February 4, 2011

And you thought Ratatouille was cute...

So, I'm posting this information against my better judgment.  I really do clean... really.

Over the last few weeks, I've noticed small little noises when I'm reading in bed at night.  Scratching..... above me.... and very, very creepy.  Being an optimistic person, I figured it was some overly ambitious dust mites.

(Andrew's Note: How is that better??)

Then, Andrew decides to go into the kitchen early one morning to get some tea.  And is greeted by a disgusting rat.  Yes, a rat.  So gross!  

He/she looked nothing like this
Growing up in Malaysia had its perks, and animals were not one of them.  Rats were pretty common occurrences in houses, as people didn't have AC and the windows and doors were open all the time.  Snakes were common too, as evidenced by prayer time at church.  Typical American kids might pray for their sick dogs to get better. My friends and I prayed that we wouldn't find a snake in our toilet like Sarah did last night.  Not kidding.  Then there was the time that Dad and I were walking to school and couldn't get past one part of the road because there was an 18 foot long boa constrictor straddling the entire length of the road.  It really is amazing that I made it to 5th grade.

Anyway, back to the rat situation.  This one wasn't big, although Andrew would have you think it was gargantuan.  When I was a kid (another Malaysia story!), my mom caught a dachshund sized rat in a big cage trap.  How does one kill a rat after it has enjoyed a nice wedge of cheese, or curry in this case?  Well, my mom's method of choice was to stick the poor caged creature in the 100 degree 100% humidity sun and let it fry to death.  When I was five, Tommy (my boyfriend)  and I came upon the poor "little" guy and we took pity on it's sad affair.  We even brought it a cup of water and food....we were so proud of ourselves!  Mom came by late in the afternoon to dispose of a dead rat and found a very alive rat, she wasn't a happy camper.  And all that to say, that the rat in our kitchen was quite small, Won Ton could have handled it.  Andrew's a wuss.  (Andrew's Note: Ok, FIRST OF ALL - your little redheaded boyfriend was a wuss just on principle.  Also, I think everyone will agree that ANY rat is too big when it's pooping all over your house)
And now, I'm going to turn the battle of Redmons vs. Rats to the capable hands of my husband. 

I call this little incident "Ratgate 2011"The day before yesterday, the pest control people came out and sealed the house against invading rodents.  They told us we have a huge Roof Rat problem and, $400 later, we're now impervious to attack and most of the rats who were in the house left to get some food, so now they're sealed out and have to go to the neighbors'.  They left some traps in the attic to get any lallygaggers and suggested I leave one trap on the kitchen floor where I had actually seen one.  I left the trap out and...thus....Ratgate.

I walked into the kitchen the next morning to a scene of unimaginable carnage.  The trap was snapped but there was no rat.  There was, however, BLOOD EVERYWHERE.  Dripped all over the floor, splashed on the side of the oven, and smeared on the fridge.  I guess rats walk in a circle when they're injured...or maybe it's left side wasn't working because there was a perfect circle of nastly bloody tracks.  I took a picture so someone would believe me.
 So, rather than get ready for school or make breakfast, I bleached the floor, mopped the floor, and bleached the floor again, the whole time thinking about the outbreak of Bubonic Plague that was going to land our house on the news that night.  I finished cleaning up and Allison walked into the hallway and stopped....and said "Um...I think I found the rat".  It had run to our shoe pile by the door and was cowering in the corner, bleeding on Allison's shoes.  In my defense, it's quite difficult to see a rat who is hiding behind Ugg boots that look like rat fur :-)  Anyway, I put the dog gate between the shoe pile and the door and eventually got it outside.  I thought I had scared it away, but 5 minutes later Allison yelled from the garage "It's behind my tire!!!"  Soooo I went out, grabbed a shovel, and the battle began.  I've been told by several people "Why didn't you kill it in the first place??" but I don't work that way.....I'm an animal person, in fact I had a white rat as a pet once in college (Don't ask) (Allison's Note: Husband!  You had a rat????!!!).  The injured little rat was hiding in the corner of the garage and I just stood there, shovel raised, trying to get up the gumption to kill it (Meanwhile, I'm in the safety of my car yelling "Kill it!  Kill it!").  I finally worked up the nerve, closed my eyes, and jabbed.  I guess I should've kept my eyes open 'cause I kind of missed.  After chasing it around, I managed to hit it TWICE with the shovel and it finally dragged itself under a chest of drawers where I couldn't get to it.  I grabbed a big stick and was jamming it into the opening when I heard a HUGE wimper...if a rat could say "Please, I'm hurt and freezing and scared, leave me alone!", that would be it :-(  So that was it for me, I threw down the stick and went to get ready for school, feeling like a jerk for trying to kill it, for not putting it out of its misery, for starting the Bubonic Plague in Texas, and for being late for school.  

Needless to say, the dogs are pretty excited by the whole thing.  I finally let them out of their cage and they ran around sniffing for rats for hours.  

I'm still a little weirded out by all this, and I don't like going to that part of the kitchen any more, but we seem to be rat-free.  We used Home Team Pest Defense if you're interested...they did a good job so far, just think twice about the "Maybe just leave a trap on the kitchen floor tonight just in case" advice...


  1. This is tragically hilarious!

  2. Helen Fletiz2/5/11, 1:33 AM

    Poor little rat. Andrew, I'm with you on this. I wouldn't have been able to kill it either!

  3. OKay, I read most of this post. But I got the heebie jeebies and had to stop! The chalet we stayed in in Dec had a mouse. I hated being in the kitchen, esp in the spots I knew the mouse had been and we had seen it/them. Ewwww. Such a violation.

  4. i love rats.. <3