How to handle rats if you’re dealing with an influx of rodents

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Xinyu Li/Senior Staff

Since learning about the rat influx on Northside, some of you may be worried out of your minds. Some may say it’s gross, some may say it’s scary, yet others (a.k.a. the Clog) may say you’re lucky. Take a moment to digest what we just said. Yes, we look at things glass-half-full, so you, tenants with rats in their apartments, are in luck. We’ve thought of ways for you to cultivate a friendship with these cute little whiskered beings and maybe teach them a trick or two while you’re at it. Who knows, maybe you’ll fly to Paris with them by your side.

Start out with the less complicated activities. Get to know the rats on a personal level. Learn their name, talk to them, share your life stories with each other — just really get familiar with your new best friend. At the rate at which these rats are entering Berkeley residents’ houses on Northside, your partner in crime will be sticking by your side for quite some time.

Once you know your beloved friend on a more personal level, teach them something they don’t do on the daily: cooking! If you’re more of a baker, bake cupcakes and whip up some frosting while you’re at it. If you wanna get fancy, teach them how to make omelettes (shoutout to Remy from Ratatouille). Just make sure Oski — we decided to call your rat “Oski” because we’re school-spirited — doesn’t steal spices from the local market. Rats are small and fast, so what more qualities do you need in a sous chef? None!

Now that you’ve looked into each other’s eyes and poured your souls out to one another (and you’ve spent a solid amount of time cooking up a storm in the kitchen), it’s time to hit the gym. You know how you always wanted a younger sibling? Well, now you’ve got a rat. Get matching sweatbands and tracksuits and jog together to the RSF. Oski may try cheating and hopping into gutters or secret underground paths that we humans still don’t know about (oh wait, Dirks …), but explain to Oski that this isn’t right. You’re both in this together, and you both need to follow the same exact path, up College Avenue and down Bancroft Avenue. No pain, no gain. Oski needs to hit the gym just as much as the next freshman who has to lose 15 pounds before gaining the weight back again.

Before you know it, you won’t want your fellow rat to leave your side. College is all about making new friends, and hopefully lifelong ones at that. While you didn’t know your best friend would be a rat, we’re all about change and being open to everyone and everything here at UC Berkeley.

Avanti Mehrotra is the assistant blog editor. Contact Avanti Mehrotra at [email protected].

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