Each postcard is accompanied by a little rat, with a curious spark in his eyes! :)
There seemed to be quite a few of them, so I was curious and talked to Julia (aka SunnyRat) about her quirky wall. Julia is from Russia and works on a software company… but as it turns out, she’s also mommy to a large family of pet rats, and does some wonderful art as well! It was a pleasure to learn more about her and her pets, so I hope you enjoy this mini-interview as much as I did.
Could you introduce your rats to us? What are their names, how old are they… what do they like to do all day?
At this moment I have eight wonderful little rats. They all are male and their names are: April, Baikal, El, Sky, Krosh, January, Cheshire and Fort Erie. They have different ages, from a few months to almost 3 years old. The youngest is April, and this April he will be one year old :)
I must say that I like to give names, which are ordinary words or geographical names, because when I hear these words accidentally it always becomes sunny in my heart and I’m smiling.
Every rat is a little person with its own character traits. For example, Baikal (on the right), a rat with Siamese “point” on the nose, is a calm, tender, plush teddy bear who loves to be cuddled and stroked and is a perfect shoulder companion. April (on the left) is curious, cheerful, restless bundle of energy who adores people. He is always ready to be with you and that is why he appears on photos most often. He has curly whiskers and white unsymmetrical stripe on the face. They are best friends, and together with their brothers, we are a big united family!
They have an organized part of the room, where they live. Here it is:
This is where they play, jump, climb, runn, groom each other, do housekeeping, generate and solve problems, have dinner and communicate… I’ve made some videos with our rat’s everyday life, you can watch it if you would like, if you’re curious and have some time: video #1, video #2.
And all rats love to sleep and usually they do it in hammocks! :)
Also, they are intelligent animals and love to learn new things. So we do some trainings together and they can easily perform simple tricks. For example, here we are leaning how to do a rotation:
Sometimes we take part in rat shows, where events like tightrope walking and rat agility take place. So they do sports too.
Where did you get the idea to include them in your postcard photos?
I was inspired by SeanPatrick’s wall! I found it so uplifting, lively and enjoyable that I decided to make something personal too. And, of course, I thought about rats at once, because they usually make me smile.
Are they cooperative in the photo sessions?
It may depend on the temper of each specific rat… some cooperate very well and some are difficult to take pictures of. But they love to explore new things and love to do something together with human beings, so we simply have fun. And the more often it happens, the better we understand each other.
Something yummy doesn’t hurt too! :)
What kind of reactions do you receive from other members who notice your wall?
The reactions I usually get are warm words and well wishes to the rats. Some people talk about their own pet rats. Compliments and energetic emotions! And, if I may take this opportunity to say thank you so much for such kind of reactions! I appreciate it very much and this is a happiness for me to know that someone somewhere on the planet is smiling too, looking at these photos.
What about you, what do you do for a living, and for fun? And do you have other pets?
I work as an analyst at a company that develops solutions for computer protection. And, by the way, sometimes my rats are used for this company advertising items, such as wall and pocket calendars.
Also I enjoy almost all kinds of creative activity. Especially I love to draw. And thanks to postcrossing I can do it much more often, because to draw for somebody is always more enjoyable for me, than to do it for no particular reason. So most of my sent cards usually have little drawings.
Rats are my only pets. I am with them about ten years and have to say that since the discovery of pet rats there is always laughing at home. And the more I learn about them, the more I like them!
Thank you Julia, that was wonderful! :)
PS – Do you know of any other quirky postcard walls? Please share them in the comments!
Have you heard of Owney the dog? This dog was a postal sensation during the late 1880s to the 1890s. Of course, he’s still popular today but not as popular as he did during the climax of his career.
One day in 1888, a stray dog wandered into a post office in Albany, New York. The postal workers took the dog in for the night and the poor, little fella fell asleep on a pile of sacks which were used to carry mail. During the next days, the postal workers decided to keep him and gave him his very own mail sack to sleep on.
Some accounts claim that Owney became so familiar with the scent and texture of the mail sacks that he followed one wherever it was taken. Another account says that Owney’s sack was needed one day and Owney followed its scent as it was brought into a postal train. Whatever the real story was, Owney’s career as the Post Office’s mascot was launched through his love of mail sacks.
Owney would follow the mail sacks onto mail wagons, mail trains, and even mail steamships! Soon, the wonder dog was traveling all over the United States and the world!
In 1897, Owney died of a peaceful death. Through the various fundraisings performed by his friends and fans, his body was preserved and immortalized as an inspirational display – first at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the United States Post Office (USPS) and then at the Smithsonian Institution.
If you’d like to see more of Owney, he’s quite popular on Flickr. There are a few postcards with Owney’s image on them and these can be new ideas for your next postcard mailing!