I recently heard a story about a gigantic rat that frequented a group of shops in the East Village in the early nineties. It was spotted several times and was the size of loaf of bread. One villager also kept a yellow parakeet that was about two inches tall in his shop. One morning, as the man was opening his shop, he saw the rat quickly jump off of the counter in the store; a bird cage hung over the counter. There were raisin sized droppings everywhere indicating that the fat rat had been there for hours, terrorizing the poor parakeet. The small bird was frantically flapping around and his owner quickly placed him in his hand, where he then shook violently and died of a heart-attack. A little birdie heart-attack. (There was no bird autopsy, it was just understood.) What a literal rat-bastard, he scared Tweety to death! I can only imagine that the rat was saying things like “I’m gonna pluck out all your little feathers and then bite your head off, tweety,” all night long. Rats have become an epidemic in New York City, which is the most infested city according to Animal Planet. Here are some ways to avoid having a rat encounter in the Big Apple.
Don’t walk near huge garbage bag piles, rats love to hang out there. They’re constantly hungry and scrounging around for free food. They will scrounge and mooch with no regard for personal hygiene or impending obesity. They’re gluttons to the fullest, even if they have to consume trash. They rapidly reproduce too, so I’m sure the slutty rat mothers are among the worst of the over-eaters. They get banged by random dude rats constantly… have some respect for yourselves. Alpha-Male rats will have sex up to 20 times in 6 hours. Settle Down!
Use caution on the Subway. This may seem like a no brainer, but they do enter the train cars sometimes and even crawl on people. These things carry the bubonic plague, so watch out now! Apparently more rats these days carry the plague than in the dark ages when the “black death” was killing off entire families. Rats are disease carrying machines. Calling someone a “dirty rat” is affective because it rings true, ask any gangster movie enthusiast, they’re brother killers.
Moving to Brooklyn is so hot right now, the rats couldn’t agree more. Rats aren’t only crawling all over Manhattan. In the last few years the NY Department of Mental Health and Hygiene required that all buildings be inspected for rat problems and the worst inspection fails went down in Brooklyn .( Mainly Boerum Hill, Prospect Park, Bed-Stuy, Park Slope and yes, Williamsburg.) I wouldn’t be surprised if underground indie rat bands started popping up all over the borough. Or maybe they have and I haven’t heard about them. If you’re concerned about living in a highly infested area, you may want to get a confident cat.
Wild rats are different than ones from the pet store and I know plenty of people who had pet rats as children. My sister-in-law had one as a kid that chilled on her shoulder while she walked around the neighborhood. Eventually it “got lost” in the basement. Domesticated rats are much safer. If you meet some “eccentric” and “quirky” guy or gal who REALLY loves rats, you probably shouldn’t French kiss them. “Oh that’s just crazy Kylie over there feeding and petting the rats in the park. She’s such a free-spirit! Ah, the rat is on her shoulder and face! That’s so Kylie!” Stay away from Kylie.
Large cities are rat metropolises! With all the underground action, sewers and trash, how could they not be? It’s important to not live in fear of them, but to know how to avoid these smart pests. I’m downright terrified, but I still love to ride the subway and run around the streets of New York! I also take time out to remember all who have been victimized by rats and hope for a better future. Rest in Peace, Little Tweet, I’m sure you were a wonderful bird. Cheers to a future that’s not so ratical.