Thursday, August 9, 2007

cats and rats and rats and cats

About 10 years ago, Venice was pretty much overrun with stray cats. Its was a love-hate relationship. They kept the vermin away but also had a habit of digging in the trash and making a mess everywhere. So, Venice decided to get rid of the cats--I think it was also a marketing strategy for tourism. Well, now we have a different problem--rats!

I heard about the rats--even read about it, but never saw any until I moved here. In June while walking late at night with one of my Phoenix visitors, we saw this small mammal running ahead of us on the street. We were both happy that it was running ahead of us and in the other direction!

This morning, I went down to my courtyard to throw out the garbage and was greeted by two of them! I am pretty sure I was more startled than they as I moved and they didnt. They just sat there and stared at me---not afraid of the human element at all....rather unsettling. One was small but still much larger than any rat we have seen, I promise. The other one was some mutant thing that had been struck with radiation or something...IT WAS HUGE! Quite the dilemma as he/she was sitting in front of the gate that I needed to exit from. Needless to say, my morning activities were curtailed a bit.

Later, I was talking to my realtor and he said rather casually that her name was Katarina...guess she is like the 'house rat'. I remember as a child, we had a spider living in the bathroom of our house and for whatever reason, no one saw fit to kill him...before you knew it, we had named him Wilbur and would talk about him like he was part of the family. But I am guessing that I wont be truly embracing Katarina in the same way....she was pretty close to the size of a chihuahua--at least with the spider, we knew who was in charge! But next time she is standing in my way, I can at least address her properly now!

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