Jerry had a busy day hanging out with his buddies and trying to stay away from predators and traps. He found some food finally and was returning to his cozy spot. He had recently moved into a new house. It didn’t seem like anyone stayed there. He climbed up to the balcony on the first floor. He was tired and needed a good night’s rest. He slowly climbed up the cable wiring that went from the balcony to the hall on the upper level. This was where the TV was. Suddenly he sensed a lot of noise coming from the inside of the house.
He stopped running when his eyes met mine and he froze. It was around 9.30 pm. My parents had gone to sleep. I was switching between the sports channel to see if there was something interesting to watch. And I had the same expression as Jerry in that moment. There was nowhere to run for either of us. After listening to my heart beat about 10 times, I looked back at the TV. My legs weren’t responding. But my eyes moved from Jerry back to the TV. Jerry paused for another 2 seconds and he ran.
One would hope a rat would run the opposite direction as soon as he can. I know that they should be afraid of the greatest predators in the world. But, I guess that he took my silence and lack of movement as approval to come in and chill out. Not the vibe I intended to give, but sometimes the kindness in my eyes can be a weakness. “Why do I never say No”, I thought.
He jumped on the TV and ran as fast as a rat could to the entrance of the bedroom in the middle. We had 3 bedrooms upstairs. The middle one was my sisters room. But, luckily she was sleeping in my room today and so the door was closed.
I slowly turned my head towards Jerry’s direction. He slowly squeezed his body through the gap in the bottom of the door. “He seemed to know his way around the house better than I knew it!”, I thought. I was impressed.
This was my parents house in India. We visit the house once a year for a few weeks every summer. So, I guess he must have been spending the rest of the months here. No wonder he knows his way around the house.
All of this happened in about a minute’s time. I finally let myself release the breath I was holding for the last minute. I stared at the TV again and I knew I had to choose what to do next. The choice was if I need to wake up my parents or if I should take care of the rat myself.
As I skipped through the channels, I made my decision. I decided to name the rat “Jerry”. It didn’t require much thinking.
Now, that I have named the rat, I decided I will remain seated in my chair and act like nothing happened. Nobody gets hurt. I continued browsing through the channels and found a good movie that I could binge on. I knew that tomorrow morning will be a different story.
To be continued ….