03.13.2006 - I caught a fat rat today. A rotund rodent. A chubby chipmunk, a house of a mouse, a chair-splitter critter. I've never before caught a rat this fat. I checked the traps I set in the attic when I found this round mound. It all started on a Tuesday. On that day, I was
called out to a house in south Orlando. The dame who lived there said that she was hearing noises up in her attic. I didn't hear nothing, and I thought she was cukoo, but I decided I'd take a look up there anyway. Geeze Louise, she wasn't kidding. The attic was a regular rat toilet.
I saw rat turds up there that I never seen before. Big round turds, more the size that a small dog leaves, not a rat. But everything else, from the chewing on the wires to the scent told me that it wasn't no dog - it was one big rat. I double checked my traps and I set them with tasty
Skippy peanut butter, a brand I know rats prefer. There was nothing to do next but wait.
I showed up at the house today, Wednesday, to check out the scene, and sure enough, I'd hit paydirt. A medium rat here, a large rat there, but where was porky? Then, in the center of the attic I spotted it. It would have been hard to miss. The fattest most bloated hog of a rat I've ever laid eyes on. Mama mia! This rat must have eaten the whole Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's and washed it down with a Big Mac. I bagged the little lard ball and got out of dodge. I told the lady that her troubles were over. I tell fat rats to scat. Trim down or get out of town when David the rat trapper is on the case.
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It is not unusual to spot a rat on the streets when walking by. If you have noticed, then it might come to your attention that their size is now increasing. They are much larger and fatter which makes them more noticeable. A regular rat weighs 0.5-1 pounds on average. On the other hand, rats nowadays are somewhere between 2-3 pounds, some even more than 19 inches long. A lot of these huge rats are found in big cities such as New York where more than 2 million rats (2014) are present. One fact that might bring you calmness is that larger size does not impose a larger threat.
Evolution is a process that every living mechanism has to go through. There are a lot of genes that an individual has which is composed of its behavior and diet patterns. A study has shown that rats have gone through genetic variation, especially the ones that live in New York City. Their genes differ from those of other cities in terms of behaving and choosing what to eat. This is an evolutionary process that helps animals to survive in different conditions. It is not a new phenomenon and humans have gone through it and are going through it. For example, some humans are unable to digest milk while others can do it without any problem.
There is another piece of information that further supports this argument. It revolves around the fact of how similar it is to all humans who have different diets. Every individual has a different metabolism from one another based on what they eat. The biochemistry of their body along with the physiology differs greatly. For example, the metabolism of someone who eats fast-food every day is different from someone conscious about their eating and who consumes healthy items. Similarly, rats who are pets have limited and timely access to food as the owners usually have a schedule set for them. On the other hand, sewer rats have unlimited access to a buffet of junk which makes them obese and overweight.
Another thing to note is that a lot of the rats, especially those who reside in a bustling city like New York, find garbage cans that have a lot of fast-food which is high in fat and sugar. The diet of humans is also evolving and now they are more involved in consuming foods that satisfy their taste buds but are extremely unhealthy for their bodies. It is consumed in huge quantities every single day and whatever part of food that is leftover is thrown away. These leftovers are then eaten by rats who rummage through the garbage. They consume the same food that the people are eating and just like humans they also gain weight and get obese.
Rats are one of those rodents that people just can't help but notice. With time, their consumption of food is changing along with their ever-evolving biochemistry. Perhaps, this is the reason why rats these days look much chubbier than they did a couple of years ago.