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Meet DIIV’s ‘Chill’ Pet Rodent, Rat Jones

Andrew Bailey of DIIV and his girl / Photo by Mia Schachter

Andrew Bailey, guitar: I guess they sell rats to feed the snakes and shit, so they cost, like, eight bucks at Petco. I picked her up there. She would have been fed to a snake! It’s fucked up: She’s smarter than any fucking snake I can think of. She’s the smartest pet I’ve ever had. You can train rats — it’s crazy. She knows her name. I’ve trained her to do different types of tricks. We have games that we play where I’ll throw a Ping-Pong ball across the room, and she’ll bring it back — I guess it’s like fetch. I trained her to eat the food that I don’t eat. The cool thing about having rats is that you don’t have to buy food for them; you just fuckin’ give ’em your leftovers and they love that shit. My rat eats veggies and spaghetti.

Andrew Bailey and Rat Jones

Her favorite game is when I’m falling asleep. She comes up by my face and bites my face. So I pick her up and throw her across the room, hard as a motherfucker. I throw her against the wall. And she runs right back up — she loves that shit! When I throw her, she does a bunch of fuckin’ backflips and misty flips and hits against the wall and loves it. And then runs back up to me like, “Do it again! Do it again!”

She’s cool as fuck. She rocks my shoulder when I go to practices sometimes. She’s been to a few rehearsals with DIIV when we were starting out, so she’s been there from the get-go. I definitely brought her through at Strange Weather [the Brooklyn studio where DIIV recorded their debut full-length, Oshin]. That was cool. Daniel [Schlett] from the studio was mad sketched-out. He was like, “Yo, I don’t know, man. She’s gonna eat the wires.” She was rocking out.

Andrew Bailey and Rat Jones

I used to sublet one of my rooms. I would just put it up on Craigslist for European tourists: Don’t get a hostel, get our room instead. I would never tell them about Rat Jones, because they would freak out. This French dude texted me one day: “There was a rat in the apartment! I tried to kill it and I think I killed it!” Fuck, I thought he killed my rat! But in reality, he just happened to kill another rat that snuck into our apartment. I had to tell him, “Dude, I have a pet rat.” He moved out the next day.

She chills. No cage at all, man. She doesn’t need one. She ate a hole in the box spring of my bed and she lives in my box spring. I haven’t opened it up, but I’m sure she’s got a chill spot down there. I’m sure she’s got mad shit down there. [Laughs] She has a corner. She has places where she shits and hoards it all together, and I clean it up every once in a while. It’s not too bad, man. Rat shit is just little-ass pellets.

Andrew Bailey and Rat Jones

Obviously, my mom wouldn’t be too proud.…I’ll be like, “Where the fuck is my favorite T-shirt?” And then sure enough [Rat Jones] ripped it up and made a nest out of it. My favorite T-shirt was a Little League jersey I had since I was 12 years old, and she ripped that shit up. I got pissed, but, whatever. C’est la vie, right?

Rat Jones, that’s my girl. She gets away with it.