Unintentionally Scaring Therapist with Pet Rat

I see my therapist every week, but this past Tuesday, I was particularly anxious so I brought one of my pet rats into session with me (I have 10 pet rats in total). He’s my oldest and his name is Barkey. Well, my therapist has seen him before many months back when I first started seeing her, actually. It was the receptionist who I thought would get startled by him.

However, it all happened in reverse. I strolled into the lobby with Barkey riding on my shoulder and it was the lady at the desk who wanted to hold him and give him love, which of course I let her. Walking back to my therapist’s office, I closed the door and took a seat as usual while she was finishing up the last of notes on the patient before me.

When she finally looked up, she jumped, putting a hand over her heart as she said, “Holy shit! He scared me. Warn me next time.”

I laughed, of course, and then she asked if I had him out in the lobby. I told her yeah and she said she didn’t care if I brought him into her office, but that I couldn’t have him out there lol (so put him in my backpack or something).

Session went by fine. I set Barkey down and he took a nap during it. Returning him to my shoulder as I left, I walked around outside waiting for my wife to pick me up. She ran late, but he just rode on me contentedly, sometimes scurrying across the back of my neck or on top of the backpack that I was wearing.

Before going home, we decided to stop by McDonald’s and get some food. I told her I promised the rat a burger LMAO. Anyway, Barkey had already made his way onto her shoulder by the time we were at the window and I wish so badly I had the foresight to be recording!

The man working in the drive-thru was pretty effeminate and the second he opened the window, he threw his hands up and backed away, “NAH! SHE GOT A RAT ON HER!”

My wife and I burst out into laughter while a second worker, a woman, came up with a huge smile on her face. She joined us in laughing while the guy handed over our bag and let her give it to us instead. He said something else as we left to the effect of ‘I ain’t dealing with that.’

In conclusion, always be recording if you approach people randomly with a rat on your shoulder and Barkey apparently prefers french fries to burgers!

~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden

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