Killed by her ‘pets’

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 17, 2012 in Rat News | Subscribe

RESIDENTS of Tawes Meadows in Spanish Town, St Catherine had become accustomed to seeing 69-year-old Victoria Parker do bizarre things. But when ‘Girly’ started petting rats — feeding and sheltering the rodents — even her closest relatives became dumbstruck.

No one seemed to know exactly when and how the senior citizen began losing her sanity, but the sight of ‘Girly’ scavenging the garbage throughout her community, washing her clothes in the murky gutter water, became a common occurrence.

Petting rats, however, was more recent. In fact, many became aware of ‘Girly’s “sick” antics only when her body was found two Saturdays ago gnawed by the four-legged scavengers she had befriended.

The gory discovery was made by one of Girly’s sons during a visit to the zinc and wood shack his mother had built, and for years had called home. Ironically, the woman who had lived at Second Lane in the tough community for decades, suddenly opted to live in the dilapidated shack instead of a one-room dwelling given to her by the Government about 10 years ago, residents said.

This was among the earliest signs that “her head was not so right”, said neighbours who, upon a visit by the Jamaica Observer on Monday, crammed themselves into the ill-fated woman’s premises and looked through Girly’s old clothes, pots, pans, and other refuse strewn about in the shack.

Girly sewed all her clothes — which were normally mismatched and reeked from the smell of the stagnant drain water she ‘laundered’ them in — said the residents as they went through the items the deceased had collected during her daily walks through the community.

But Girly’s collection of refuse had a second purpose; they served as home for the “cat-sized” rodents who are now making life hell for the residents of Tawes Meadows. What’s worse is that Girly, residents said, would fry pieces of chicken fat and other discarded meats she collected and serve to her pet rats.

Initially, residents, including Girly’s 40-year-old son, Evrol Daley, tried to discourage the woman from the practice. Their pleas, however, were met with aggression from Girly, and they soon left her alone.

“She was a woman that you couldn’t really talk to; she would get loud and start making a lot of noise,” 73-year-old Theolyn Gayle reflected, flinging her arms about and making incoherent sounds to demonstrate Girly’s behaviour.

“She didn’t take things or listen to people who she did not know. You just had to leave her alone,” continued Gayle, who said she knew Girly before her condition deteriorated in the 1970s.

According to the woman, Girly started losing her mind following a visit to her hometown, Guys Hill in St Catherine.

“Girly use to hot (attractive) when she young; she was black and shine and fat. From she come back from dem time dere her head was not so right,” continued the woman, as other residents, who, by now, had crowded the yard, weighed in on the discussion.

“Girly use to hot. Is me bore (pierce) Girly nose for her back dem time dere,” interjected Gayle’s daughter, Paulette. “Is stress do her so, you hear,” continued the woman.

It wasn’t clear whether Girly was ever treated for her condition, but her relatives said she was not on medication. Daley and another of Girly’s sons live on the same premises, but they grew frustrated at their mother’s condition, and soon left her to roam, Daley said.

Girly fell ill with what appeared to be the flu about Monday two weeks ago, and her health deteriorated as the days went by. Two Saturdays ago, she complained to a neighbour that she was not well before retiring to her cluttered shack.

Her body was found later that night with rat bites to its face, neck, and other parts of her upper body.

Girly’s death and the desecration of her body fuelled calls from residents for assistance from the authorities in dealing with the rat problem which plagues the community.

“One of them run across into the school the other day and chased one of my students,” claimed the principal of God’s Little Angel Early Childhood Development Centre located in the community.

The principal — who asked not to be named — explained, however, that the problem is compounded by the residents’ poor garbage disposal practices.

“Rats are everywhere, but it is how you keep your place. If you keep your place untidy then rats and roaches must take you over in there,” said the woman.

According to residents, persons from the various health authorities visited the area following a story published by the Observer last Tuesday. Girly’s neighbours said the representatives set rat traps, and that two of the rodents living in her shack had since been caught and killed.

On Friday, Girly’s neighbours gathered in her yard a second time to discuss the results of her autopsy.

Most found it hard to believe that Girly, who had for years survived “cleaning the community” with her bare hands and who harboured rodents in her dwelling space, died from a heart attack, as stated in the autopsy report.

They said they will forever miss her.

“Of course wi hurt that Girly dead. And we are going to miss her, ’cause as bad as she was, she was one of us,” said one man, in reference to the poverty endured by all residents of the community.


Killed by her ‘pets’


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