Rats!

Inspired by Satsumabug, (my creative new bloggy friend), I went ahead and subscribed to her daily prompts for writers. Just for some fun!

Todays prompt was…..rats.

Very strange, I know. And what a coincidence. Single Malt Monkey (the original creative bloggy friend) wrote something on the topic today, right here.

So what springs to mind when I think of rats?

Well, the Pied Piper, for one. Very odd story that, come to think of it, though I’m glad the rats followed the Piper out of Hamelin and drowned in the river Weser….the idea of a rat-infested town is frankly, revolting. Not very nice of the townspeople not to have paid the Piper his dues for services rendered, so I’m kind of okay with the whole revenge deal. But when I think of what might have happened to the kids…..I’m not so sure. After all, one of the theories is… the Pied Piper was a paedophile…

Would it be better then to think all the children of Hamelin disappeared because of the plague…?…a horrible infection of the lymphatic system that swept through Europe in the 14th century, wiping out 75 million people in its wake.

The Black Death was believed to be caused by the bite of infected fleas, often found on rodents….such as mice….or rats.

They even made up a nursery rhyme about it. Remember ‘Ring around the Roses’? 

I’m not very fond of rats, no. They used to climb up pipes and gnaw holes in the netting of our kitchen window to get into our house and forage for food.

So the kind I’m familiar with are not the pretty ones people in other parts of the world keep as pets. The rats I know….they eat kittens for breakfast. They’re big, and brown….with fearsome teeth and long ugly tails. They scurry along the sides of buildings, furtively looking for places to hide.

Rodent. What an expressive word. It conjures up all manner of negative attributes. Likewise vermin…the very phonetics of the word bring to mind something hideously objectionable…

Say it out loud…

Verrrrr-minnnn……

(shudders)

In their defense though, I don’t really blame them for jumping off sinking ships if it means they have a chance of swimming to safety (though of course I’d much rather they drowned)

I would ditch a lost cause too. No, really. Life is just too short!

But still, I’m not very fond of rats.

Ironic then, that I’m a Rat myself….

Yes, dear readers, I was born in 1972……which, according to the Chinese zodiac makes me a Water Rat….

A website I stumbled across describes Rats thus:

Occupying the 1st and most prominent position on the Chinese Zodiac, the Rat symbolizes such character traits as wit, imagination and curiosity. Rats have keen observation skills and with those skills they’re able to deduce much about other people and other situations. Overall, Rats are full of energy, talkative and charming but they have a tendency to become aggressive.

Rats are full of good advice but they will never share their troubles with others. They are honest individuals and they enjoy living for the moment. They’re also capable of surviving any situation.

And separately….

THE WATER RAT 1912 AND 1972
Being guided by the Water element means these Rats have a knack for influencing people. With their strong intellectual powers and great insight, they are also great puzzle solvers. They are quick to understand others and are incredibly practical people. Rats apply their talents to their everyday lives, making them obliging, generous and compassionate to other people. Generally, they are liked and respected by everyone. Like all Rats, however, they can be determined to seek their own gain, and will not mind using these talents to achieve it – though generally without losing anyone’s respect in doing so.

Sounds uncannily like me, this description ;)

I shall leave you with some Al Stewart to conclude. Just replace the word ‘cat’ with ‘rat’ and we have a lovely song to claim as our own. ;)

(Rat or no rat, I’m a cat person all the way)

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16 responses to “Rats!

  1. Totally sympathize with their misrepresentation in the scheme of things. Perhaps a favorable mutation in our sympathetic nervous system, long long ago, might very possibly have rendered rats the habitants of cute-dom and pushed the felines out on the outskirts.

    But as Confucius was fond of saying: one species’ favorable mutation is the absolute death-knell of another.

  2. So wierd….rat postings everywhere….and you put up Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat”, a tune I’m working on. Someone been peeking over my shoulder ? Year of the Rat, eh. It would appear that I am a Water Snake (Nov. 1953). So…
    “Occupying the 6th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Snake symbolizes such character traits as intelligence, gracefulness and materialism. When it comes to decision-making, Snakes are extremely analytical and as a result, they don’t jump into situations. They are effective at getting the things they want, even if it means they have to scheme and plot along the way. ” …add to that that I am a Scorpio better watch your step, huh? ;)

    • Don’t you just love coincidences? :)
      Gosh! Snake AND Scorpio! :-o
      Killer combo….
      I love that song, but how awesomely creepy huh? Wish I could hear you play it!
      I’m still fooling around with themes, looking for the perfect one…..this one’s cool I think. So glad you approve! :)

  3. I do love the pet rats! We’ve had four, and they’re brilliant, social, loving, curious, loyal. They love playing and tickling. And eating!

    We had one, Max (our first) and when we took him outside in the yard to play in the grass he’d run through the grass, climb our front steps, into the house, through the hallway, up the stairs, down the hall and into my daughter’s room, where he’d climb the ladder into his cage and feel triumphant that he’d made it home safely!

    They’re a wonderful pet, small and fun, perfect for apartments or smaller homes where a dog isn’t a possibility.

    Now they say there are rats on our wee island, the wild variety, but I haven’t seen one. Not yet. I’ve seen the birds and lizards, feral roosters and hermit crabs, but not the rats…

    • The way you describe them Patti, I now wish I had a pet rat….or two! Wonder how they’d get along with my cat Fuzzy…? :)
      I’m glad you haven’t come across the feral ones. They’re too vermin-like to be adorable…

      • Yeah, I know I’d scream if one ran across the room! It is strange, but even a little mouse would make me do that in the past, although I think it was more the shock of seeing something tiny out of the corner of my eye – since we love mousies too.

        I bet Fuzzy would really enjoy a rat. :-)
        If they grow up together they can be really good friends.

  4. How did I never comment on this post before? I read it ages ago when you first wrote it! Anyway, such wonderful thoughts and media. :) My middle sister is a rat too.

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