Rats and the New York City Subway are synonymous with one another. They’re like two peas in a pod and are built right into the fabric of this great city. Despite the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA, the folks who run the Subway) best attempts to poison them away, these furry little vermin are resilient, surviving another day to scuddle around the the tracks, searching for those delicious food scraps that New Yorkers carelessly toss into the “abyss.” Rats are so much a staple in the Subway system that the Bloomberg administration recently completed a study to examine the extent of their infiltration!
Ride the Subway enough and you learn to appreciate these creatures from afar. Watching them frolick along the tracks becomes a nice little amusement as you wait in the overpowering heat and humidity for that train to show up!
Last week I found myself in this exact situation, staring blankly at the tracks when a moving brown lump caught my eye. But this wasn’t your average rat in search of a meal. This was a fully grown, presumably mother rat followed closely by an adorable little baby rat! They moved together in conga-line fashion and as the tunnel grew bright with the approaching train, the mother took off running for safety. But as she ran, she took a very clear look back to make sure the baby was following. It was, and just like that, the two disappeared below the platform as the train came to a screeching halt.
You know, New Yorkers have this reputation of being cold and desensitized to just about everything. Having been here three years, hardly anything phases me any more. But I have to say, the two generations of rodent that I spotted from that Subway platform absolutely warmed my heart!!
All together now: “Awwwwwwwww!”