Owning a snake makes a pet owner confront death in ways many other animal keepers do not have to worry about. Even for creatures that feed on crickets or blood worms, the object of your aggression is a bug, something we’re used to killing, and usually requires no large emotional strain on the human to offer up to the hungry pet.
Snakes are different. They don’t have pre-packaged kibble. They eat their meals whole. Their meals are usually cute, clean, fuzzy mammals that we’re used to seeing as pets in shops. If you’re lucky, your snake isn’t picky and will allow you to feed him mice or rats that are already dead and spare you the need to either offer them live, stun, or euthanize them yourself.
Either way you’re stuck feeding a bright eyed, intelligent, warm fuzzy mammal to a slow moving, unemotional, cold reptile. For all of the rat’s quickness and intelligence, it is undone by an unsocial, somewhat unclever animal that spends much of its day curled asleep in the warmest spot it can find.
This is nature at its most bare bones. No matter how clever or cute or bright or healthy the rat, its end will be the same when it meats the larger predator. There’s always something bigger than you out there, and when it finds you, it probably won’t even have the capacity for mercy.
If it isn’t something you can deal with, a snake is not the right companion for you.