Informant: “There are rats in the subway of New York that are the size of cats.”
Interviewer: “Have you actually seen rats that big?”
Informant: “Well… no I haven’t actually seen rats that size, but I have friends that claim they have. Plus, I’ve seen some that were massive.
Informant is a 21-year old female USC student who comes from New York City. The informant has taken subways in New York City countless times and is afraid of the rats that live in the tunnels.
The idea of rats being the size of cats is scary to most people. Most people have a fear of rats of any size so combining that with being extra-large keeps people from wanting to experience an animal like that. This idea that there are rats the size of cats in the New York City subway tunnels is local myth that helps to scare people into avoiding the subway tunnels and to be afraid of any rat as they are disease carriers.