And If You’re Eating a Bowl Of Cocoa Puffs, I’m Especially Sorry

I would like to announce to no one in particular that our pet rats have somehow learned to poop outside of their cage.

I do not mean they are escaping from their cage and pooping.  I mean they are in their cage, carefully locked in, and somehow the little poop pellets leave their bodies and end up on the floor just outside their cage.

And I know those are a lot of italics, but if there was ever a cause for italics, I’d say Bionic Rodent Poop qualifies. 

The whole thing kind of reminds me of that Magic Bullet Theory from the Kennedy assassination–remember?  Supposedly the bullet traveled all these different directions, shifting in mid-air.

Except this hasn’t altered the course of U.S. history.

Well, and it’s poop

* * * * * * * * * *

(Thus concludes my first attempt at being funny and lighthearted.  It feels strange.  I haven’t fully given myself permission to laugh yet.  Bear with me.  And quick, leave a funny comment so I won’t feel all weird and exposed.)

76 thoughts on “And If You’re Eating a Bowl Of Cocoa Puffs, I’m Especially Sorry

  1. Debs says:

    That’s some, umm, impressive(?) rats. Rather you than me. We did used to have gerbils and I could even survive it when they wee-ed on me. Although I was only about 10 at the time, now I’m 25 and I’m living a happily pet-free life!

  2. tas says:

    it’s not magic poop… their scurrying around, the poop is flung out of the cage…
    i have the same issue with the two guinea pigs we have.
    either that
    or bums are being hung out of he cage while pooping…..which could be cute

  3. Stacey says:

    Bionic Rodent Poop – that IS funny all on it’s own! And worth every bit of italics! I can just hear the robotic sound effects of the Bionic Rodent Poop as it travels in slow-motion to it’s intended destination.

  4. amy says:

    So, here’s what I’m wondering. The title of this post… are they really the size of Cocoa puffs… that’s super huge! And… when they say, “pellets”… what is that?? … the poop or the food?

  5. Jeana says:

    Really? Then you must have acquired the skill, nay, gift to be funny without trying, because you’ve been cracking me up all week. Even when you’re talking about the serious stuff you’re funny. The title of this one was definitely a winner.

  6. Kristen says:

    We are all about poop at our house, had it on our shoes yesterday as we left church and had to hang shoes by their laces out the window. Nothing is shocking anymore. But funny, oh yes, very funny. I finally get why all the little kids giggle when they just hear the word.

  7. Betsy says:

    Not just funny… but REALLY funny. “Laugh out loud” funny. “Husband looking at you with raised eyebrows” funny. Because we, too, have poop issues. It’s all over our yard from our three “pet” cows. They prefer the yard, I guess.

  8. Leslie says:

    I loved that Seinfeld episode about the magic spit. They diagrammed (?) the whole thing out and compared it to the Kennedy bullet. Hilarious!

  9. Danielle says:

    Just wanted to drop by and say that I love reading your blog. You’re hilarious and encouraging! I admire that you went to Africa and hope that I have the chance to go there someday as well. Your story has inspired me to sponsor a child through Compassion, which I haven’t done yet, but am praying seriously about. I don’t have any of my own children, so why not offer what I can to one of them?
    Thanks and God bless!
    ~ Danielle

  10. Kathryn says:

    That would not be a happening thing in my house full of little ones. Ewww…
    I hope I don’t remember this the next time I’m eating coco puffs.

  11. Snowbird says:

    Ugh! Nothing worse than projectile pooping!! I volunteer in a wildlife hospital and yes, there is such a thing. Maybe your rats have gotten together with some of my wildlife and learned their bad habits. πŸ™‚

  12. Beth says:

    OK, our hamster has projectile pee. And the poop pellets are under his wheel. Outside the cage. Apparently there’s a “sanitary” waste catcher thingy that we were supposed to attach, but did not. Maybe we should reconsider that.
    And there just ain’t nothin’ sanitary about rodents.

  13. kelli says:

    At least now you know how the boys kept themselves entertained while you were gone-
    They put the rats through Projectile Poop Boot Camp.
    Now, maybe they can help with Corrie πŸ™‚

  14. Jenny says:

    Aww…It was actually nice to see a funny post from you. I am glad to read it!
    Animals doen’t like to mess up their immediate space…if you line the side of the cage with something they cant chew through the poop will stay put.

  15. jean says:

    Are they sticking their butts out of the cage? How funny looking is that? Or are they kicking it out in order to clean up? Good luck with it.

