Rats Are About to Get Busted

By Max

On Friday, August 26, at 10 p.m. ET, Animal Planet is starting a 6-episode series called Rat Busters NYC. It stars two guys named Jimmy and Mike and scores of rats, who were all most likely harmed (murdered) during the filming of the show.

But don’t get me wrong. I may be a kitten, but I’m not soft on vermin. I don’t mind that Animal Planet thinks killing innocent creatures is entertainment. I can’t wait to watch those suckers go down. I’m just upset that Animal Planet hired humans to do the job when so many cats are out of work.

Don't bother pleading for mercy, you rat-bastard!

Jimmy and Mike work for Magic Exterminating. It’s like Ghost Hunters for rodents. They work in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, which is a rat paradise, according to Animal Planet.

Eeewww! Alert for the Bourdain family: The website boasts that rats are found “everywhere — from warehouses and small businesses to apartments and single-family homes, from the Upper East Side to Tribeca and crawling all over Brooklyn and Queens!”

The site also tried to dispel some myths about rats, such as that they can grow as big as cats. False. They said domestic rats usually top out at 2 pounds, and the world’s biggest rats, in Papua, New Guinea, only make it to about 3 pounds, while cats are more in the 8-10-pound range. (I’m 4 ½ lbs.)

But Cats Working documented a rat in China that weighed 6 pounds.

Even so, if a cat and a rat get into a serious smack-down, that rat won’t be around to brag about it to his grandkids.

I mull the option of suffocating him painlessly while digging my claws into his back.

But then Animal Planet dissed cats by saying we’re ineffective ratters because we can’t possibly keep up with the rat population, nor clean out the tiny places they hide.

OK, so where were Jimmy and Mike during the Black Plague? More recently, why didn’t the city of Los Angeles have any doubts cats were up to the job?

What AP forgets is that the mere presence of a cat makes rats think twice about putting down roots. If rats were so brilliant, they’d be the ones with 9 lives.

I'm not letting go 'til you squeak "Uncle!", Cheddar-Breath!

Anyway, I just thought I’d let all my new cat friends know there’s 6 hours of whisker-licking rat-bashing coming that you won’t wanna miss.


15 Responses to Rats Are About to Get Busted

  1. adele says:

    An excellent follow up to your introductory post. But Max, I have to admit that I was somewhat distracted from your prose because the pics of you are just so damn cute. Such adorable-ness must be a burden.

    Ask Adele to tell you the sad story of Minnie, the McSorley’s Ale House (NYC) cat — she lost her job.Odd, though, the Algonquin Hotel gets to keep Matilda. although she has her own little canopied bed and does not look like a ratter.

    Alice and Dorothy admire your courage. Dorothy said she encountered rats during her unhappy time outside, but she was afraid of them because they might be poisoned. And Alice is just afraid.

  2. marilyn says:

    hey max,
    love your RAT! has karen brought out any toys on wands with feathers, etc. ? you will love those.
    the cats of lakeview point are worried because one of us, sully, has gone blind and can’t hear well. he escaped the garage yesterday in 97 degree heat and was headed to the slough when the MAN saw him and got him home. he seems ok today but we are watching over him. keep him in your kitty prayers please. he is a feral outside cat who is 11 years old and is past his ninth life.

  3. catsworking says:

    Marilyn, I’m so sorry to hear about Sully. Being blind and deaf wouldn’t be a problem if he were content to be an indoor kitty, but he’s in a minefield when he escapes. I hope you can keep him safe. Feral cats have it tough.

    That rat in the pictures is a family heirloom named Rowdy. He was a favorite toy of Rex, which means he’s at least 25 years old, but he hasn’t lost any of his rattiness. Karen has sewn his ears back on a few times. Karen got him from Cat Claws, and they still sell him, but his tail looks fancier now — braided. Here’s the link:


    As for my other toys, I love ALL OF THEM, particularly balls with bells. We have a pink mouse on a stick that was Yul’s kittenhood favorite, and I’m told that I carry the mouse around in my mouth, dragging the stick behind me, just like Yul did. That thing is so beat up. Karen has tied knots in it and attached the mouse with a safety pin, but I don’t care. It still makes for good chasing.

    And Cole has Da Bird on a stick, which he lets me borrow. I can’t get enough of that blue feather!

