The Year of the Horse, The Week of the Rat


Tree Rat

Tree rat

You know where this is going, don’t you?

The Year of the Horse was officially under way last Friday, but the week of the rat kept me occupied.

Last week my neighbor called and asked for a favor.  Would I please come over and help her catch a live rat, set loose in the house by one of her cats.

I’m a bit of an expert. I live with Lindy the Gentle Hunter. Lindy brings live, unharmed rats into the house and sets them loose.  Since they’re not presented in typical cat-sharing fashion (i.e. dead at your feet) I can only assume she’s invited them in as roommates.  The first rat hung out under the TV cabinet for a while. My sweet kitty set another one loose in the den, a third in my son’s room and one day I discovered a rat hanging upside down from the dining room table.

I’m not afraid of rats, per se.  I just don’t want them running around inside my  house.  Further, a frightened animal of any stripe has sharp teeth and incentive to use them.  So, out they go.

Like Lindy, I too am a gentle hunter.  It took an hour to liberate the first rat, after chasing it down the hall, into and out of the sealed back of our refrigerator, under some shelves, etc. It’s a wonder the poor little thing didn’t die from a stroke.  In the end I formed a ‘bowling alley’ of sorts, using a rolled up rug and a few other household items.  The rat had nowhere to go but out.  I can still picture him flying out the back door in the wee hours of the morning.  My skills improved over time and common sense finally came knocking on my door.  Rats are nocturnal.  Head slap!  We started closing the cat-flap in the laundry room at dusk and guess what? Not a single new roommate since.

I digress.

When my neighbor called, I sprung into action. Using a few gym mats, some building block toys and a few other items, I was able to show the rat the door in 15 minutes.

Also last week, I discovered rat droppings in our garage at the top of a cabinet.  I have no idea what a rat would be doing up there: no food, no shelter, but I need to don a mask and take care of that as well.

Sunday morning I woke to rain, glorious rain. I headed outside for  fresh air and some pictures when I spotted a…white rat…in the Magnolia.

ghostly rat

Ghostly rat

I don’t believe in ghosts, but this one gave me pause.  I did what any other blogger would do: I snapped pictures.  It wasn’t moving, so emboldened, I got closer.

white rat

Getting closer…

Still not moving.  Weird.

halloween webbing

White rat??? Nope

I had a good laugh once I realized what it was, and had some fun with my family, too.  It was a ghost of a sort…the ghost of last year’s Halloween decorations, still stuck in the tree.

Happy Year of the Horse.

26 thoughts on “The Year of the Horse, The Week of the Rat

  1. Ha! Hilarious ending to your story, this is what happens when you deal to rats, they haunt you! I admire your coolness and care towards them – they are not a creature I feel kindly towards and all my good intentions for the welfare of all natures creatures goes flying out the nearest open window when faced with a rat! It could be because I once had one run up my bare leg, or it might be the time the older cat brought one in to teach the younger cat the finer points of hunting – he promptly lost it and the rat was found that evening in my bed as I settled in for my nightly snooze ………. I still shudder at the memory!!

    You are a saint!! My hat is off to you :-)

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    • Oh my goodness you poor dear. I can’t imagine a rat running up my leg, and worse finding one in my bed. Eeek!!!

      The cats are only doing there job, I know. I just wish they would do it elsewhere.

      I hope you’ve seen the last of the rats. You’ve had a lifetimes share of rat-trauma.

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  2. Oh Alys, what a tale you can tell! I remember trying to catch a rat that somehow came out of the attic into the bedroom. My husband tried to catch it but it kept running up the walls. Scared the water out of me. But the albino, ghost rat was just too funny. I’ll be giggling in my sleep again. Why do I read these things at night????? Hugs and happy hunting. MH

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  3. LOL, I bet you we laughing like mad. I was looking at your first white rat photo thinking, “geez, I don’t know, he looks pretty cute”. So funny how that did look just like a white rat :D

    I’m so glad you were able to help your neighbour. I wouldn’t have wanted to hurt it either. They’re not really too bad looking when they’re outside. I can’t believe I didn’t see one either time I was there, they must be very illusive.

    I love that Lindy is so gentle too, such a sweetie pie. They always think they’re doing something so good and helpful you really can’t get annoyed. We’ll have to have a little safari in the garden next time so I can see my very first rat. HA, I’d probably sketch like crazy :D

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  4. Oh my goodness I couldn’t cope with a rat in my house! :)
    I had a houseshare once that used to get invaded by mice every autumn when the weather got colder. Thankfully that doesn’t happen here! :)

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  5. Oh my gosh this post made me chuckle! I can almost visualize you “gentle hunting” those rats right out of the house. The image of the rat hanging upside down in the dining room table had me smiling.
    Why do I smile? Because the unwelcome critters in my home have been snakes and I’ve engaged in laughable behavior trying to get them out of the house.
    Like your cat flap, the entry for snakes in my home was the dryer vent and once my “snake expert” guy determined that and we fixed it, I’ve had no more snakes (fingers crossed!!!).
    Love the white rat photo :-)

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    • Wow! Snakes in the house would surely be my undoing. I would move to a hotel for the night! I guess you get used to it, as we are used to the rats. I’m glad you figured out the entry and were able to close it off. How big are the snakes, dare I ask? Where to they like to hang out in your house?

      I’m glad this post made you chuckle!

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  6. That is so funny! I was wondering for a moment how common white rats where in your area!! It is so great you had some fun with your family too, was anyone a non-believer when they first saw it? At my home in Canada there is big hairy rubber tarantula from halloweens past (way past!) and his location has slowly been moving around the house and yard for 27 years now. Every time I see him I still get a jolt of sheer terror… he was hiding in the rose bush last summer when I went to snap a photo of all the big beautiful pink flowers.

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    • I *love* that you have a traveling rubber tarantula. I can totally see why you would jump, too. We have various spiders at Halloween, and they get me every single time, even the cheap little plastic spider rings.

      My family heard me talking about the white rate and wanted to see the photos I took. I let them scroll through the camera in the order of posts here. They fell for it too. It looks so convincing with “ears” and rounded back and it’s even the right size. Fun!

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