THE VB MASCOTS
Sherman, Princeton, Pike & Meeker
In August 2005, the Vermin Brewing team set out to the Raining Rats Rattery to pick up two rats. They ended up taking home four. They were basically a package deal... all or nothing. The three big brothers and their smaller cagemate now had a home. Sherman, Pike, Princeton and Meeker thank their names to some of Colorado's larger peaks in the Rocky Mountains.
Unfortunately it wasn't long before Meeker was kicked out of the group. The reason he was put in with the bigger rats in the first place was because he kept getting into fights with rats his own size. Well, size didn't seem to matter to the fiercely independent little rat, but when the fights started getting too severe and the wounds too deep, he was moved to his own cage and eventually to his own room. But everyone seemed much happier for it.
At first, Meeker seemed to extend his determination not to get along with other rats to people as well. He was originally a "feeder" rat (a rat destined to be snake food) and it showed. Playtime was spent mostly hiding under the dresser or too frozen to move. But eventually he realized that people could be fun, especially when they brought treats. It wasn't until he got his own giant cage in his own room that he really came into his own. He quickly got the nickname 'Blue' (from the bluish tint in his coat) and soon thereafter became refered to as 'The Blue Blur', due to the lightning speeds with which he could zip, bound and leap around the room (see his label). He became extremely social, affectionate and fun, often snorting excitedly. His cage door eventually became left permanently open, and he would roam the closet by day and sleep on the bed with his new non-rat pack members at night.
He always remained a very small rat, no matter how many treats were stuffed in him. He still seemed very young, however, when his health quickly began to fail. He passed away quickly while in the arms of those who loved him.
Meanwhile, Sherman, Princeton and Pike also enjoyed the good life. They continued to grow into large lovely animals. Their days and nights were spent lounging in the cage, lounging on the sofa, lounging wherever a rat felt like lounging. They would much prefer to just drink beer than have to do any work for the label.
Sherman loved attention more than he even loved treats. Upon seeing you, he would leap off the couch and onto the glass-topped side table with such vigor, that he would often slide right off of it and plop onto the floor. His favorite place to nap was smack dab in the middle of your chest, with is nose pointing up into your face... and he could lie there for hours!
Princeton merely tolerated people. He certainly didn't like them, and he quickly acquired the nickname of "Sir Huffinton" from the way he would huff with irritation at being picked up or held. He was often the last rat to come when called. He would much rather remain sleeping behind the couch instead. He never realized that the more infuriated he would get, the more fun it actually was to roll him on his back.
Pike loved to explore, although his motivation was probably more to escape the bigger rats than to boldly go where no rat has gone before. For the most part, he was a very delicate, dainty animal. He would walk on his tip toes, drink using his paws, and sit on the rim of his plate eat.
Eventually they too got free range of their room, both day in and day out. Then one day during a long heatwave, Sherman suddenly looked very lethargic. When he didn't perk up in the evening, didn't want to play and didn't want to be pet, it was a clear sign that something was wrong. He passed away that following night, up by his favorite paperbag with his rat companions. A short time later, it was Pike's turn. He seemed to make a short recovery but then passed away during the night, under the protective care of his one remaining cagemate.
Now Princeton was an only rat, a rat who didn't like people. But he was also a very smart rat and quickly realized that this was all he had now. Suddenly he started to enjoy being pet, and even his huffs turned into happy clucks. He even enjoyed curling up and falling asleep in a hand or on a leg. He spent his last few months as a happy rat and even got his own label. He passed away being held by those he had grown to love. In the end, he showed us all the true meaning of being a Vermin Brewing mascot.