] And that’s why you need to get two.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] We have two girls.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yes. Make sure they’re the same gender?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Unless they want babies.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, but make sure you know the, um, the genetics.


[ELINOR MULHERN] No the genetics

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] What do you mean the genetics.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Cuz like if you have genetics,

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Like we don’t know the genetics of our mice our rats.

[ELINOR MULHERN]  Yea we do.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] We know the gender.

[ELINOR MULHERN] No, we know genetics too.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  What do you mean? Like what species they are?

[ELINOR MULHERN] No, no, she said our breeder. She said that she has a book of like 10 generations. So she knows every single one, like their history and their genetics.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Ok, that makes sense.

[ELINOR MULHERN] So we, but she said that if we get them, we’re not allowed to use them for breeding.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And we’re not. Yeah. So what are some cons of having rats like what might not be? What might be something people want to consider?

Hmm like, for example, depending on other pets in your house, right like when like Lulu, our dog gets a little feisty with them so we can’t have her in your room if the rats are out, right?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. So but I’m trying to get her to warm up. Like, I’ll put the rats in her face and she’ll lick them.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  No, she likes them. She just wants to play with them.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yea, that’s all she wants it done cuz, because she thinks that they’re like fun little animals.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] We just don’t know how rough she would actually be with them.

[ELINOR MULHERN]  Yeah, so literally the only animal she ever wants to play with her toys that we have downstairs. She doesn’t even want to put that the dogs that we have our neigorhood. And she doesn’t go out and play with them. But the rats for some reason.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] They’re so interesting to her. She loves them. She’s all mad today because you wouldn’t let her in your room when you were playing with them.

[ELINOR MULHERN] You were you were at the store and she went [noise].

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Outside yoor outside the door.

[ELINOR MULHERN]  And she went [noise].

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yep, that sounds about right.

[ELINOR MULHERN] And I was like, What? And she’s like…

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yes. So all in all, they’re pretty easy to take care of too, because you just have to clean their cage once a week. Feed them and give them water. Yeah, and play with them a little bit. So would you recommend people get rats in their household?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, they’re really easy. And sometimes if they’re just so tired, they’ll snuggle with you.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] They do well, and they snuggle with each other. It’s super cute in there little hammock.

[ELINOR MULHERN] They’re so cute and and I’ll come up to them. And they’ll like be on top of each other looking out of their bars. They look like they’re in jail.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] We’ll have to post some pictures in the show notes.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. And make sure when you’re getting a cage if you’re getting like a lot like eight

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  eight rats!

[ELINOR MULHERN] I don’t know what people want.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Okay, carry on.

[ELINOR MULHERN] I would definitely get a bigger cage like a real big cage like a bird cage.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Okay. I used to have birds.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, she used to have birds, ew, nasty little things.


[ELINOR MULHERN] They peck your eyeballs out.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Birds are nasty little things. But rats aren’t?

[ELINOR MULHERN] OMG their adorable. Okay. Do you see them they’re like [noise]? They have cute little nails and I want to paint them so bad.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So whenever we walk into the room, they like climb up and they want to say hello.

[ELINOR MULHERN] And Okay. And I taught and I taught Nelly how to do spin today when she was being very uncooperative. She kept standing. Sit your fat butt down?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, that’s not a nice way to talk to your rats.

[ELINOR MULHERN] I didn’t actually say that.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, they wouldn’t understand it if you did. Any other advice you want to give to people about rats? And why you love having them?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, if you just want one of like, if you want to pat on your own, and like not a family, pets then rats are definitely the way to go.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, that was originally the reason right? You wanted to have a pet that was just yours. Yeah. Yeah. And they’re not expensive and they’re sweet.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Oh and they nibble on your fingers. Like the they’ll never bite me. They just go [facial expression].

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  People can’t see that on a podcast.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Oh, well, they will they nibble on my finger. And oh, wait. I was training them my mom walked in because she wanted to see how Nelly spun. And then Savannah she walked on your toe.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] She walk on my toe. 

[ELINOR MULHERN] And you’re like, ewwwwwwwwwwww. Why?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I don’t know. Hudson loves them.

[ELINOR MULHERN] They love him. And I’m like, trying to train them. They’re like, oh, boy. He bonded with them faster than I like, he bonded with them in like 30 minutes. No, it took me a couple weeks. Okay.

Hudson’s the rat whisper. I mean, the rat race, but rat rat, what? One?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Okay. So, our recommendation is definitely do your research. Find a breeder in your area. I’m not a huge fan of the rats, but they’re not expensive. They’re clean. They’re not hard. And, um, yeah, they’ve been a good addition to our household.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, my dad. He’s like, what are you looking at. And my mom. And my grandma, she does not like them. She goes [screaming noise]. No, sorry. I’m just telling them what actually happens.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So you recommend families get rats if they’re looking for an easy pet?

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah. And if you want one for every single family member and you have like eight, okay, don’t get one. They’re gonna die fast.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay. Well that’s it for this episode of conversations with my daughter, Yeah, you can check out the show notes and some pictures of her cute little rats at 

[ELINOR MULHERN] Wait maybe we can do like a little video of Nelly twirling.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]We can share the video you took? I think I don’t know.

[ELINOR MULHERN] No cuz I was on TikTok. I know but okay.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] We’ll put some videos up there too for you guys to check out her cute little rats. Yeah, make sure you follow us on Instagram and tik tok @conversationswithmydaughter.

[ELINOR MULHERN] Yeah, we we I’m pretty sure us on tik tok is a CWMDpodcast?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, on Instagram. It’s @conversationswithmydaughter and on TikTok it’s @cwmdpodcast. You’re right. But but like we’ll put it Yeah, we’ll put it in the show notes at or 



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Elinor (daughter) and Sami (mom) were on vacation in Phoenix in March or 2019 when the concept of the mother-daughter podcast was born.

Sami, a digital marketing strategist, was working on her own podcast, when Elinor decided she needed one of her own.  When talking about concepts, the idea of having regular chats about life and recording them came up.

And with that, Conversations with My Daughter was born.

Each week, a new topic, and possible life lesson, are brought to you with the hopes it will make you smile, remember conversations with your own mom, and hopefully inspire new conversations with your own children.