The Woman Who Brought Home a Mexican Rat

But by that time, we were all attached to the poor little thing—
Chachi, we called him—even Henry, who thought I was crazy,
smuggling a dog over the border. Well, I guess I should say
smuggling a rat, though that sounds even crazier.
So I called up our son Jacob at school, because I know
he took a semester of Spanish. He found a rat fanciers’ club
in Guadalajara, and someone there stayed on the phone
with Jacob as he typed things into Google Translate
and told me what to tell the vet, who was looking at me
as if he wasn’t in the business of saving animals.
What’s the difference?, I say. Dog or rat? So what?
It was still the same little animal that fluffed up so nicely
after his bath, then settled down by my feet, snoring.
Aren’t rats nocturnal, anyway? To this day, I don’t really
know what Chachi was, though the rat meds did work—
once we wrestled a prescription out of that vet—
and he lived out the rest of a typical rat life, which is
too short. It’s been a year now, that he’s been gone.
Next week, I’m going to Tijuana again, shopping.

The Mexican Pet


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