We've had pet store rats for years. They are terrific apartment pets. They are self-contained and behave much like cats. They clean themselves. They can be trained to sit on your shoulder for a period of time before you must put them back in their cage to shit. But they can be more friendly than cats. If you spend quality time with a rat, they will bond with you. They will cheer when you enter the room and live to play with you.
Manny enjoyed the back rubs we gave him, but didn't get the rat-human thing at all. He remained a "scaredy" rat. But we loved him just the same. His cagemate and probable brother MOE served as the aggressor. Moe took the food to his corner and Manny ate the scraps. We compensated by feeding Manny separately. After Moe died, we cared for Manny through his old age. He warmed up to us at the end and made it through our move from Santa Monica to Westwood. He died quietly. At this moment he resides in our freezer with Moe. We plan to bury them at the earliest convenience.
MANNY was a very shy rat, but despite his reserved temperment, Manny proved to be a nice rat with a big heart. We miss him.