Pets of Tri-I

Pooja Viswanathan


For this issue, I interviewed Luna, the rat who lives with Brigid Maloney (Jarvis & Magnasco Labs, The Rockefeller University) and her partner, Brandon. I think rats make great pets and I wanted to meet Luna ever since I first heard about her from Brigid.

Photos Courtesy of Brigid Maloney

Pooja Viswanathan: How old are you? In human years?

Luna: I am 2.5 years old, which makes me a pretty senior rat!

PV: Is there a story behind your name?

L: Luna is the name I came with when I was adopted, but usually my folks call me Looney Toon since I run around the apartment looking for snacks all the time.

PV: What is your first memory?

L: Probably when I was adopted and came home for the first day! I remember all of the new smells and meeting my parents, who gave me a welcome home chocolate chip, my favorite!

PV: Where do you live?

L: I live in a big 3 story cage in a little studio apartment with my humans. Comparably, my cage is much bigger to me than their apartment is to them!

PV: If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live?

L: Probably in the kitchen cabinets so I could have unlimited access to the full pantry!

PV: What are your favorite foods?

L: I love human food and any time my humans make anything tasty, they usually give me a little bite! My favorites are pizza crusts, but I also love chocolate chips, oatmeal, and above all else, bananas!

PV: What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC?

L: Snoozing late all morning, then running around the couch and snuggling with my humans while they fold laundry or watch tv, and then building big nests with loud crunchy paper all night long!

PV: Besides your human roomies, do you know other humans in the Tri-I community?

L: I get to meet all of the humans who visit our apartment! Some of them seem a little nervous when they first meet me, but I usually have them eating out of my hand (or rather, I am eating out of theirs) within a few minutes.

PV: Do you have a funny story to share with us?

L: One time, my humans went to the cage to make sure I had enough food before they went to work, and realized I wasn’t there! They tore the apartment apart looking for me and were worried I was lost, until all of the sudden, they heard a crunching noise coming from mom’s backpack, and then they realized I had found my way in and was trying to break into her lunch box! Alas, I was foiled again!

PV: Is there some way we can see more pictures of you on the interwebs?

L: Sometimes I am gracious enough to make an appearance on my mom’s Instagram, @Brigid_m.

PV: If you could have any human ability, what would it be?

L:  Definitely thumbs to open jars and the ability to reach the fridge by myself!