Why a rat? A packrat in particular. Seems to fit. Loves shiny things and saves them away.
I want a FUN avatar. One that people will enjoy and remember. I want to be able to use the graphic as both an avatar/profile picture for the @packratius (http://twitter.com/packratius) twitter account and on the http://packrati.us web page.
The service is truly a kitchen table project. It's the brain child of @semifor (http://twitter.com/semifor). It generates no income, at least not currently, so I'm digging deep to pay for the hosting, the time to work on it, and yep---this graphic. Do an awesome job and I'll happily add an attribution on the website (as long as that's ok with 99's terms and conditions).
The service is serious, but there's no reason the mascot, Ratius T. Packrat can't be fun. He's a handsome rat. Near sighted and has to wear his glasses to see the screen. It's quit a stretch to get those tiny paws on the keyboard, but he manages. He loves wine, cheese, and dark chocolate. He prefers a bicycle when traveling.
The rat isn't fond of mice. He's no mouse and shouldn't be confused with one. No furry critter attached to the rat's laptop---he prefers the keyboard, and will use the touch-pad if he has to, but he won't touch a mouse---no sirree!
The rat dreams of his own line of fine T-shirts, coffee mugs, rat pads (no mice, remember!).
Need more info? Just ask.