Aamanda's Misfits

I didn't mean
to do it

by Aamanda Paletta

the story of an
abused rat

I didn't mean to do it!
To hurt you
in that way.
It's just that
you're so big,
and i'm so small…
and very much afraid.

I promise,
I didn't mean it.
If  I could take it back, each time
that I attack
I'd trade it for a kiss,
on each and every

But now I've caused
the blood to flow,
from someone that
I really love.
Please don't hurt me,
I really didn't
mean to do it.

I hear you yelling,
and now I am afraid.
I know that I have wronged you,
in a very hurtful way.

You see,
before I knew you,
I had a
different name;
a different place
to live,
which drove me
quite insane.

It was a lonely,
scary place,
with kids
who poked
and pushed
and shoved me.

I never saw
a loving face.
The adults found me disgusting...
they thought I was
a true disgrace.

I had no other options.
Oh! Don't you see?
It came down
to a final choice.
It was either them,
or me.

I bit their
poking fingers.
I stared them in
the face.
“How dare you
treat me badly?!
Where's the justice
in this place?

I tore at the hands
that hurt me,
and they threw me
to the floor.
Oh please,
can't you see,
I just couldn't
take it anymore!!

They started
teasing me
(Oh please, please
can't you see)
with sticks and
hands and feet.

I had to protect myself,
it was either them or me.

Now I'm in your home,
and you would
never treat me so.
But you see,
you're just so big,
and i'm so small…
and very much afraid.

I promise
I didn't mean
to do it
To hurt you
in that way,
I promise
I'll try harder
if you'll just
let me stay.


I'm so sorry.


Aamanda's Misfits is a rescue home in northern Arizona for "unhomeable" rats. Inspired by my own misfit, Cherokee, it is a home of last resort for many aggressive, mentally or emotionally ill ratties.  Although we will not turn down any rat in need of fostering, our main mission is to provide a better fate than death to those who are so very hard to love. We will never put an animal to sleep, just because it has been abused or ill-bred. All the rats who come to our rescue will be provided with forever homes, whether or not they can be rehabilitated.

In addition to providing a loving home, my vet and I are working together to further the study of rat behavior in the hope that someday this research will provide rat lovers with better solutions to deal with aggression.  Aamandas Misfits  is run completely off our personal resources and does not generate any income (the ratties that come here, stay here and are never sold). To ensure that we are able to always provide quality care, we are inviting those who care about our mission to "sponsor a rat". Monthly rat sponsors will choose a rat to sponsor, name it and receive a monthly update on his or her progress.  Besides sponsoring a rat, there are many other options to show your support, including adopting a rehabilitated rat, becoming a co-sponsor, giving a one-time donations or donating items on our Wish List.

If you are the owner of an aggressive or mentally ill rat, and you don't know where else to turn, you have come to the right place. You can read through my research page, which will be updated regularly to include any new research being done on behavior with rats, ideas and discussions with my vet, and new approaches to try.  You can also check out the resources page to see what options and information are available.

If you find that you are truly unable to cope with your rattie, feel free to contact me and we will try to find a way to get your rat here.  There is no need to feel bad about being unable to care for an aggressive rat. It takes a lot of time and emotional work. If you decide to send your rat to Aamanda's Misfits you can rest in the knowledge that it is being taken care of and loved no matter what, will never be put down, and never become dinner for another animal.

I would like to add a special thanx to Eileen for helping me to build this website, to Matt Kaplin for allowing us to use his wonderful line art rat logo, to Chuck for sponsoring my first "misfit" and to each and every one of the ratlisters at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ratlist/  who were so helpful and supportive, from picking a name to reading my work and giving their opinions. If I were to list the names of all the people who have supported me I'd have to make another site. I feel very blessed to have you all behind me and hope someday to meet you in person. Until then God bless.

Aamanda and all the ratties
for more information contact

click here to see the entire "Misfit" family, including our cats and dogs

    © e. mcgarvey 2004    
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