Some time ago, my mother called me from Antigua. She had been sitting on the porch in the Caribbean night, and all of a sudden a rat showed up. She made some noise to keep it away, but the rat would not give up on getting inside the house; it kept approaching her on the porch, and in the end she decided to set up a trap. A few days later, the rat was in the trap. Usually we think of rats as something bad, disgusting, diseased, and we avoid them in our environment.
As my mother neeled down to throw the dead rat away, she got to look it in the eyes. She said, she felt pathetic, because the rat looked so cute when it was dead. She felt like a bastard.
In March I was walking from Japan Town to down town in San Francisco, and suddenly a woman screamed; there, on the pavement, a dead rat was lying. I got closer, curious to see, if I would experience the same thing as my mother did. As the rat lay there in the street, I couldn´t help thinking how peaceful and cute it looked.