There are rats in the attic and they make me sick. There are so many of them and we don’t know how to keep them from coming in. They just keep coming. At night they make so much noise they wake us up. Periodically, Robert sets traps. It quiets down for a night or two and then the population spikes.
Tonight he set more traps. It’s brutal. I can’t stand it. I hear them screaming, I hear their bodies thumping, I literally feel sick. It’s horrendous. It’s happening just above my head. How can I sleep underneath this suffering?
It doesn’t bother Robert. He hears it as the “sounds of victory”. How can I explain how much I hate rats? I don’t like them dead, I don’t like them alive. I don’t like them in my house or my yard or my life. I can’t stand them. Still, hearing a fellow creature cry out in pain is as heart wrenching to me as if it were a dog or a horse or a man or anything for that matter.
There’s nothing to be done. I can’t stop the rat from screaming. I can’t kill it. I can’t do anything but lay hear listening, unable to shut my ears like I can shut my eyes. It’s a shared suffering then, I can’t stop her pain and she can’t stop mine.
It reminds me of the book I’m reading now, A Town Like Alice. What’s so miserable about war, apparently, is to watch people suffer. I suppose this rat encounter is the equivalent of an illustrated version of the novel, only instead of visuals I’m getting audio.