Last night, as we were about to close the store, Johnna (Leo the Virgo's girlfriend, and Muchi's former foster mother) approached me. There was an injured rat in the parking lot, she told me. She would take it herself, but she had a flight at 11:00 this morning. Could I take the rat home last night and then take it to the Wildlife Rehab Center (located, of all places, at Rosedale) this morning? Of course I said yes.
So Johnna, Leo, Sprout and the security guard (Dave?) wrangled her (the rat) into a box (which wasn't difficult to do, as she'd lost the use of her front legs) and then Sprout and I gathered up a bag of tasty treats (lettuce, cabbage, zucchini) from the compost bin. By the time I got her home, she'd already more or less stopped moving (though she was still breathing). I checked on her a few times throughout the night. By 1:00 am, she didn't appear to be breathing anymore.
We figure it was probably poison. I can't stop thinking about that, and about the person who poisoned her. I am absolutely certain they never imagined that a team of a half a dozen people would do their very best to help the rats that they hurt. I'm sure they just thought "Rats bad. Must kill." It reminds me of a story that Leo once told me about a customer in his line at The Co-op. There apparently was some sort of bug on the floor and said customer went crazy go nuts stamping their foot on it until they were 100% sure that it was dead. And Leo thought: just what exactly was this insect doing to you that you had to so adamantly and enthusiastically make sure that it was dead? Was it offering some sort of threat to your life and general well-being?
I'm glad that I work in a place where the staff take the spiders and ladybugs outside and set them free when we find them. I'm glad I work in a place where 100% of people involved wanted to help an ailing rat, not hurt her. But it sucks that we appear to be in the minority.
Unfortunately, now I have to go get dressed so I can buy a trowel and bury a rat. Sigh.