(reversal rat from http://animator.deviantart.com/)
This morning during my meditation by the lake, the spiral canal that faces our parking lot was full of floating detritus. Coconuts, bottles, seaweed… and two dead animals. There was a huge rat floating right next to a small box turtle.
Of course I took it as a sign. The first thing I learned upon googling the oracle? Rats laugh. No wonder I love them so much. Check this out:
“It was discovered that rats emit short, high frequency, ultrasonic, socially induced vocalization during rough and tumble play, and when tickled. The vocalization is described as a distinct “chirping.” Humans cannot hear the “chirping” without special equipment. It was also discovered that, like humans, rats have “tickle skin”: certain areas of the body that generate more laughter response than other areas. The laughter is associated with positive emotional feelings, and social bonding occurs with the human tickler, resulting in the rats becoming conditioned to seek the tickling. Additional responses to the tickling included: those that laughed the most also played the most, and those that laughed the most preferred to spend more time with other laughing rats. This suggests a social preference to other rats exhibiting similar responses. The initial goal of Jaak Panksepp & Jeff Burgdorf’s research was to track the biological origins of joyful and social processes of the brain by comparing rats and their relationship to the joy and laughter commonly experienced by children in social play. Although the research was unable to prove rats have a sense of humor, it did indicate rats can laugh and express joy. Chirping by rats is also reported in additional studies by Brian Knutson of the National Institute of Health. Rats chirp when wrestling one another, and before receiving morphine or having sex. The sound has been interpreted as an expectation of something rewarding.”