A Nail Polish Scenario…

There’s a rat trapped in a maze, cornered by walls on three sides and a hungry cat on the fourth. The rat doesn’t want to be there. It doesn’t like the whole idea, but it is unknowingly a player in a sick game of sadism played under the auspices of Scientific Research. What does it do?

The rat knows that it has no chance against the big hungry cat. It can’t scale the walls. It can’t call out for help because, well, for obvious reasons! It can’t dig its way out. Simply put, it is well and truly screwed. It’s life flashes before its eyes – those sweet, tender moments it had spent with its mother; those sweet, tender pieces of cheese that the human in the white coat had fed it; those sweet, tender minutes it spent with the pretty albino rat in the next room; those sweet, tender spots in the corner where it was cornered, where the temperature was just right and where it would have liked to curl up that night and dream of sweet and tender sticks of cheese if it weren’t for that hungry predator smacking his lips and looking on in quiet amusement at the panic on the rat’s tiny face. So, the rat makes a drastic decision.

Darwin was right – the fittest survive. The rat, trapped and helpless, proved to me more fit than the cat. The cat didn’t know and probably didn’t realize that for the rat, this was the last chance, the last stab at a chance to live, the desperation move. The cat was blissfully unaware of the fact that it had been a subject of study in a ground-breaking technology – one that made cats slow in their reaction times.

The rat rushed forward towards the cat, with all the speed it could muster, and the cat looked helplessly on, as it slid through its feet and ran away from the corner, away from the hungry predator, towards freedom and a well-earned stick of tender cheese. The cat didn’t quite understand how this had happened. It stood there, looking at the empty corner, still not being to comprehend the fact that the rat wasn’t there anymore. It blinked and looked around stupidly, trying to make sense. It must have been that strange nail polish-like milk that human fed me earlier, it thought. I must be more careful next time.

The rat, on the other hand, was on cloud nine. It began to feel that it had super powers and that it could outrun any cat. It smiled broadly as it bit into the piece of cheese. What a strange taste, it thought, as is licked its paws. Almost like nail polish…

Published by Nikhil

Nikhil Kumar lives in Bangalore with his wife and their stuffed dog. They are both advertising professionals and lead very exciting lives on the streets, dodging traffic. Their fridge is filled with cans of Diet Coke and their water heater doesn't work. He doesn't smoke (up) anymore.

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