It seems to be a universal truth that a thing reviled is also a thing revered, depending on location. While rats are an annoyance and a pest (as well as known harbingers of disease) in most of the world, they are sacred inhabitants of the Hindu temple of Karni Mata in India. Accidentally killing one of these holy rodents brings a hefty fine of replacing the rat with one made of gold, while having one skit over your feet is a blessing.
The story of Kari Mata, revered as an incarnation of the goddess Durga, the rats, and lots more pics of the temple are on The Ark in Space. Link