Rats get a bad rap.
Yes, okay, they're unkillable, disease-ridden fleabags who occasionally, uh, eat people alive. But they're also intelligent, highly empathetic and surprisingly relatable little critters who probably enjoyed Ratatouille just as much as you did.
And now, one murine resident of Washington DC has shown they can be safety-conscious members of the community as well.
Last summer, a condo building in the District was evacuated after a fire alarm sounded. But, strangely, there was no fire – so what happened? A glitch? A noisy consequence of the ongoing climate apocalypse?
No – it was a rat.
Caught red-pawed on security footage, the little guy literally jumped onto the alarm from a nearby handrail and pulled it down, setting off the siren. It is, however, unknown at this point whether the rat was pulling a prank or simply being overcautious.
Washington DC has a long history with havoc-causing rodents – in 1967 a single rat left a third of the District without power for 45 minutes after it chewed through the wires of a local power station. And despite the local government's inventive range of weapons in the "eternal war" between rat and human, their numbers have only grown in recent years.
This particular mischief-maker, however, has won hearts on Twitter thanks to his can-do, safety-conscious attitude.
Although some people got weirdly tribal about which cities have the best rats.
Naturally, people couldn't help comparing the #FireAlarmRat to his spiritual predecessor, the original rodent sensation that was Pizza Rat. Seen by many as embodying the plucky, determined, and above all pizza-loving soul of New York, Pizza Rat went viral back in 2015 after thousands of people watched him do what we'd all do if we found a slice bigger than our entire bodies: dragging that badboy home on the subway for dinner.
So spare a thought for rats. They might be dirty, but they're also safety-conscious, pizza-loving goofballs who love tickles and heroin. And that whole black death thing? That was probably just a misunderstanding.
After all, how can you stay mad at a critter who literally lives in a group collectively called a mischief?