  16. A&EMom says:

    Turns out, rats are actually very clean critters – not by our standards, of course. But in the animal world, not laying in your own droppings makes you genius. I bet if you attached a separate small space they’d make it their toilet.
    Have fun with that πŸ™‚

  17. Candace (Mama Mia) says:

    Love the “magic bullet” reference :). You have to give yourself permission to be funny again. I’m enjoying the stories from Africa (and the pics are amazing!!), but you can’t supress that side of you.

  18. Mrs. Nicklebee says:

    That is funny, Shannon!
    Our guinea pig used to get more of her poop out of the cage than in it. Daily, we’d see her running around her cage making rooster tails. (Picture the General Lee on a dirt road, throwing dirt out behind it.)
    Agreeing with others who said rodents don’t like poo in their living spaces, and looking forward to the video. πŸ˜‰

  19. travis Spencer says:

    My garage got infested with mice one winter. The next spring I found dog food neatly lined up in the back of my upright tool box. They lived in there, peed in there, and even nicely stored their food in there. The dog bowl was 20 feet away…these little guys are amazing.
    …I still poisoned them, though πŸ™‚

  20. bee says:

    You forgot to mention Cocoa Krispies in your title. Cocoa Krispies should be avoided also… so says the bowl of them I just dumped in the trash. πŸ™‚

  21. LeeAnn (AKA Frazzmom) says:

    No one believes me when I say that ratties are very clean pets! Yours have just decided that they don’t want to live with poop lying around- it seems perfectly sensible to me!
    Good thing you have those boys to do poop patrol! Yeah- if your kids are anything like mine, you know thats not going to happen πŸ˜‰

  22. mumple says:

    Oh, my!
    But, seriously, all poop is funny. Even when we think it’s not. (ask any 5 year old)
    There’s a reason I have no rats. This will be one of them, if I ever have to list those reasons!

  23. Momandmore says:

    You know, its amazing what we moms put up with in the course of a day. I wonder what your rats would think of my tree frogs? They don’t have bionic poop but they do get to eat live crickets.
    And since my 10 month old is in the habit of snagging dog food out of the dog dish and cramming it into her mouth I think its a good thing that all of the tree frog excrement is contained in the cage. I’m tellin’ you, these are good times!

  24. Laura says:

    Let yourself laugh. It really is the best medicine. Praying you have wisdom of how to deal with it all and allow God to continue to use your gifts to change the world. πŸ™‚

  25. Carrie says:

    I had rats (for like 4 years!) when I was teaching and there was poop all over the place! It’s totally the running around and digging in the bottom of the cage.
    I miss my rats sometimes but not the cleaning of the cage…that part sucked!

  26. Jane says:

    I’m looking forward to the post where you report on the Google searches for “Bionic Rodent Poop.” Should draw some real characters to the blog. On the other hand, it could also draw a lot of kids addicted to Captain Underpants books.

  27. Heather says:

    OH MY GOSH — I was thinking that my kids Coco Puffs looked like rabbit “pellets” the other day – and I thought to myself- WHO in their right mind though cereal that looked like poo was a good idea???

  28. Linda says:

    i love to read about the REAL Life stuff, as smelly as it is sometimes. so, nope you are not strange and sad to admit we have a cat that can’t seem to make it in the gigantic litter box we provide. she’s old though…is that the case with your rats? loss of memory in the routine? i enjoy your blog and laugh right along with you in the day to day craziness!

  29. Linda Sue says:

    Ewww and again I say ewwww – rat’s flinging poop is way worse than I’d expect from a mission minded mama with a passport that has been stamped in UGANDA AFRICA! I mean really – next thing I’ll hear that y’all giggled all the way down the hall past a swarm of demonic bats! Doesn’t that rat pact signed with your children include never having to say you’re sorry – no that was a schmucky movie. It surely says mama don’t have to touch no rat poop!

  30. jennielynn says:

    That is weird. Cool, but weird, and only cool because I don’t have to clean it up. Is it really Cocoa Puff size? That seems big for rat poop. Not that I am an expert on rodent defecation. Anyway…poop outside the cage, huh? Weird.

  31. jenny says:

    I can almost picture the little rats snickering to themselves as they press their little behinds up to the bars of their cage and let loose. Oh, I bet your boys are really enjoying the rat care now!
    p.s. good job on your attempt at being funny…you made me laugh.

