I am mortified.
We have a rat in our house.
Not a mouse. A rat.
Two evenings ago, I was sitting on the couch in the living room crocheting yet another lap robe for the church Christmas gifts which we're giving to the local nursing home residents when I heard some scratching and gnawing sounds coming from far corner of the room. The sound appeared to be coming from underneath my computer filing cabinet. My dear husband had already retired, so I was left alone in the living room with - THE RODENT.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against rats. I have a long history with rats --lab rats that is. And they're actually kinda cute as rodents go --you have to admit, they're way better looking than the opossum. I don't mind them in the laboratory. I don't mind them in the wild. I don't even mind them if they're kept in a cage waiting to be food for some amphibian in a pet store. But I DO mind them in my house!!
So --now what?! I cautiously arose from the couch and went to wake up my husband....
"There's a rodent in the living room."
"Go get a mouse trap."
"Where are they?"
"I just bought some - they're in a bag on the kitchen counter."
...It's a 'live' trap --the rodent goes in after the tasty, tempting slather of peanut butter that one spreads on the inside --the door closes --and Vwalah! A trapped rodent. Now...you also have to realize that at this point --I wasn't sure if our rodent really was a rat --it could be a mouse....I was hopeful. A mouse --I can handle.
A few minutes and a few more rows into my crocheting, I hear more rustling and gnawing coming from the corner of the room. It was really loud. Much too loud to be a mouse. I've decided at this point that it's a rat.
I go back into the bedroom.
"I think our rodent is a rat."
"Yeah. A rat. It's making way too much noise to be a tiny mouse."
“Well, put out some rat poison.”
“Where’s the rat poison?”
“In the bag where you got the mouse trap.”
“On the kitchen counter?!”
Okay —I got the rat poison –opened up a tray of the nasty, deadly pellets and placed them behind my computer consul. Then I turned out the light and I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Nothin’.
Finally, I went to bed.
The next day —no evidence that the rat poison had been disturbed. I began to move some of the stuff that I had stored under the printer table –I moved some notebooks and reached for the bag of Sugar Daddys which I had purchased a week ago at The Dollar Tree. The bag was empty except for two larger-than-mouse-size turds! Evidence. There was a hole in the bag and every single Sugar Daddy was gone. Kidnaped. Stolen. Now the proven-to-be-rat-by-the-size-of-his-droppings was no longer just a nuisance – but he had earned the title of THIEF! Now it’s serious! NO ONE steals my Sugar Daddys and gets away with it!! This is war! ... I pulled back the cardboard on the tray of nasty, deadly poison pellets to expose more pellets and entice the rat...and waited.
All day –no noise coming from the corner. And then...the sun went down. Soon, we heard the all too familiar rustling and gnawing. This rat sure does make a lot of noise. At this point, I’m trying to figure out a way to lure the rat to the tray of nasty, deadly pellets....but then I started thinking....what if the rat eats the pellets and then dies somewhere in the walls of our house. What then? We can’t start ripping the walls out. I decided to take up the poison and sent Randy and Olivia to StuffMart for a live Rat Trap. (There is no way that this noisy, large bowel movement creature is going to fit into the tiny, tempting, peanut butter slathered mouse trap.) Guess what - StuffMart doesn’t sell Rat Traps –of any kind.
Another night of trying to sleep knowing that at any moment, the rodent could find its way into the pantry and eat us out of house and home....
This morning after dropping Olivia off at preschool, I headed for the local feed store to buy some rat traps. The ‘live’ trap that I wanted to buy was $36.00. No way. I had to get the old-fashioned spring loaded wooden kind that always seem to show up in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons being snapped on Tom’s paw.... I am not relishing hearing a rat being trapped by one of those spring-loaded suckers, but we have to lose the rat. There’s no way it’s going to remain in our home. After paying the guy at the feed store for the nasty, spring-loaded , bone-crushing rat traps, I hurried home so that my dear husband could bait them and place them under the furniture before he had to leave for the office. And once again –I wait. Except as much as I want that rat out of my house is as much as I don’t want it to suffer by being killed with one of those nasty, spring-loaded, bone-crushing rat traps. I found myself praying for the stupid rat! Praying that God would cause it to wander outside –crawling back out through whatever portal it came –back to the great outdoors.
We’re going to church tonight. We won’t be here when the sun goes down and the rat comes out. Maybe when we return, the rat will be in the trap and I won’t have to listen to the snapping of the nasty, spring-loaded bone-crushing rat trap as it snaps the rat’s back into pieces.
Ugh.....to be continued....