As the co-owner of a pilates studio, we pride ourselves on cultivating a healthy and nurturing environment for our clients. We use aromatherapy blends to clean our equipment, we make our space a cell free zone, and we use method products for our bathrooms.
So when we discovered a rat in our rafters, disturbing does not quite capture what we felt. Unfortunately, it was one of our clients that first saw the rat who I have now named Rocco, but fortunately it was on our men dominant mornings (yes, men do Pilates), so laughing it off was not a problem. But, we knew it had to be handled. Perhaps this is one of the benefits of living in Texas where it is virtually a holiday when hunting season starts, so the concept of setting a trap was not even a second thought. Not to stereotype myself, but as stated in a previous posting, I am a girl and a jew from Oklahoma, so when it comes to most issues regarding killing animals and performing any type of handiwork, I try and turn a blind eye. But my karma had caught up to me. My business partner called me last night and warned me that the trap had been set and I was the first one scheduled to arrive in the morning. I tossed and turned all night, wondering what Rocco's fate would be.
While I can joke about it, I definitely started crying when I walked in the studio and saw Rocco at the end of his days. I will spare you the details, but lets just say the cheese was still whole and the floor is stained with blood. Perhaps it was the reality that I would have to clean it up, but as my awareness of green consciousness and movements such as animal cruelty have been heightened, I definitely felt conflicted. However, at the end of the day, a rat is a rat. I have the same issues about killing spiders and cockroaches. Is there another option? The answer is yes. Unfortunate for Rocco however, this was only discovered in hindsight.
While my business partner blames the pizza place next door, one of our other trainers is currently researching the symbolism of rats according to Native American culture and animal medicine. Whatever the lesson to be learned is, I am sure it is different for each of us. Unsure how to really comprehend my lesson, I did what I do best, lit some incense and had a moment of silence for Rocco. RIP Rocco.