Ranj was adopted by Maggie Szpot when he was just a kitten, after being found as a stray in the streets of Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
A few years later when Maggie decided to buy two female rats - Peanut and Mocha - she suspected that the living situation was going to be difficult with her cat, a natural predator. But she had no idea what was about to occur... She said:
Peanut first met Ranj when [Peanut] was still a baby. I had brought Peanut and her sister out of their cage to play, and I put them in a fenced area for them to run around in, and Ranj actually jumped inside to get a closer look. He is always curious of new things … they quickly became good friends and Peanut followed Ranj around everywhere.
It's even more surprising that the duo is so attached because Mocha, Peanut's sister, isn't a big fan of the feline. The special bond is unique to the two furry friends and there are many videos that attest to that. The following sequence shows Peanut climbing up Ranj's fur!
Maggie finds this strange friendship hilarious:
If Ranj went to eat out of his food bowl, Peanut would come and eat with him. I think those were the cutest moments, when Peanut was so determined to be with Ranj that she would overcome all kinds of obstacles to be with him.
Peanut can't stop giving Ranj kisses, which are sometimes even returned. She loves the cat so much that she sometimes comes across as invasive, not understanding his need for personal space. Cats are very independent animals and when Ranj feels overwhelmed, he jumps up to a higher place, making it difficult for Peanut to follow him and allowing him a few minutes of peace.
Sometimes Peanut would literally crawl all over Ranj, and he didn't enjoy that too much. She never quite understood the concept of personal space, but Ranj was good at tolerating her antics!
Sadly, as rats don't have a long life expectancy, Peanut died aged two. Since then, the kitty seems to pine for his friend, who was a big part of his daily life.
In order to avoid Ranj slipping into depression after this sudden loss, Maggie welcomed another cat named Timmy. Even if no-one could replace the tiny rat, Timmy is doing a great job at keeping Ranj company and is a first-class cuddler, too!