I live with seven pet RATS and let them climb all over me – people think it's gross but I don't care | The SunJanuary 18, 2023
A TEACHER who keeps seven rats as pets insists they are "good company".
Marjolein Gottschal, 33, gave two rodents a home when she was 14 and her obsession started from there.
She now has seven pet rats which she lets climb all over her – much to the disgust of her 100,000 TikTok followers.
Marjolein, who lives in the Netherlands, has even given each of her furry roommates a name – Rosie, Pebbles, Bonnie, Kayla, June, Dani and Turbelien.
She posts skin-crawling clips of the critters climbing on her, with one video showing them scurrying up to her shoulder one by one.
But her viewers were left horrified, saying it made them "panic".
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One user wrote: "No my soul left my body."
Another person said: “Oh it's a no from me after them taking over my kitchen.”
A third commented: “Nearly had a panic attack watching this I'm petrified of them.”
Others, however, were left in awe of Marjolein’s love for her rats.
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One supportive user said: "I love rats, such lovely little creatures, would like to have mine back."
A second commented: “This is awesome. Thanks for showing people that rats are cool.”
And another added: "So misunderstood, extremely intelligent and loving wee beauties."
Marjolein is now trying to convince other animal lovers that tame rats make good pets and are not pests.
She told Need To Know: "I think pet rats don’t deserve this negative image as they are so different and nothing like wild rats.
"They like to be with humans, cuddling, sitting on your shoulder and going wherever you’re going and they even enjoy learning tricks.
"Contrary to popular belief, rats are very hygienic animals.
"They spend a lot of time washing and grooming themselves.
"They’re good company and I think it’s very cute when they all sleep together in their hammock."
She also believes people change their minds once they have met her pets.
She added: "People say things like, ‘oh they scare me’, or ‘gross’.
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"But when people meet them in real life, they’re always very positive after about half an hour when they get to know them.
"Even the people who were scared of them end up running around with a rat on their shoulder."
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