The Rat // Circa 1982 // Age approximately 4
“Look at the size of that bloody thing!” he shouted, “it’s like a bloody cat!” she shrieked. It was cold and damp in there, the ‘veranda’ they called it, it wasn’t actually a veranda, it was a lean to porch with a corrugated plastic roof. Single pane windows to the front, drenched in condensation, edged with mould and rotting wood. Surrounded by cat trays and the stench that they bring, we peered through to the snow on the yard, and beyond to the asbestos roofed garage, where admittedly, a large rat was making it’s way along the feet of the wooden doors.
The actual date has long escaped me, if I ever knew it at all, but born in ’78, the early 80’s are as far back as my mind will allow. Life as I remember it, was what you might think average, the two bed terraced that we lived in was homely, despite it’s flaws. With a multitude of our own pets and the many furry lodgers that come with parents that are RSPCA rescuers, I didn’t really feel the lack of siblings at the time. Yes, my earliest memory would definitely drop us in the pigeon hole ‘normal’, ish.
Dad worked in a paper factory as a guillotine operator, Mum looked after me and they both volunteered for the RSPCA, where they met, neither were perfect, but who is? I don’t recall being particularly poor back then either, we had our own home, the area was fairly nice and the neighbours well to do.
It has always served me well to remember, things can change in a heartbeat.
© Sarah Taffe 2018 // Mind Body Soul Evolve // ST Freelance