childhood

As a New Yorker I’m coming to terms with: We are the rat family

As a New Yorker I have a horrible relationship with rats. I dislike them. I fear them. I have run away screaming from them. We have them in the subways. We even have bubonic plague. We do. We really do. We had them in the empty yard across from out building where we played real handball (no gloves).  Sadly, we had them in our apartment building and apartment itself. I was scared of them and didn’t understand how some were fascinated by them. 

I grew up and left those apartments and conditions behind. Although, when you walk a dog at night in the battery park area of Manhattan, you are bound to come across rats that are bigger than your Pekingese. Yes, there were rats bigger than my 20 pound dog that would try to egg him on into a fight. The struggle was real, folks. 

In a funny bit of karma, when we moved to Oakland, California the house we lived in had many trees in the backyard. And many rats. My dog finally got his vengeance and dropped a rat off in the kitchen hoping for a silver platter. I nearly died. 
These rats along with Cher will outlive us all, especially with the doomsday clock moving ever much closer to midnight. 
OK. I think I have established my dislike of rats. This morning, interestingly enough, as we watched the morning news there was a segment on the Chinese new year and how this is the year of the rooster. I explained the chinese calendar to my son and we wondered what we each are. 
I proceeded to look it up and lo and behold we are all rats. Rather, we were each born in a year of the rat. Go figure. I always thought I would have been born in the year of the monkey. That seems cool. Or the year of the dog. But more the monkey. But we are rats. 

As an extremely proud and die-hard New Yorker, I will embrace the rat. Its both good and bad. Rats are resilient, resourceful and realistic. That’s me in a nutshell and its going to be my son. Apparently, those born in the year of the rat also are sociable. That would be my son- the future Mayor of New York or Wasilla. I’ll take either or any other. 
According to my very brief research, rats rank first in the Chinese zodiac. Woohoo! And we are intelligent, charming, quick-witted, practical and ambitious. Fabulous. I’ll take that. 
Apparently, we can be tense and aggressive as well and need regular exercise. I suppose like a hamster. We are also compatible with monkeys. I knew it!
So, I’ll take the good and the bad of rats and be resilient. Even with rat control posters all over the place I have a feeling I will have to tap further into that well this year. 

 

9 replies »

  1. Yep, it’s true, those NYC rats are scary. I, too, now live on the west coast and now have a cat whose mission it is in life to eradicate my neighborhood of all of them!

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