  32. frantically simple says:

    When I was a kid we had a short stint with “house-trained” rabbits. They’d hop into their litterboxes, get all cozy, then hang their rabbit butts over the edge and poop on the floor.
    Good times.

  33. Kayla says:

    Welcome home. I always enjoy reading your posts. This one is especially entertaining. We don’t have any of the little “rats” at our house, but my girls are trying to get us to weaken.

  34. Erin says:

    The rabbit I used to have for my class pet did that too. He would back his hiney into the corner and the poop would fall next to the cage. Also, if they are burrowing, they may knock it out of the cage. At least it is small and not too stinky!

  35. Diane says:

    I’m sorry, I just can’t get past the “pet rats.”
    I have nothing else to say, except I don’t know if I’ll be able to visit for a few days.
    “Pet rats?”

  36. Melissa says:

    We had a hamster that would do the same thing. He would pick up his poop with his teeth and fling it out of his cage. We caught him doing that one day. So we went to a different type of cage with plastic sides where the poop couldn’t be tossed out!

  37. Deneen says:

    When I go away for a while, my cat gets angry at me and does mean things to me like hiss at me or swat at me when I walk by. Do you think that the rodents perhaps missed you so much that they are now torturing you?
    Thank you for making me laugh πŸ™‚

  38. Molly says:

    Maybe you could just stick some kind of special potty right outside there that flushes and would make clean up a breeze! Now, there’s got to be a great invention in there somewhere! πŸ™‚

  39. Kellyn says:

    When I was younger we had a hamster that would do that. Line the outside of the cage with something they won’t (but won’t get sick if they nibble) and it will block the projectile poop.
    Light hearted and funny is not an easy thing after what you have witnessed and experienced. You did great for your first one back. Hugs and prayers to you.

  40. Krista says:

    And… Dona’s first comment reminded me of my son until he was about 4 months old… seriously the kid would wait until I had the diaper off and then push. One time he hit me, my husband, the stereo, two walls, and of course the floor. Gross does not even begin to describe it!

  41. Chris in Seattle says:

    I don’t need the lighthearted and funny yet, I am still reading about the trip and taking it all in. I felt the trip deeply while you were there and related it to trips I took to Mexico to build houses for families living in cardboard boxes. Similar trip but without the Aids epidemic.
    The Sara Groves video was one that I was going to tell you about if you hadn’t seen it since I love to watch it and just weep over what I see there. That woman has a gift, doesn’t she? Much like you.
    Lent is a good time to identify with Jesus in His suffering, I appreciate your wit but you don’t have to be witty if you’re not ready yet.
    Our Guinea pig, General Grievous, seems to have the same talent though.

  42. Gego says:

    OK, when I read this post, I thought of children. Yup, children whose diapers leaked little bullets, picked them up (GROSS), smeared them on the wall (GROSSER), and called “MAMA”. Thank goodness for rats! Love all y’all bunches.

  43. Auds says:

    Well that seals the deal…we DEFINITELY are NOT getting a pet rat anytime soon. Nope, not dealing with projectile pelletts! Especially not when we’re still dealing with the occasional presents our 16 week old Goldendoodle puppy leaves us. Did I mention he’s huge?
    Another wonderful reason we’re not getting a projectile pooping rat is that my two year old is still in diapers!
    And yet one more reason we won’t be getting a projectile pooping rat is the fact that when our two cats gets upset that we haven’t done something to their liking, they leave us presents as well! But thankfully, now days it’s more often barfed up hairballs – still gross, but not as bad as poop.
    Nope, we certainly don’t need a rat…not with this menagerie of animals, toddlers and a teenager too!
    God Bless.
    Auds over at Spotted Dick.

  44. Jen says:

    That sounds like such fun! πŸ™‚ We used to have a dog when we were kids, that was kept in a small bathroom when we were gone, and it would BACK UP to the walls and poop ON THE WALL…so then it would streak all down the wall to the carpeted floor… YUM

  45. nancy says:

    I figured out where the poop is coming from. It isn’t from your pet rats – it is from their friends that are visiting during the night.

  46. Mari-jane says:

    You have saved me! I am not alone.. our rabbit used to do the same thing! I caught him one day with his rearend pushed up against the side of the cage. So as he pooped the pellets fell away from his cage and onto the floor. Fortunately he was litter box trained and only did this when he needed his box changed. You could try putting some kind of “gaurd” around the lower part of the cage. Good Luck!

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