A couple of weeks ago, New York Magazine‘s cover story explored the fate of “streeteries,” the ever-metastasizing parklets and covered patios that have come to define dining in the COVID era. But the cover photo, depicting an al fresco rat dinner date beneath the feet of unsuspecting humans, may have been the centerpiece. Now, media trade outfit The Fine Print goes inside the making of it, with plenty of detail about the arugula-loving hams who stole the show.

Taro and Mishi were tuckered out by the end of the day. “I was doing work while they were going through photos,” said Perez, “and I had both of them on my belly a little bit, just chilling out. I think they were really, really tired. They passed out in my little sweater and just stayed with me while I was doing work.” They headed home in an Uber around six, asleep most of the way. At the apartment, Perez streamed behind-the-scenes footage and pictures from the day for her roommates on their TV, but the rats were ready to return to their cage. “They just all went into a little cuddle pile and fell asleep again,” she said.

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