Buster the cat proudly brought in his second roof rat. Live. After a bit of excited screaming and teeth-gnashing (by Eve) and barking (by the dogs), we were all in a great mood for bedtime, as you can imagine.
Y-chromosome to the rescue! Why this is a male thing I will never know. Nevertheless, my ancient hunting and foraging instincts kicked in and I cornered him with my handy-dandy rat trapping device (which ironically looks a lot like a windshield cleaner) and secured it with the always valuable rat-o-grabber (could remind you of BBQ tongs).
For all you PETA folks, I’d like to tell you that I humanely stowed him in a small box, complete with little rat cushions for his comfort. The next day, as this story goes, I took him to a local vet to get him neutered. Once the poor thing recovered, I released him back to his family, fully functional except for those altered reproductive parts. (Sorry guys.)
That’s what I’d like to tell you. Believe what you want.
A Lot of Meat
Here is what one ‘rodent removal site‘ had to say about these big boys:
Roof rats are slender and agile, with tails that are longer than the head and body lengths combined. Their total length may reach 12 to nearly 18 inches, and they can weigh up to about three-quarters of a pound. (Wow!) Roof rat nests are found above ground, usually in ivy, wild blackberry vines, attics, garages, and wood piles. Roof rats will enter buildings if given the opportunity, and often use utility lines and fences as runways. They prefer to feed on fruits, nuts, ivy, and pet food commonly found in residential areas.
In the Phoenix area roof rats feast on citrus, which is abundant in yards across the Valley of the Sun. A few years ago we had a lot of hullaballoo about roof rats. Vigilante committees met. Experts bloviated. Handyman companies had a field day ‘rat-proofing’ roofs. Orthopedists saw a spike in business from those do-it-yourselfers who got up (and fell off of) their own ladders.
A great time was had by all.
One thing that everyone missed was the well-established approach by the Chinese for battling rat infestations. Let’s just say, 2 billion rats on the loose inspired some very creative removal methods. The most effective strategy was to declare them as delicacies and let a hungry populace do their thing. Mmm, rodents! China feasts on rat infestation.
By the way, this kind of thinking is not just in a far-off land. New York rats have also landed on some dinner plates. Take a look: Five Courses of Rat at an Art World ‘Post-Apocalyptic Hunter-Gatherer Feast’ on the Lower East Side.
I’m thinking that rat ranching is not far behind.
Meanwhile, if you are not quite sure what to make of this whole scenario, you may want to at least acquaint yourself with what’s coming. If our ‘hamburger’ chains can be caught with horsemeat, can rat meat be far behind? This is how you can tell what is between those buns: 5 ways you know you’re eating rat meat
Time for Lunch!
Frankly, eating rats sounds like a good idea to me. I’ve had squirrel (squirrel!), frog legs, rattlesnake, snails (excuse me, ‘escargot’), pigs feet, chicken feet … and plenty of other seeming oddities that don’t occur to me right now. Oh, and ants.
So why not rat meat?
In fact, you can even find some bang-up recipes online, as you might expect. One that looks especially promising is:
Stewed Rat: Skin and eviscerate the rat and split it lengthwise. Fry until brown in a mixture of butter and peanut oil. Cover with water, add tomatoes or tomato purée, hot red peppers, and salt. Simmer the rat until tender and serve with rice.
The only changes that I would make are to add garlic, lots of garlic. And maybe use coconut oil instead of peanut oil.