Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh! Rats!

While Ali and Matthew are off at Scout camp this weekend, Megan and I thought we'd make use of a sunny afternoon to get the Christmas lights up on the house. It would be a surprise for them when they got back tomorrow.

Started hauling out boxes of decorations from the shelf in the garage where they've been stashed all year.

What's this? I don't remember that box having a hole in it.

Pulled a bit more, and found another hole and lots of shredded cardboard.

Then Megan shrieked as something scampered out from the box and darted off to a corner of the garage.

A rat had made a nest in our Christmas decorations.

So, before we even started we had to haul out and inspect all the extension cords and strings of lights for damage. He'd completely demolished a box of spare bulbs. He'd chewed through a few cords. We patched up a few more with duct tape where it was just a bit of insulation scraped away. Our lovely Christmas tree made from a spiral of lights was ruined.

We put up the rest. No lousy rat is going to get in the way of decorating!

I think we'll manage for this year, but I guess we'll have to budget for some new decorations next year.


  1. Give me possums any day!
    My Christmas decorations are still in the cupboard. I totally intend to get to them before Christmas...famous last words?

  2. :)))That was a lovely post. In spite of all the adversities you managed to do a great job with the decorations. I must confess I would have enjoyed a photo with you on the ladder :). Kisses and congrats.

  3. We usually see a field mouse in the house at this time of year when the temperature drops. Mrs Bazza is very brave and chases the mouse into the garden with a broom stick!
    I often find that Xmas lights never work properly for two years in a row anyway.
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  4. And that's saying something, Jen! Our indoor decorations got hauled out of the cupboard on Dec 1 when the kids decorated their tree before school! The outdoor lights live in the garage. Do you decorate outside Down Under? A few people did back in Britain, but it's really big here.

    Unikorna, seeing me up a ladder? You are a glutton for punishment :) Yeah, this discovery was a bit of a shocker, but we managed in the end.

    Bazza, we get them sometimes too. Easiest way to catch them is to lay down an old wellington boot or similar nearby. They can be easily chased into the dark "safety" and then you have them. We take them outside and shake them out a safe distance from the house.

    I'm still puzzled how a rat can make such a comfortable home around here with six cats prowling around.

  5. Your house looks great, rat or no rat! :)I've thought about getting the Christmas decorations out, but that's as far as I've gotten.

  6. Ahh rats! They do have a way of making a mess. I don't know if they love Christmas or just the boxes, but they mostly got into our Christmas decorations too. They seemed to really like the yummy smelling candle. Your house looks great though, despite the little buggers. :)

  7. Lindsey, it was a rather spur-of-the-moment thing, when I realised I had time to kill on a bright afternoon, and we're not going to have much time next weekend.

    Candles, Heather? That kinda makes sense. We don't keep candles in those boxes but they seem to have quite a taste for electrical insulation.

  8. Wow, looks awesome.
    We don't put up decorations here (and by we I mean me and my family), but I do plan on getting the Christmas tree out tomorrow and decorating it (here, at my home in Bucharest - the real Christmas tree will be decorated at home on the 24th)

  9. Hi again! A few people go in for outside decorations here, but I' not one of them. It seems sort of pointless given that this is cyclone season and you'd have to pull them down again if we get one - or pick them up from the next suburb over! But my house is an old workers' cottages with a latticed veranda, so the whole neighbourhood can see my tree and lights anyway.
    Merry Christmas!

  10. Ugh! The good news is your house looks amazing all lit up, so take that, nasty rodents! This is the year we're going to invest in plastic bins for storing our Christmas stuff -- 'cause this very thing could have happened to us.

    Thanks for the follow on my blog! Looking forward to more of your posts!

  11. Nice house, Ian! I think this might be the first time I've seen a pic of it on this blog. Usually you're pointing the camera the other way. :)

    Here in the States stringing up Christmas lights on the outside of houses is HUGE! It's almost an event in and of itself, with families taking viewing tours of neighborhoods and voting on who has the best display up. My own family used to pile in the car on Christmas eve and do this back in the day when I was little. I myself have very little interest in decorating for the holidays nowadays, but as a kid I did enjoy it.

    You should bring the cats into the garage and give them the scent of that nasty rodent. This way it'll keep them primed for her return . . .

  12. Indeed and a Canadian rat, eh! And no, that's not a reference to Steven Harper :)
    I note you are getting into the North American spirit of adorning your house with twinkly Christmas lights. It can get quite competitive
    Take good care Ian and many thanks for your kind comment on my latest posting.
    Gary, eh :)

  13. Steph, I will expect pictures on your blog :)

    Jen, I don't blame you, cyclones do not sound fun. We're lucky to have such benign conditions in this part of the world.

    Nicole, some stout storage bins sound like a good idea. Glad you managed to find me. Between Blogger and DISQUS I was having a bad time of it last night.

    David, they go in for lights in a big way here too. We do the neighbourhood tours too, they are so spectacular. Don't know what use the cats are, they already have access to the garage through the back door and Mr. Rat still managed to make himself at home.

    Gary, so good to see you out & about on the blogosphere again. No, I was not making any reference to politicians, living or undead.

  14. Evil, evil bah-humbug rats! Your house looks very festive despite the losses. :)

  15. Aww, sorry to hear about that nasty rat messing with your tree...but the rest of the lights look very pretty. :)

  16. Jean and Laila, evil rat-type humbugs indeed. But the house does look pretty.

  17. Ack! I can't stand the idea of rats!! We have mice which are bad enough but when even rats in cages give me the heeby jeebies. I guess I read too many books as a kid where Rats were bad (Rats of Nimh, Charlotte's Web) meanwhile mice are usually cute and friendly (Mickey Mouse, Mrs Frisby, Ralph S. Mouse). Bummer that they got into your decorations.

  18. Danette, unfortunately rats are with us no matter where we are in the world. They aren't always portrayed as bad, though. I thought Templeton in Charlotte's Web was one of the good guys, if rather lazy.


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