rose the rat
Rose the famous Upper West Side rat. Photo courtesy of Lydia DesRoche.

Most Upper West Side rats live their ratty lives and die without fanfare. But Rose had higher aspirations. Left on the side of the West Side Highway at 57th street last year with hundreds of other albino rats, many of whom were poisoned by the city, she was rescued by animal activists. Rose was adopted by Upper Lydia DesRoche, who happens to be an animal trainer working on the show “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” A rat in that show is the main character’s best friend, and kisses him at a crucial moment.

When the lead rat in the show fell ill, and the understudy faltered, Rose got the part, and she played it with gusto for four nights on Broadway.

Then on Monday, Rose was playing on a shelf at DesRoches home when a metal door attached to the shelf fell, hitting and killing her. She was about eight months old, and had just begun to blossom as an actress.

“She was really getting into the kiss,” Ms. DesRoche told the Times. “She was just starting to open up.”

Read the full story about Rose in the Times.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      I read this article over the weekend.

      It was strangely touching.

      However, I still can’t comprehend how someone can live in their apartment with a rat found on the streets of NYC.

      • OG Amy says:

        Years ago I rescued a white rat from in front of my building when I lived on 106th. She lived with me for several years. Fancy/domesticated rats are not of the same ilk as their street rat cousins. That being said, I also once tried to save a baby rat that I found inside the Columbus Circle station which had somehow been separated from the nest. It was young enough that I would have been able to tame it and keep it as a lovely pet, despite its grimy origins, but sadly it was too young to survive without its biological mother.

    2. wombatNYC says:

      Very happy another rodent is off the streets . Fame’s a Bitch ! Next

    3. Rat A. Tooey says:

      I is totally DEVASTATED!

      On top of the snow making a rat’s life really hard, now this!

      She was my fave! I had a real teenaged-rat crush on her!!

      Keep yer lousy half-ate chikken wings and everything-bagel-bottoms!

      I ain’t hungry! At least not right now!

    4. Eli says:

      It’s sad that people confuse a domesticated pet animal with its wild, pestilent cousins. Would you be so mean if someone’s pet gerbil or chinchilla had gotten killed?

    5. drg says:

      Is there a city Rodent Protective Services agency that can investigate this “accident”?

    6. Wijm says:

      What about the people on the streets of NY? C’mon!

    7. beebee says:

      I can’t figure out how a shelf has a metal door that is heavy enough to kill a pet. Why would the pet be allowed to play around something this dangerous?

    8. Stephanie says:

      I really don’t know what to think about this! But I have to say, I do feel sad that she met her end that way. Sucks.

    9. John says:

      I met this rat at a CB 7 meeting this past year. He took a position against the bike lanes and I am afraid he was killed because of it. I do hope the NYPD will launch a full investigation.