Sunday, September 23, 2018

From the archives: Rats in toilets

This is another one from 1992 in alt.folklore.urban. Someone had asked about the possibility of the urban legend about rats swimming around the S bend and biting people where it hurts. My reply:

I've had a different, but similar experience.

My pet rat had the tip of her tail amputated (After a severe bite from my
other pet rat), and on Sunday, two days after the operation, her balance was
still not good, and she kept falling off things.

When I went to sleep that night, she was running around (and falling down)
with great gusto. When I woke up, there was no sign of Woodie (The rat).

That night there was, again, no sign of Woodie, and her companion was
acting strangely (As often happen when they are separated).

Thinking that she may have fallen out of a window, I circulated a note asking
my neighbours to keep an eye out for her (Rats with distinctive markings and
surgical sutures are reasonably rare). There were one or two sightings which
may, or may not, have been her.

On Wednesday night I heard a strange splashing noise coming from the bathroom.
When I lifted the toilet lid, there was a rat trying to jump out. A quick
check assured me that it was my one, and she was given a good scrubbing, and
given a lot of food & (ironically) water as she had lost a lot of weight and
seemed dehydrated. Next morning it was back to the veterinarian for a full
checkup. --- I'll tell the story of trying to feed antibiotics to a rat so
thin that she seemed able to turn around in her own skin another time ---.

Either Woodie fell into the toilet, and survived behind the "S-bend" for
three days, or she found her way into the sewer, and thence back into her
normal range.

The moral of this story? If a pampered pet, missing 2 cm off her tail, can
do it, a wild one should have no difficulty.

Another possibility I never considered at the time, she may have found her way up to the roof and shimmied down the bypass pipe.

The funniest thing was when I had her washed I fed her some high-energy treats. She was so glad to be home she was running over to me then back to the treats for a quick bite to eat. like a puppy. Weird how memories can be so vivid after 25 years.

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