A woman has told how she loves rats more than people, including her estranged husband.
Chantal Banks, who stars in an upcoming episode of TLC’s My Crazy Obsession, has a total of 19 long-tailed friends – which she describes as children – in her two-bedroom home.
She lets each of the rodents lick her lips, nibble food from her mouth and run across her while she sleeps.
Her rat mania started when she was just 16 years old.
The couple have a son together, Kevin, who says: ‘I grew up with siblings and they were rats.’
But now Mrs Banks’ obsession has spiraled out of control, her marriage has hit the rocks and she has moved out of the family home.
‘My husband didn’t really want to take care of my rats anymore and it was very demoralizing’
‘Chantal would go out and buy two or three rats for whatever reason and then I’d find out about it later… I didn’t want any rats,’ Mr Banks explains.
While he is hopeful that his spouse will stop hitting the pet store, Mrs Banks says the relationship is well and truly over.
‘My husband will never have the type of bond that I have with my rats.’
Summarizing her obsession she says: ‘I love rats more than I love people. I can’t live without them.
‘My rats love me, they don’t judge me. They love me for who I am. When I cry they lick my tears.’