I had a little rat incident the other night. It could have been a big and rather devastating rat incident except for two things: 1) I was up late that night to notice it, and 2) I’m braver than I used to be.
We have not experienced any rat problems for awhile. Probably a couple months. We found the hole the rats had been coming in previously and blocked it up. I have truly given no thought to rats in ages.
On Friday evening my conversation partner came by to drop off a cake that she had made for the celebration lunch I was hosting for my team on Saturday. The cake was beautifully decorated on a foil-wrapped board. A foil-wrapped board which was too big to fit in the refrigerator. Worried about ants getting into it on the counter, we placed it on top of the fridge and put a plastic washbin over it. Sonia told me to put something heavy on top of that but then asked, “But do you still have rats?” I told her not anymore, so we decided I didn’t need to put something heavy after all.
Later on that night, I was going into the bathroom and thought I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a rat run past my foot in the hallway. But it was so quiet, and I hadn’t seen it clearly enough, so I decided it must have just been a shadow and that I was just paranoid about something happening to the cake. After all, we hadn’t had rats in weeks and weeks, so why would one happen to show up the one night that Sonia had asked about rats?
I putzed around getting ready for bed and didn’t actually get in bed till much later than I had planned. As I was settling in, I heard a plastic bag rustling in the kitchen, which I wouldn’t have heard had I already been asleep. Uh-UH!, I thought. I listened some more and then was convinced it was a rat in there. It was in the trash, but I knew once it had thoroughly gone through that, it would next be up on the fridge. (Have I mentioned that I just watched Ratatouille for the first time last week? I still don’t like rats, especially ones that have parties in my garbage and use my cupboards as toilets, and especially when my housemate is gone, and I have to deal with it myself.)
I made as much noise as I could heading into the kitchen. The problem is, if I startled it too much, it would come running out of the kitchen door that I was heading into. I am braver now than I was a few months ago, but not brave enough to handle a rat running over my bare feet. I managed to get into the kitchen with no incident, banging cupboard doors with a mop. I realized the rat was cowering under the oven, so I banged on that a couple times then watched it race across the floor, behind the fridge and then out the kitchen door. Because I’ve frightened a rat before from behind the fridge, I knew it was running down the hallway, into the guestroom, and out the hole in the broken AC (assuming it had unblocked the hole from before). I closed the kitchen door, set a glue trap outside, and went to bed.
Sadly no rat in the glue trap in the morning, although I’m still not sure I’m brave enough to dispose of a squirming, squeaking rat stuck to cardboard. And sure enough, the hole in the AC was unblocked. That is now blocked again, hopefully more secure than before.
And the cake was just fine. No ants, no rat nibbles.