Sunday, August 5, 2018

Rattus Evicticus


It’s only 6:30 on a Sunday morning, a time I’m not usually around to see, but already it’s been a hectic two hours.

Winding back the clock a bit, we’ve recently returned from our usual summer camping trip. Except it wasn’t quite the usual as for the first time Megan wasn’t with us. She’s started work and decided to stay behind at home this year. Cue excuse for a party in our absence. Consider ourselves lucky to still have a house to come back to ...

While we were away she called to say she was sure Loki (an aptly named cat) had brought in a rat.

Alive.

She’d seen it that evening scuttling across the living room.

OK. Not a lot we can do about that, and we heard nothing more about it.

Yesterday morning I got up to find droppings on the countertop and around the sink. Yes, Watson, we do have a rodent problem. Yesterday evening, about to get ready for bed, Luna (another cat, and just as dippy as Loki) was very interested in something behind the television stand. Ali spotted a pair of eyes peering out at her. Sighting confirmed, the rat zipped out from behind the stand and along the fireplace.

After lots of moving furniture and pictures around, but no further sightings, we retire.

Four o’clock.

A cat is stalking across the bed, waking me up. I hear nothing, but on a hunch switch on the light to find Luna peering down behind my nightstand. Pull nightstand away to see rat huddling down in the gap.

Let the fun begin!

Quick search for rat-trapping implements ... sticks, pokers, fishing nets, wellington boot ... OK, never tried that with a rat before, but we’ve had repeated success putting a wellington boot on its side for mice to scuttle into when we flush them out of hiding.

But ratty was having none of the boot. Despite my best efforts to coax him in that direction he squeezed the other way and under the bed. A second later there was a scrabbling streak of grey along the ledge that runs the far side of the room towards the back slider.

There followed a fruitless half hour search around the furniture and curtains at that end of the room, but he’d gone to ground again.

Back to restless sleep, then cue a repeat performance. Cats going mental by my nightstand. Lights on. Yes, he’s there again. Out from the nightstand, under Ali’s dresser. Flush out from there, under the couch. We open the slider wide hoping to chase him out the house. The cats are not helping at this point, scaring him back into the room rather than out, so they get shut away. Couch to nightstand to dresser again, then into the far corner by my chest of drawers via Ali’s foot and the front of my dressing gown. Damn, but he’s fast!

A lot of shifting things around and removing clutter from the floor, we try to give him a clear run to the door. Flush him out again and he runs to the open door ... and up the curtains! He’s now on top of the curtain pole at one end. I grab a stick and twice head him off from running along the pole back to the ledge, while Ali tries to knock him off his perch. Finally he jumps down and out the back door!

Whew!

Way too late to go back to bed. Time for a cup of tea, and hope he doesn’t find his way back in!



9 comments:

  1. Hi Ian - I sure hope that's the last of him and his kind in your house ... they 'ain't' funny. Glad you got him ... and at least it's summer so you weren't scrabbling around in the dark. Well this will mean a glazed eye Sunday ... relaxing and doing odds and ends, rather than perhaps some more concentrating work you might have been thinking about doing. Glad Megan was able to have a happy time while you were away! Hope the holiday was a good one - relaxing in the heat etc ... cheers Hilary

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  2. Well, that was quite the adventure! He did not want to leave. And you need to fire those cats for not doing their job.

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  3. Hilary, I hope that's the last we see of him, too. Having a rat scampering around the place is no fun!

    Alex, I think the cats will argue their job description includes looking cute and cuddly, sleeping a lot, and says nothing about catching rats other than to bring in as presents :)

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  4. Hi Ian - I know about rats and a variety of other things ... so I sincerely hope Rattus is Evicticused forever! Perhaps curtain pole hopping at 4.30 am to escape from some being with two legs - has him worrying enough to find a new home!! Cheers Hilary

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  5. Rats can be surprisingly smart and resourceful. If you got him (her?) out the door that easily, ya done good.

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  6. Susan, I wouldn't call it easy, but I am amazed (and relieved) that it didn't simply vanish into the woodwork to haunt us another day, like rodents seem able to do.

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  7. Ugh. We had one house in upstate NY that was infested with mice when we moved in. Thankfully they weren't as smart as NYC mice/rats and were all captured or dead within a month.

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  8. Crystal, you'd think our cats would keep them away, but no. It's unusual to get them actually in the house (unless brought in by a cat) but it's never a surprise to disturb the occasional rat somewhere in the yard, usually nesting in a heap of compost or something.

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  9. Sounds like a nightmare to me. Like you, I wouldn't have been able to sleep properly until that things was out of the house. Glad you finally managed it!

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