Thursday, July 2, 2009


For some reason, I really like looking at rats in the wild. The first time I ever saw one was at the Bronx Zoo, in some bushes, and I think the idea of seeing a new animal that wasn't meant to be there was just too cool for school. So, I don't mind them quite as much as most people do. I even think they're kind of cute, although I don't think I'll ever get over that gross tail.

Given my interest in them, I decided to go to a lecture by Dr. Robert Corrigan, who is an expert in rodentology and a very funny, interesting person. I learned that rats really aren't so bad, and that they're very adaptable to many situations, and that Norway Rats are the only kind found in New York City. Apparently they almost never bite (Dr. Corrigan has handled them for over 20 years and was only bitten once) and are very resourceful, and never try to eat babies (like in Lady & the Tramp). Also, they eat cockroaches. Cool.

After I left this lecture, I decided that it was okay to think that rats are cool and to try to get a closer look at them when possible. I've seen them on the surface or on train platforms a few times, and I'll be honest, I prefer them in the subway on the rails, because there's less of a chance that they will attack me (apparently there's very little chance of them attacking, but still). However, this morning at exactly 12:13am, I went to have a closer look at a rat near the top of the stairs of the subway at Clinton-Washington station. I falsely believed in two things: 1. that the rat would run down the stairs if startled and 2. that I would be protected by the nonexistant wall that was the bars separating me and the rat by about 20 feet. However, when we startled the rat into running, it did not go down the stairs. It went straight under the bars and at my ankle, where I flailed, screamed, and nearly stepped on it as it brushed my foot.

I've basically decided never to wear sandals again.

1 comment:

  1. I just thoughti would let you know that it is ok to like rats. In fact there are rat breaders called rattiers, and people who keep them as pets such as my self. I have four that sleep in my bedroom (in cages of course), two males that live in one cage named Ac and Dc, and two females that live in another named Scratch and Ginko. They are affectionate and intelligent animals that can be trained to sniff out bombs like dogs. Without the humble rat we wouldn't have nearly as many safe and controlled medical tests. As far as rats in the wild I wouldn't suggest touching and/or picking them up seeing as though they can carry rabies as all mamales can and they can have paristies that are human transferable. But the chance of being attacked by one is allmost none!