Journal entry from 2009:
I caught a rat by the tail today.
Sorting through my things in the driveway, I heard rustling under the tarp. I looked and there it was. I thought it was a mouse. It wasn't very big, the size of a large chicken egg, big cute eyes, big cute ears, furry tail. Furry tail? Yes, furry tail.
Reaching down I tried to grab it's cute tail but it moved. I then put my finger on it's tail and pinned it. I yanked my hand back, afraid it would turn and bite me. It ran off then.
Later, I saw it again. This time I grabbed it. Holding it up by the tail I was suspecting it was sick. No way would a healthy rat mouse let me grab it twice like that. Just lean over and pick it up?
Ma said it must be a kangaroo rat. That makes sense to me. It was way cuter than any house mouse or city rat. Holding her up, looking her over, I wasn't sure what to do next. Didn't want to just kill her. Didn't want to let her go in the field. If she was sick it was probably from rat poison, and anything that ate her would get sick, too.
I ended up putting her in one of my plastic boxes with a dish of water and a piece of bread. She'll get better or die, then I'll let her go or throw her in the trash. She's dying though. Getting weaker. Laying sprawled, eyes closed, reacts less and less when I come near. She'll probably be dead in the morning.
I never want to use rat poison. I'd rather use a trap than poison. What a terrible way to die. What a waste of life. What a terrible way to poison an ecosystem.
Epilogue: The rat was dead the next morning. I threw her in the trash. Later that day, in my mom's shed, I head rustling on the shelf. Another rat peeked it's head from behind a plastic tub, beautiful and alive. After briefly weighing pros and cons in my head, I pushed the box suddenly backwards, breaking the rat's neck against the wall. Threw the still beautiful dead rat in the field.