On top of everything else we’ve had to deal with lately—there’s more, there always is, and lately a LOT more—we’ve had a rat living behind our dishwasher for the past three months. We’re not entirely sure how it got there—it didn’t come through the attic and down the wall. We strongly suspect it was one brought in by our cats to play with, because they’re both strong hunters but only one knows what to do with prey once it’s caught, and he only goes after smaller mice and lizards. Sheffield is the bigger, better hunter, but he hasn’t a clue what to do after catching prey because, to him, everything is a cat toy, so he brings them in to have some fun. So far we’ve removed three chipmunks, a mouse, and a cardinal from the house, but this one eluded us. This wouldn’t have happened in the old days with the late lamented Valentine. He was a killer. If he caught something, he ate it, and at most we—by which I mean me–would now and again be called upon to clean up the crime scene, but never to capture something he had decided to let go. Valentine wasn’t into catch and release.
I grew up in a small town and lived mostly in old drafty Victorian-era houses. Now and again we had to deal with rats and mice. It came with the territory. There wasn’t a great deal to it—bait a snap-trap, every now and then check and remove the bodies. Reset. Repeat. This rat wasn’t playing. Continue reading