Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh, Rats.

Many, many rats. Not mice. So we have, as readers of this blog may remember, had some rodent problems in the past. Recently (like a couple months ago) we started having them again, and then we plugged some holes in the house and set a few traps and we thought we were done. Then the scurrying in the walls started back up, then we started setting a trap again nightly, and in the past couple of weeks we have bagged about five or so. The b.h. has been good enough to dispose of the bodies, citing my vegetarianism as a reason why I should be exempt from the task. I chose not to argue.
Then, on Saturday, we both came home from work and were running around trying to get packed for a road trip to Murfreesboro. Our friend J was going to be coming over to dog and house sit, and we wanted to straighten up. The b.h. had forgotten to put up the trap, which was fine because it went off before we left, and he (rather than J) was able to deal with the corpse. As he was doing this, he heard a sound in the kitchen.
"There's a rat in the white thing," he said, referring to an English cabinet that we keep various food items and plastic wrap in.
"Okay, I'll deal with it."
"What are you going to do?"
I don't know. I guess I'll just try to trap him in a box or something and take him outside."
I peered into the cabinet. The section that the rat was in was the top portion, one that has two sliding panes of glass with two shelves inside. The rat appeared to be hiding behind a box of tea. He was very small, but I could see him clearly, and i wondered why he wasn't already gone since he could obviously see me. He was sitting in what appeared to be a pool of his own urine. It looked gross- really, really gross. And then I realized that it also looked voluminous. He couldn't have been there that long, I reasoned. We had been at work all day, but it's not like he would just stay in one place, right?
Then I noticed the honey bear. Perched on the second shelf, his right foot had been chewed through. There was only just a bit of honey left in the bottom, the rest having run out all down the top shelf and onto the bottom one. The bottom one where the rat was sitting, stuck in a quarter inch of honey.
Poor thing. I can imagine his thoughts as he broke through the plastic foot of the honey bear.
"Man, this is great! This is my best score yet! This shit is- oh motherfuck."
So I grabbed a pair of rubber gloves and a grocery bag and went to work. It was difficult to tell when I had my hands on him, since the gloves are for yard work and are quite thick. I had to be careful not to squish him but also not to free him to run back into the walls. Once I managed to get him (plus about a tablespoon or two of honey) into the grocery bag, I walked him out to the yard. I went around the pond and to the other side of the driveway before squatting down and peeling him out of the plastic bag. It took me several minutes. He was not happy. In addition to having to peel the bag off of him, I had to free his little arms, which were stuck to his body at an awkward angle. Once I managed that, I help my (gloved) hand open for about ten seconds before he dropped into the brush at my feet and ran off. He went about fifteen or twenty feet before disappearing completely from my view, in which time he was sufficiently camouflaged by bits of leaves and twigs, not unlike a soldier with jungle growth strapped to his helmet in a war movie. Somehow I don't think it will be enough to protect him (the b.h. pointed out that he was now simply candy-coated for the nearest stray cat), but at least his blood won't be on my hands.
Today we came home from work to find another one, roughly the same size, dead in the middle of the rug in the living room. The dogs had obviously caught it and played with it until it died and then got bored and left it there. After he cleaned it up, the b.h. went to shower before band practice. A moment later he came flying out of the bathroom in his boxer shorts.
"That was definitely not the last rat. There's one sitting on top of the toilet tank in there."
Since it was alive it was my job. I went in and trapped it in a cardboard box and walked it out ti the yard, freeing it where I had left its brother on Saturday. Was that the last one? Alas, I see Kilgore running back and forth to either end of the bookcase, so I guess not.


Z said...

That is the funniest mental image I've had for a long time. A rat stuck in a honey puddle. And then covered in twiggy camouflage. Poor little thing.

You seem to have quite unaggressive rats in Georgia. I'm not squeamish or timorous, but I don't think I'd pick up a wild rat, gloves or not. I'm afraid I'd plug it with the air rifle.

Three Legged Cat said...

I'm sure that when it's happening to you, a sugar coated rat is no joke.

When you're reading about it, it's hilarious! Thanks, that was a good way to end my day - although probably not yours.

heybartender said...

Z- feel free to bring your air rifle over and plug away. My Buddhist tendencies only go so far.This guy was so small that there was no way he was going to be able to bite through my rubber glove.

And 3LC- It was actually hilarious, even in the moment. A little gross, but hilarious nonetheless.