I did not share about the other rats. They are feeders, and had been bought early to keep Three Blind Mice company before going to the snake. These were not picked up and cuddled like the white one. They saw him get preferential treatment. These were picked up by the tail or trapped in an upside down transport/critter box, with the lid slid under, and dumped into the paper grocery bag used for feeding the snake. The snake was in there, lying in wait.
Well, the snake has not wanted to eat. For two weeks. He had two rats, medium size, three days apart, two weeks ago. Normal feed time is every three to five days, but this time of year since it is colder,. the metabolism slows, they are fed every seven to ten days.
The rats were being offered over and over and going back to the holding cage, which is a plastic storage bin with an upside down children's table as a lid. There is air exchange at the dip for the handles, but it is too small to let a rat squeeze through. Anything bigger than a quarter is big enough to fit a rat.
They grew bold. They charged the snake. The black one climbed out of the transport/critter box on the stairs as I put the snake in the bag. Out of compassion, I try not to let them see me put the snake in the bag before they go in. I caught him quick and put him in the bag.
Yesterday while I was cleaning the cage, one jumped up and caught the edge. I tried to jiggle it back in, but it escaped and ran under a chair in the corner. As I got up, it went behind the transport cage for the bird. (I had them be roommates.). I covered the bin with the other two rats, and tried to get the runaway out.
He ran behind the cabinet with the seeds for the bird. "Lock me in the room and put the bird cover at the bottom of the door!" I told my son. And I shoved that cupboard as hard as I could against the wall, and got a squeak. It couldn't smash further due to a timer plugged into the wall. I looked and checked behind as I slowly wiggled the cabinet. No rat.
Great. It gets lost and it hurts the other pets. And makes a mess of the house. This one is mean, tried to bite the snake, and up to no good.
What happened next is like the end of the movie The Black Swan. You might not want to read it. With the flashlight I sweep the room. My right hand is bleeding and there is blood on my jeans, my shirt, and the tiny transport cage. My body is on full alert to protect my family. I see him under the chair in the corner. I reach under with my six by eight inch plastic box. He jumps. Then he makes a run for it. I slam the box down and he is quick. It lands with him halfway in and halfway out. In a millisecond, I think of my options. There is no peaceful way out. I press down hard, breaking his back and causing internal injury like a rat trap. Angered, he turns his head and teeth toward my hand.
I need another box to place over the head. I ask my son to come help. "I need your help! Come in!" and he fumbles with the child-proof lock on the parrot door he normally can open quite easily. "I can't!" he says. "What is your problem? I need your HELP! Come in!" "I can't! I'm trying!"
The last thing in the world I need is an injured rat on the loose, with possibly no broken spine. I didn't feel a 'snap'.
I see the leg of the chair three inches from his head. While still holding pressure on the box, I lift the chair leg, place it on the rat's neck, and press down with all my might. I see the life go out of his eyes. My son is in the room and can't find the other box. He brings it one minute to late.
"Did you kill it mom?"
"Yes. I think we should throw it away."
"Why don't you just feed it to the snake?"
"Now that's a good idea."
I tried. Holding the tongs and moving it in the shopping bag. He wanted no part of it.
So in the trash, I have two rats. One, lovingly placed in a shoebox full of tissues. And the other at the bottom of a shopping bag with dirty rat newspaper cage liners on top.
The White Rat and the Black Rat. Just like the movie. I had NO idea there was a Black Rat lurking within my heart until yesterday. I was drained. After the TIVO episode of Gator Boys was done, my son agreed to go with me to take the other two rats back to the pet store. (When you buy feeders on a regular basis, the store owners get to know you.) Terrified in the corner of the big cage were the two rats. They had seen everything. "Why?" their eyes pleaded, "Why did you behave like that and kill black rat?"
"In my mind, I answered back, he jumped out of the cage. The rules are different when they are out of the cage."
Why didn't I offer the same love and compassion to these feeder rats who were in the same cage as Three Blind Mice? Why did I not let myself get emotionally attached? I couldn't feed my friends to a snake. I did not let myself get open, and my actions were rough with them. Although I smiled and spoke gently to them and took care of them, there was not that connection like I had with Three Blind Mice.
Therein lies the point of duality: for every White Rat, there is a Black Rat. For every loved and cherished pet there is one that is unwanted. And sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. I had to kill to protect my cockatoo and son and myself from unwanted rat invasion.
On a deeper level, we are One. Mom, Son, Bird, White Rat, Black Rat, and Innocent Rat Bystanders. In our times alive on the Earth, we have stolen, killed, maimed, raped, pillaged and caused terror in addition to being humanitarian angels upon the Earth. There is no judge, only Karma that is to be repaid in further lifetimes.
My three lower chakras operated full strength in the story of the Black Rat. I have been told that we are 'clearing' our vibrations to 'let go of stuff that would hold us back on Ascension.' If you have struggles that are very red, orange and yellow chakra around this time, accept it. For it is what you are. Learn from it, and know you can make choices that are better in the future.
This is What It Is. Accept.
Love is the Answer. I do not know why I did not treat this entire scenario with love instead of 'me versus him' violence. It is all perception. I could have coddled the feeders lovingly until the point of their death. They were, after all, my guests in my home with Three Blind Mice.
Love is the only protection that is your armor and shield at once. And I chose not to wear it with these feeder rats. I hope I will make a better choice next time.