    Every night, Adele and I have a rousing game of laser pointer tag, officiated by Karen. I will run after that dot until I’m gasping for air. It’s so much fun!

    One of my personal favorites is this green stick with little bristly things all over it. Adele tells me it’s a branch from the “Christmas tree” and that I’ll have to wait a few months to find out about that. What I like is how the bristles come off and go all over the rug, like we just had a parade!

    You can’t walk 2 feet in this place without stepping on one of my toys. Over the years, the cats have gotten so many that Karen puts half of them away and I still have dozens of things to play with. Karen says what she likes best about getting a new cat is that all of the toys get another life.

    I have gotten my very own special toy. It’s like the kitty cubes, cloth on a wire frame, but it’s not very big and has all these holes in it that I can stick my paw through. Karen puts little toys inside so I can fish them out. I like to throw myself on it and try to squish them out, too, which bends it all out of shape. Adele likes to play with it, too.

  4. Britta says:

    While the eradication of vermin is necessary for all sorts of reasons, just a little annoyed that reality TV has found a new spectator sport which will no doubt have an audience of “the best of the best” of our society. At least Billy the Exterminator tries to move some of his victims alive and into a sanctuary. But I digress.

    I recall the days when we lived beachside, which was full of rats in yards, attics and of course, thriving in the sewer system. Stories of rats emerging in the toilet bowl are not unfounded. While our formerly feral and free roaming group enjoyed the sport of ratting, we are all happy (well the humans are anyway) that they now reside with us in an enclosed environment which is rat free.

    Nonetheless, won’t forget the assorted gifts of tails, organs and other body parts left for the humans on the communal porch. Remember the day of the “rat dance” when a particularly determined Moore cat tried to catch an equally determined big furry rodent who chomped and latched on to Mr. Kitty’s chin. Cat and rat swung around around in endless circles until finally, Mr. Kitty spun up enough velocity to dizzy his victim into submission. The video cam is never close when you need it.

    Max, may you always enjoy the sport without ever having knowledge of the unpleasantries.

  5. adele says:

    Karen, how do you keep Rowdy Rat looking so young? Clearly, he has not only had corrective surgery, but also spa treatments. And has Max been introduced to Cole’s teddy or Red Doggy yet?

    I heard Alice and Dorothy conversing (they don’t cuddle but hang out together, and Dorothy licks Alice’s head) while looking at Max’s photos. I think I heard them sighing and saying, “Maybe it would have been nice to have kittens.” He’s apparently aroused their latent maternal instincts.

  6. catsworking says:

    Adele here, to Adele the human: Tell Alice and Dorothy to count their blessings. Max is EXHUASTING. He runs circles around all of us, and when I try to take him down a peg, he just laughs as he disappears in a flash. And forget about rats; a kitten can squeeze into places Cole and I can only dream about. I think he does it just to remind us how little and cute he is. I, for one, can’t wait until he grows up and gains some maturity.

    Karen here, to Britta: I usually don’t watch, or let the cats watch, anything that involves animals dying — even cartoon animals. (Humans, another story, especially when the killing is faked.) But Max was so excited about this rat show, I had to relent. He and Cole remember being thrilled in the joint by the harrowing tales of newly-admitted ferals about their ratting exploits. Since we don’t have any rats, it’s the least I can do to let them have their vicarious thrills.

    When I was a teenager, our cat Coco used to spend her nights roaming the woods around our house, and she’d signal she wanted to come inside by scratching her collar across my window screen. One night when I let her in, she was mysteriously purring as she leaped across my bed and headed for the kitchen. I followed her and discovered she was carrying a huge dead mouse. After a chase around the house, she finally let it go under the couch, where I fished it out with a yardstick.

    Coco also brought in a live mouse and a small snake at other times. Her favorite trick was to jump onto the kitchen window sill while we were having dinner, holding her “catch of the day,” which never failed to gross us out. And we would find rodent body parts on the steps and in the yard nearly every day. I’d put her lifetime kill record in the hundreds. And Coco was declawed.

    When I moved out on my own, I took Coco with me and made her indoor-only because I lived in apartments. Her last conquest was a mouse that I didn’t know was living under my kitchen sink. I found it dead on the throw rug, perfectly undamaged, with Coco and my second cat, Cleo, purring nearby. I assume they tag-teamed it.

