05 May, 2007

The Only Animals I loathe and Hate

I hate mosquitoes. Utterly hate them. And rats. Of all animals, the only ones I hate and loathe - are: these! Mosquitoes, tiny as they are, are undoubtedly now, our most dangerous foe. Each year, they kill millions. And make millions sick and miserable. We spend an enormous amount of resources and time, combating the insects. And so far, we haven't won. In fact, they seem to be winning. But, it's the rodents that I hate and loathe most. And they terrify me.

Wild rats. All kinds of rats, but mostly those that invade our homes. As much as I adore all kinds of animals and creatures, rats, I have failed to find any attraction or consideration for. I can stand even cockroaches. But not rats.

Yes, way back in 1981, when I was then young and a bachelor, I did make friends with this tiny rat. It started appearing in my bedroom, on a table that I kept butter and some bread, on. I began feeding it with crumbs of buttered bread, and within a short time, it wasn't scared of me at all and even knew me, knew the time I would be home and even meal times. We got so close to each other, that I could feed it with my fingers and at times, lightly touche it.The friendship lasted for months, till I once left my home and went holidaying for weeks. On returning, I didn't find my little friend. And never saw it ever, again. Still, even with that experience, I have found it hard to like the creatures.

Very smart creatures. Rats. But, well, I hate them. Is it because they are very much, in a way, like us: humankind? Aggressive, ferocious, adaptable, destructive and highly organised? Some, have even said that, the species that will take over Earth from humans should we ever become extinct, will be rats. Could be. Could be that's why I am terrified of them. That scenario, of them (rats) taking over and how organised they might get, is excellently portrayed in James Herbert's novels 'The Rats' and 'Domain'.

Rats can be pets. Are smart. Very intelligent. But, as much good as one can attribute to them, rats are plain rats. Pests. The worse pests. Few animals' destructiveness affect humans the way rats do. They spread disease, live in any place including sewers, carry dirt on them and can survive in the most extreme of conditions thus making them most difficult a foe to destroy. And they breed. Rapidly breed. And how can I forget the way rats helped in the spread of the bubonic plague that devastated millions of people? I had the little rat for a friend; and I did love it and became very close to it, then. But, I can never and have never truly liked rats. And not only I, nobody likes or loves mosquitoes.

Rat Image: Hello Sailor

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