Penrith Press - - FRONT PAGE - Matt Jones

THE Rat Man is back.

His birth cer­tifi­cate may say his name is Shane Mundt but he calls him­self Rat Man and since the death of his rat Splin­ter last year he’s cut a lonely fig­ure on Pen­rith’s streets.

But now he has Splin­ter Ju­nior on his shoul­der – the grand­son of Splin­ter.

His new eight-week-old rat only took two days to train and al­ready life seems as though it’s back to nor­mal for Rat Man, who now doesn’t have to de­liver bad news to his fans that he’s rat­less.

“Peo­ple have been ask­ing me for four months ‘when’s Splin­ter back?’” he said. “I’m happy be­cause par­ents can’t get an­gry at me any­more for not hav­ing Splin­ter with me be­cause they bring their kids to see him.” Splin­ter Ju­nior has taken over his grand­fa­ther’s role seam­lessly and Rat Man even demon­strated how ag­ile his new com­pan­ion is, jump­ing up and down with Splin­ter Ju­nior on his head.

Splin­ter Ju­nior hardly moved and isn’t at all at risk of jump­ing off his owner’s head as he walks down High St. “Rats can’t see more than two feet, so he’s not go­ing any­where when he’s on top of my head,” Rat Man said.

“He’s qui­eter than Splin­ter.” Rat Man, who is known now in more than 50 coun­tries thanks to me­dia cov­er­age, said rats pro­vided own­ers with end­less en­ter­tain­ment and com­fort.

“They’re just like dogs but they cost about 1 per cent as much to feed,” he said. “He sits on my shoul­der as I eat my din­ner.”

Rat Man has re­turned to the streets of Pen­rith with Splin­ter Ju­nior. Pic­ture: Justin San­son

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