Rat, or mouse, is the first of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. In Chinese culture, the rat does not carry the stigma of the typical New York City rat… dirty and disdained. In fact, it has a generally positive image of being the first Zodiac sign. It is sort of the pack leader by default. As a child, I had to memorize the order of all 12 animals, and the rat is always the familiar first.
With that said, a rat is a rat. It is not known to be a cuddly or fierce animal, and most Chinese people who were born in the years of the rat have a “meh” attitude about it. They generally don’t attribute their personality to the Zodiac sign. It is also not a particularly interesting conversation starter.
Should you tattoo the Chinese Rat character?
No. Too be clear, there is nothing wrong with being born on a rat year. Plenty of successful and wonderful people, my friends and relatives included, are rats. However, this is not a character that is all that tattooable. Because the rat is not considered a cool animal and has many negative associations in certain cultures, I do not recommend getting a rat Chinese tattoo on your body.