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Trend Alert: Rats Are Becoming Cute Pets

Attention New Yorkers: When was the last time you flipped off a rat? Last night on your way to the bodega? This morning on your commute to work? 30 minutes ago on the L? All of the above…?

Following Ramona Singer and subway heat, rats must be New York City’s greatest perceived villains. Creepy, allusive and unjustifiably threatening, rats apparently are undergoing a much needed makeover, which hopefully the transit systems will follow. Photographer Diane Özdamar of Montréal, Canada is transforming the reputation of these rodents from Manhattan’s nasty mascots to oddly adorable, apparently adoptable… pets?Özdamar has been photographing rats, or per her terms, “amazing little fluffballs”, since 2008, with efforts to help find them homes. In a statement to Huffington Post, she claimed:

“I began taking photos of rats I fostered to help find them homes. I soon found out that cute pictures displaying their personalities not only helped them find good families but also allowed some people to get over their phobia and prejudices.” 

So what began as a foster mom’s journey to finding homes for her rats, has developed into a sort of respectable, incredibly daunting life objective: to make rats likable. Considering their reputation around town, we find it a hard bet for them to even become tolerable, but to be frank, the photographer’s images do make it an easier pill to swallow. Check out the rest of the images in the gallery above.

Images courtesy of Diane Özdamar.

Stay tuned to Milk for more news on prospective pets you may have a problem with. 

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