  7. kittiequeen says:

    Dear Max/Domino; Im with you Buddy! And, if I may, a few thoughts. KIlling rats (and other rodents) is a natural part of any self-repecting cats life. Praise to the rodent eliminators!!! This is only one valid reason (of many) why the Ancient Egyptians worshipped the Cat. Why their culture was a long and happy one. As for “rat sanctaries(!?!!?!)”, what misguided sappy peabrain dreamed that up? Special thanks to Mike and Jimmy for their Rodent Busters efforts. P. S. As always, Max/Domino , you are adorable in your photos, even if I am calling attention to the obvious.

  8. catsworking says:

    kittiequeen, no doubt about it. Rats need killing if they think they can gnaw on people’s stuff and poop all over the place. If silly people won’t let cats do the job, then they have to do it themselves. I’m really looking forward to Rat Busters tonight!

  9. Zappa says:

    Here’s an idea for Animal Planet-lose the humans and retool the show as “MaxAttacks” Each week will have Max eradicating household pests of all sorts:mice,bugs,catnip toys laundry,etc.Shoot it from kittycam level and human level to show how cats really hunt.Zappa caught some sort of long-legged cricket/spider(I live on the 4th floor) and performed several amputations on it.He seem very pleased with himself!


    PS If I hear the name Irene again I will throw up

  10. adele says:

    ZM, I think you have a winner. “MaxAttacks” is very catchy — maybe Adele and Cole could pitch the idea to Animal Planet. We’d watch it in this house. No reason Max should keep his cuteness under a barrel, and he could bring in some coin to boot.

  11. Britta says:

    Karen and Max – the rat thrill is certainly understandable – we have our little toys around and to be honest, as the humans have become more evolved in terms of animal welfare, I do feel guilty about the little mice guys I know are comprised of rabbit fur. Have divested of those purchases but a few still remain and they seem to be the crew favorites. Animal instincts prevail. In fact, we found a baby rattlesnake Wednesday who apparently succumbed to the territorial efforts of the outdoor sanctuary guards. Kind of creepy for the humans. Will keep growing the “cat nippy” for the few addicts we have amongst our midst and hope that will suffice.

  12. catsworking says:

    ZM, sounds like what Zappa may have caught was what we call “camel crickets.” They love our crawlspace, but Adele tells me one is occasionally dumb enough to come into the house. Zappa was playing Solitaire with his, but how it works here is the kitties say, “Loves me,” or “Loves me not,” as they take turns pulling off a leg. When all the legs are gone, they bat the body around the floor like a hockey puck until somebody loses it (or eats it — don’t tell Karen!). I can hardly wait for a cricket to show up!

    Karen has let me watch 2 episodes of Rat Busters. Apparently, we were misinformed. This week wasn’t the first episode because an earlier one came on before that. After seeing petrified dead rats, a maggoty rat, and huge, freshly killed rats, Karen says she doesn’t think she can take any more. But we cats love it!

    On the other hand, I think MaxAttacks could be a winner, too. I’m not claiming any responsibility here, and Karen won’t find my prints anywhere, but sometime during the night, one of her wooden cats fell from the mantel onto the slate hearth. It happened to be the one she got in Jamaica with a wooden filigree back and tummy through which you can see a kitten inside. The filigree didn’t stand a chance against the slate and broke off in several pieces. Karen’s trying to glue it back together, but its survival is iffy.

    My story is that the earthquake nudged that cat too close to the edge, and Hurricane Irene pushed it over, and I’m sticking to that unless somebody offers me a TV deal.

  13. Jessica says:

    I don’t know if Rat Busters can really compete with those cats that live in the bodegas in NYC. I found this cute clip about it: http://www.youtube.com/user/InternetsCelebrities#p/u/1/ZHVL3z6PXe4

    My cats mostly hunt the random bug or spider and their own catnip cigars.

  14. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Jessica! That video was so good!

    Karen is so grossed out after watching a few episodes of Rat Busters NYC, I make sure to sleep close beside her on the bed every night in case she has a nightmare. Cole and Adele takes turns sleeping shotgun in case I have to get up for any reason.

  15. adele says:

    Max,I caught Rat Busters NYC the other day and could only make it through about 15 minutes. One dead and maggoty rat and one huge rat in death throes was quite enough for me. Alice and Dorothy couldn’t even watch — they’re such girls.

    I think Karen was absolutely right in limiting your viewing, but it’s nice of you to sleep close to her in case she has nightmares.

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