One tiny step for a rat, one giant reaction from internet fans.
Darius, a late pet rat from Norway, recently gained viral fame for watercolor paintings he made with his paws.
“Just like a child’s painting, you don’t really know what you’re going to get, which is why it’s extra special,” his owner Amalie Markota Andersen told InsideEdition.com.
Anderson, 22, is an art student from Askim who says she encouraged Darius to create the wonderful pieces by dipping his paws into a nontoxic watercolor set and walking over the canvas.
“I didn’t really teach him as much as I put him down on paper and let him walk on it on his own,” she said. “When he had walked enough, it became something abstract yet wonderful. Just like a child’s painting, you don’t really know what you’re going to get, which is why it’s extra special.”
Andersen explained that she got Darius in 2017, and chose him because he seemed to be the gentlest and kindest of the litter.
“I instantly fell in love with him,” she said. “He was very timid and shy. He didn’t like exploring much like rats usually do. He was just fine cuddling in my lap or sleeping in my bed.”
Even though Darius died in February, his legacy lives on through those who have purchased his paintings along with a miniature easel for $15 through Tumblr.
“It was a bit weird seeing how people actually had interest for it,” Andersen said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t keep one for myself. I do regret that a tiny bit, but I’m still happy that his paintings are out there.”
And, Andersen said she plans to train Darius’ surviving siblings Gucci and Mango to do the same thing.