After March 3, 2019 when the world ended, I ran south from my home in DC to Alexandria and Arlington. I lived there for six months, trying to make a go at it on my own. This was before I met up with Mrs. K (nee Miss W). At the time I considered these northern Virginia cities to be “country,” having dwelled in large cities for the majority of my life. Of course, these areas were overrun with undead as anywhere else, so it was a difficult time in my life. I barely had time to brush my hair!
One of you recently asked how I survived the first six months of the great panic in relative isolation given my distinct lack of survival skills. The answer? I caught, lived with and ate rats.
While I usually try to discuss topics that have more to do with thriving than merely surviving, I’ve decided to give you a little overview on how to catch and eat urban wildlife. While we live in the country in the Virginia territory, I don’t want to leave out those of you who live in our urban markets.
Get a cat, be nice to it . Why catch a rat yourself when you can get someone else to do it? Cats are notoriously fickle creatures, but a little affection can turn your cat into a killing and fetching machine. Female cats are generally better hunters, so keep that in mind when you are picking an animal companion. Be sure to give some of the catch to your pet cat! You want to promote loyalty if possible…. or rather, as much loyalty as a cat is capable of.
Become one with your prey. Go where the rats go – dark, dank areas are always best. I spent a lot of time in sewers in the early days. Rats love trash, so I would create elaborate trash piles to isolate and then trap them in. Try to think about the environments rats would like and then try to recreate them.
Be patient. It may take a while for your next meal to show up. Be quiet and still while waiting for your rat to show itself. However, once it does, move fast!
Word to the wise: as I’ve said before, all animals have a natural aversion to zombies. Rats in particular scatter when zeds approach. Pay attention – if rats don’t want to be where you are, maybe you shouldn’t be either!
Not only are rats a great source of protein, they can be delicious when prepared correctly! I always preferred to roast my rats over a fire. Skin the rat, slice it down the middle and clean it thoroughly. Cut the meat into chunks and put on a stick, like a kabab. Roast to your taste, using whatever spices are available.
While I now have access to more types of protein (chickens, deer, etc.) I still enjoy the occasional rat dish from time to time. It really is quite a delicacy. In my experience, if you don’t tell your guests what they are eating, they will enjoy it too!