Alice, My Roommate Has Rats (And They're Driving Me Crazy)

Alice, My Roommate Has Rats (And They're Driving Me Crazy)

Ask Alice
May 21, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

My roommate has pet rats. Though they are cute and somewhat friendly, they are some of the most disgusting animals to clean up after. They fling their waste, bedding, and food out of the cage all the time. My roommate is also very lazy in caring for them, and uses the excuse that she owns the house, to not take care of anything — often not cleaning the cage for weeks on end. Every time I bring it up to her, she gets defensive, and yells some comment like "I'm too busy!" or "this is my house!" which is irritating because I pay more that she does to live here (I rent the bigger bedroom). What should I do? The apartment reeks of rat urine, and I can barely walk through my living room without stepping on rat mess. Please help me find a solution!
Rat Riled

Dear RR,

Why in the heck are these rats living in your shared space and not in your roommate's bedroom? If she wants to have messy, caged pets (and not clean up after them) she should be dealing with the smell and — eek — rat feces solo. That's your first step. She's already proved herself not able or willing to do the necessary upkeep for these pets (which is NOT okay, owning a pet is a serious responsibility) so she should also deal with the unpleasantness of that decision.

If she doesn't agree, I think you need to start looking for a new living situation. In fact, based on the way she communicates (or, more accurately, DOESN'T communicate) you might want to consider it anyway. That's probably not what you want to hear because, well, moving sucks, but I don't see this roommate relationship getting much better. Since she owns the house, you may want to just give yourself a break and get out of there.



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