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Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Baby Wild Rat

Last night we found a baby roof rat caught in one of the glue traps. Any sensible person would have killed it humanely (such as wrapped it up and put it in the freezer, which is a relatively painless death).

I started to... but it was 2 weeks old and cute, and it looked so helpless and miserable.

So, we rescued it and have been cleaning all the glue off it's little face. We also gave it milk through a syringe.

Wild rats make rotten pets, so it will need to be released outdoors as soon as possible. Meanwhile, other rats are being poisoned because we simply can't encourage them. It's very likely the mother ingested poison and is dead, thus leaving the babies to fend for themselves. Rats are nothing more than cockroaches in cuter packaging. They carry disease and can ruin possessions. I tell myself all this repeatedly, and it's all true.

In India they venerate rats, and there are temples devoted to their care and feeding. My rational western mind thinks this is idiotic.

The most famous temple is at Karni Mata. It's a little weird; the devotees feed the rats milk, foods, and sweets and then eat whatever is left over. Strangely, no one has ever caught a disease this way (so they claim). I wish I could send the baby there, instead. I'm such a sap.

19 comments:

A Little Bar of Soap said...

Rats might not have souls, but they are God's little creatures!

actonbell said...

Mice are cute. Rats aren't, but I couldn't be cruel about getting rid of them, either.

Ellen said...

I had a discussion with someone once about rats, and went on to tell them that they had no real value as an animal. They carry disease, and cause so much destruction. Thinking my arguement was well put, he interjected: "Yeah, but they eat garbage". Well needless to say, he had me there.

Still , I get the eebie jeebies when I think about them... God's little creatures or not.

We had one move into a driftwood birdhouse I hung high in a maple tree in my backyard. If I looked out my bedroom window, I had a perfect view of the birdhouse, and a little face staring back. We didn't kill him, but did scare him out, as the birds who occupy said house are due to come back anytime to lay their eggs. The rats love my backyard as I have numerous feeders out there... just as long as kitty next door isn't prowling around. Then both birds and other creatures fall to her prey.

michelle said...

I love you Saur.

You are nuts!!!

Barnze said...

I don't do rats...Or Cats!

Mr. Althouse said...

On my way out the door, my Mac is calling me. I check... nope, no email. I scan the headlines, nothing. Then I start checking my regular blog reads, and yours is on the top of the list. It's about feeding a baby rat milk through a syringe and gleaning glue off it's fur. I'm thinkin', "Mac, buddy - this is it?" Then I realize... this is it! Gotta go, it's bright and early for us west coaters;->

Mike

Fred said...

No problem with rats around here. If our outdoor kitty finds one, he eats the head, then deposits the rest in our garage.

Thoughtful kitty.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, that baby rat will figure out how to make more rats, and it will grow up and pretty soon you'll have so many you will be able to go into the veneration game.

Senor Caiman said...

You indeed have a rational mind. I'm glad you're not discounting the intellect of a rat. I think it was that Willard movie where all the rats working as a team were able to accomplish great feats.

Kathleen said...

Oh, no, no, no. I am not one bit fond of rats. Hate the thought of them and the sight in that picture is like (as Saur Dad said) something from Fear Factor!

Notsocranky Yankee said...

I was in Bombay (excuse me, it's now called Mumbai)the other day. We were talking about how big the rats are there. I didn't see them being revered like the cows. In fact someone on my crew saw one on the sidewalk with its head bashed in!

Good luck and don't feel bad about getting rid of the little ones. In a month that little guy will be a huge pain in your ass!

Kathleen said...

Hmmm, I wonder if the spaetzel attracted them? The aroma of buttery spaetzel wafting from the kitchen might have gotten their attention.
;o)

Aunt Jo said...

ick!

Jenn said...

We had a huge mouse infestation in our last house. They were carefully taking the bait right off of our snap traps and getting away. I bought a bunch of these great little box traps at Walmart

The next morning all my box traps were full. Then I'd drive the mice to a field on my way to work, and set them free. The trap is called Mice Cube.
http://www.naturallivingstore.com/smartmousetrap.html

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Who was it having a hissy fit just a few days ago about her rat infestation. Now we know THE REST OF THE STORY. If I could just get two or three of my pride of feral kitties in the yard to come visit you it would remove all choices. (my neighbors are beginning to call because my outdoor cats are becoming as plentiful as--can we say it? RATS)

Jamie Dawn said...

Eeeeew!
We had to deal with infestations of mice when we lived on our ranch in CA. It was awful.
I took the teeny baby mice with their eyes still closed and whacked them each on the head with a hammer.
They died instantly. They would have suffered otherwise.

Meow said...

Yuck, I don't like rats. Mice are ok, but rats .... eeeewww !! One little rat will grow into a mummy (or daddy) rat, find a mate and make lots more rats. No, don't do it. Get rid of it.

Badoozie said...

i'm the same way, even if i don't like the species, i can't kill. except snakes. i loath snakes. something about them being cursed to crawl on their bellies because their kind was satan?

Lava said...

I'm totally grossed out!