- Internet celebrity and Montreal pet Ice Cube the rat is inspiring his followers with his touching story.
- He lost all his paws after his owner found him freezing to death in a plastic bag on the side of the road.
- But now, he's a big bundle of love and attitude.
A local rat has attracted quite a bit of attention on social media. Ice Cube is full of life, highly photogenic and expressive, and, according to his owner, full of love. Among his favourite things are cuddles, ear scratches, and playtime with paper and toys that "crinkle." But it's the Montreal pet's touching story that has most resonated with his followers.
On January 28, 2019, Audrée-Rose Fallu Landry, a dog trainer and technician at a veterinary clinic, was walking to her home in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie when she caught a slight movement out of the corner of her eye. She looked down to see a little creature hiding in a plastic bag that was stuck between the sidewalk and a parked car, attempting to create heat.
"He was in a very bad state, freezing and his paws and tail were bloody," said Fallu Landry, and although she didn't know if he was domestic or wild, she knew she could not let the poor thing suffer in the cold.
"I put a box with blankets right beside his hiding spot and he went right in." She determined the rat was a pet when it was clear "he was not scared of human scent."
She closed the box and told her colleagues she was coming into the clinic with a patient.
The veterinarian was not very hopeful and did not know if the little creature would survive, quickly discussing the possibility of putting him down.
"She was not specialized in rats, but said nonetheless that the frostbite he was suffering from was probably too hard for him to overcome."
"We spoke about amputation but the surgery was said to be very risky, leaving him with no limbs to walk."
"It was our last option. We kept him in warm blankets, gave him a bit of pain medicine and began to think about what we could do for the little guy."
Ice Cube is a fighter and Audrée-Rose was not willing to give up on him. She brought him home and watched over him day and night. She had to give him medication and antibiotics to keep the infection from going into his bloodstream.
Slowly, his four paws and his tail died and fell off as a result of the frostbite.
Now, Fallu Landry truly believes that it was "destiny" that brought them together.
"I already had ratties and have a lot of experience with them."
"The chances of him being found by a crazy rat lady were thin."
Ice Cube now behaves just like a normal rat, though he can be clumsy and has a hard time climbing.
"The only struggle he has is that his back nubs aren't still fully healed, it's a bit uncomfortable and it bleeds from time to time."
Despite his disability, his mom says he' s "as happy as can be."
He can't have cagemates until he is completely healed, but Audrée-Rose makes sure that he is never alone. "He even comes to work with me. He has become the clinic's mascot."
In addition to his mother, Ice Cube now has a few siblings including, four other rats, a leopard gecko, and a dog.
"The girls are his noisy neighbours, the gecko doesn't care for anything else than his crickets, and the dog is a bit jealous of Ice Cube."
His owner says that the best word to describe the little survivor would be "light."
Though she was the one who rescued him, his inspiring perseverance has also had a palpable effect on her life.
"He helps me see the light, the good in life through my struggles with anxiety and depression. He is proof that in the darkest of times, there is always hope, always light. He is an example of trust, love, and strength."
His story quickly spread through social media, where he has garnered a large following.
"I never expected his popularity to blow up like this," said Audré-Rose. "I didn't know my boy's story would touch so many hearts. We receive so much love every day!"
Through his social media presence, she hopes to prove the value of the life of pets.
"There is a misconception about pet rats, they have a bad reputation. I want people to know how sweet, loyal and intelligent they are!"
She also wants everyone to know that "they can't survive in the wild! Especially in cold weather. Just after I found Ice Cube, someone near Montreal saw a driver open his door and leave dozens of domestic rats on the side of the road to die."
It is clear that Fallu Landry has a big heart and cares deeply for animals. "I want people to treat animals with more respect and to understand their need for love and a forever home."
Ice Cube "trusted me with his life, even after all he had been through...he fought the hardest fight and won."
It is clear that Ice Cube has a lot of love around him, "I always say: I rescued him on that day, but he saves me every day."
"Looking back at Ice Cube's incredible destiny, I think I want people to know that it's always worth giving life a chance. That you will face hardship and challenges but you will always learn from it, and get out of it stronger."
"I didn't know what I was getting into when I brought him home. I didn't know if he would make it — if he would have a good life. But I gave him his chance and he proved that life is stronger than anything and love will always win."