Love Monger Ministries–Oh, RATS!!!


Growing up, I would go to Southern California to visit my father.  He had a shop where they restored antique cars, mostly old woodies.  A couple of the guys that worked for him thought it was real cute to tease the boss’ daughter and told me to watch out for the rats in the bathroom.  They told me that the rats would jump from the ceiling into the toilet and swim up the toilet pipes into the bathroom.

Imagine being 8,9,10 years old and terrified to pee!  I’d hold it until it hurt then, as a desperate last resort, I’d finally go into the bathroom (Have you ever seen a shop bathroom?  Holy Sh*t, they were nasty!) and squat as high as I could and look back and forth between the commode and the ceiling, praying no rats would come and eat my hoochie coochie.

Fast Forward Several Years…

ratI was in college at the time and a friend and I were at a shopping center with a pet store.  We were looking at the critters when I got this really hairbrained idea.  My childhood experiences had created a phobia in me for rats.  Maybe I could get over the phobia by buying a pet rat.

We left the pet store with a little cardboard box in hand with, you guessed it, a little female gray and white striped rat.  I named her Ruthie.

At first I was terrified of Ruthie.   I’d open the top of her cage and drop her food in and when she came up to me hand, I’d pull it out, heart racing.  Over time I eventually let her sniff my hand and even got to where I’d pick her up and hold her.

Ruthie loved the attention and became my little buddy.  She’d sit on my shoulder while I fixed my hair and did my homework.  After some time I had to get rid of her, but I did manage not only to overcome my musophobia, I also found out how awesome rats really were!  Not once did Ruthie pee on me.  Not once did she bite me.   I even managed to train her to do a few tricks!

ratmazeOften I think of Ruthie when I am faced with a seemingly insurmountable fear or impossible situation.  Not only was my phobia able to be overcome, but in the process I was able to learn to honor and even love that which I once was so terrified of.

Isn’t it amazing that a little “vermin” could make such a great difference?

LaVerna and Tom Vickers