The book, whose image you see at the left, is the inspiration for this Web site. It presents a page-turning account of the ubiquitous rodent at issue. Estimates of anywhere from one to six rats are said to inhabit New York City for every citizen who lives here. But whereas the author, Robert Sullivan, has no patience for the sentimentality of rat pet owners, he rightly brings attention to a simple truth. All the menacing, disgusting, disease-carrying, biting, slithering, ratty rats would go away if we humans just learned to manage our garbage better. And killing rats - an essentially cruel palliative - has no effect whatsoever. As long as there is food - that is, accessible garbage - every rat you kill is soon replaced by another.