Friday, September 16, 2011

I smell a rat

I pride myself on not being a huge wimp. A little wimp sometimes, but generally a moderately tough chick. I kill spiders. I set and empty mouse traps when the occasion arises. I pick up worms to show my children. I have been known to hold a snake. I have a strong dislike for crickets (they are sneaky!) but am otherwise unfazed by generally creepy things.

The other night we had a guest for dinner, Matt's ex-boss and a friend of ours. We had a very nice evening, we talked about Jersey and other parts of the country we would rather live. We discussed the house and all its "character". As we sat enjoying conversation, our guest politely pointed out that a mouse just ran under our dinning room table. Awesome. I know how to leave an impression.

The next night we spotted the little fur ball while we were watching tv. But something seemed off to me. We have had mice before, I know how they scurry and I know how little they are. This guy didn't scurry and was a bit...large. I tried not to think about it when we set traps.

They next night, same time, same place, I saw the little mongrel again. This time there was no mistaking it, he was a RAT! I didn't freak out, exactly, I just told Matt in no uncertain terms that this rodent would be taken care of in the next 24 hours or the girls and I would be relocating until the problem was addressed. Off to bed I went, leaving Matt setting traps and figuring out a solution.

I was almost asleep when I heard a loud BANG! At first my sleepy brain resisted this as the trap going off but as my wine logged synapses started firing I realized that was much to loud a noise to be a trap. I scampered downstairs to see what it was.

I found Matt staring into the corner where the rat had been seen, he looked slightly befuddled. At this point in the story it might behoove me to mention that Matt and I had split a bottle of wine while watching a movie earlier in the evening. I asked Matt if everything was ok. He said it was and that is when I notice the rat under a Tupperware. I am proud to say I didn't freak out. But what was the bang?

Apparently, the rat sniffed at a trap and it went off and didn't catch him (he was too big for the mouse traps) but it stunned him. Matt, hearing the noise and curious if we had been victorious, came to see the carnage and found the rodent sitting there, dazed. He first thought was to grab a cast iron pan and see if he could drop it on the back of the rat and break its neck. Because it seems so logical to kill pests with cookware. With the benefit of hindsight and a little less alcohol, the fallacy of this plan would be easily recognized.

When he dropped the pan and missed the rat entirely, it was time for plan b. Shooting from the hip as he was, he grabbed one of the kids toy Tupperware and smacked it down over the rat. We now had a slightly bloody, disoriented rat trapped on our floor, Matt in his boxers, me in my pajamas, all of us wondering what the hell just happened.

Matt started to fold a piece of cardboard to slide under the box so we could pick him up and flip it. At this point it occurred to me that Matt really had no plan. Neither of us wanted to kill the rat with our bear hands or really any other way, and it seemed silly to toss him in the back yard.

I suggested Matt take him down to the river but he said he didn't want him to get out in the car and it was a little late for a half mile walk. I genitally reminded him that, in his obvious foresight, he had the rat in a Tupperware that had a lid, so we locked up the rat and Matt took him for a drive.

My house is now free of all things ratty. I would love to have a clever life lesson, qwippy remark regarding our adventure, or some deep insight on the whole situation. I don't. Rats are creepy and I never want to see one in my house again. Fixing the cellar door is now number one on the "to do" list.


Denise said...

A rat is just about the only rodent that I sooooo hate....I really hate them....I just can't stand them.....I have hate towards them....actual hate....understand?

But I do think the story of catching this one is very hysterical; life is so darn fun!!!

Honeycutt Family said...

You know I would be freaking out, right?! My Matt had a rat in the house he lived in in college. He was going to the bathroom when he saw it! He put a bucket or something over it...not sure how the rest of the story goes down. Grosses me out!
We had about 10 worms lined up near our garage door the other day after all the rain--you know me and worms...ick!
How are we friends?! I'm so girly-girl. Anyway, I'm glad your house is now rat-free and I loved reading the story of how you trapped it! HA!

NLWilliams said...

rat trumps bat

Jennifer McHam said...

This is too too funny. I especially like how you spelled genitally (snickering like ten year old boy). When do i get to share a bottle(s) of wine with the crocker's??? I hear there are fewer rats here (but alas, more black widow spiders...). Perhaps meet somewhere safe in the middle of west Virginia somewhere...?

Sarah said...

Wow! I am freaking out just reading this! You are very brave. I would have been out of there with the girls in about 5 mins (if you don't believe me ask Kari about our night in college when she had field mice in the house).

Anyway, would love to know how you genitally reminded Matt, but on second thought, that might be more information than I really want to know.