A Rat With a Ph.D.

You thought I was joking, didn’t you? How else can I explain the clever kitchen rat that continues to elude capture?

Two weeks ago today we realized that a cat named Mouse gifted our abode with a living rat. The irony! Mouse likes bringing us unharmed critters from the garden, including lizards and (gulp) rodents. Not only did the rat move in, he broke the dishwasher by chewing through the cord.

gnashing of teeth

Gnashing of teeth

Our earnest attempts at a humane, home-made trap failed. After a bit of research I found a no-kill trap that would do the job, but had to order it online from the store. That turned into a debacle and if interested,  you can read about it on my post titled Unwanted Gifts, Ahead by a Whisker.  After hours of credit-card, customer service, no-one-answers-the-phone-anymore-hell, I gave up and ordered from another online vendor.

Meanwhile, I called a couple of repair places to no avail.

When my live-in handyman finally returned from an eight-day trip to Argentina and said he could fix it, no problem. One visit to the hardware store and an $8 part later and we were back in business. Mike pulled the dishwasher away from the wall and found the beginnings of a nest but no rat. Further assessment of the cord proved once again that the rat has a Ph.D. He chewed through the ground wire and not the hot wire, which would have led to instant death.

The following Monday, my extra-small, Havahart humane trap arrived in the mail. The box looked battered and bruised, but the trap was in good working order. We set it up that night.

Ha! That’s probably what the rat sounded like when he scoffed at the trap. I’m not falling for that.

And he didn’t.

Night after night, we re-bated the trap with delicious pecans, pecans with peanut butter, peanut butter and pear and, the trap remain untouched.  No signs of droppings either. Then we heard him again, chewing under one of the cabinets near the sink.  I pressed  my ear to the cabinet, straining to hear where the chewing sound was coming from. I opened one of the drawers and then the cabinet, fully expecting an encounter. Nothing.

Exasperated, I set the trap aside for a few days, and went back to putting peanut butter and fruit on a pie tin under the sink.

Oh sure, that he ate! I found cute little teeth marks in the side of a chunk of peanut butter. Sigh.

If you’re looking for a motivational speaker for your next event, our resident rat can share a thing or two about tenacity and spunk. He’s* eluded the jaws of a cat, several humane traps and the temporary relocation of his dishwasher condo.

Check out this link and accompanying video: Rats are Smarter Than you Think.

*Note: I don’t know if the kitchen rat is a he or a she. I prefer to think it’s a he and not a mama about to have babies.

Tree Rat

Mouse or rat one summer in our orange tree


tree rat at birdfeeder

Tree rat snacking at the bird feeder once upon a time


15 thoughts on “A Rat With a Ph.D.

  1. Oh, Imagine if it’s a girl! The condo would become a ghetto in short order with generations living on different levels and the cost in peanut butter alone will bankrupt you! Sell up now and move to Argentina – or somewhere where they can never find you. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And so far no new interest in the wires??? Oh Alys, I hope your unwanted visitor will leave soon! In Canada we had an ermine living in the house each winter…also a very smart little de…. Lived there for 4 winters and never been able to catch him, despite all life traps imaginable! He did not bite on electric wires or leave odors etc behind but kept us awake ,more than once with midnight parties! We sold that house during spring..he had already left by that time again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh boy, I mean rat! We have never had to deal with these critters indoors, only outside, but I think they were stopping by to eat the birdseed. I hope the rat is a male, but then again, he could bring back a female to your pad and make some babies…better set out a few condoms! LOL


  4. Get that mouse and agent. One named Mickey made millions. That Mike of yours is a magician. replacing cording, just like that! Too bad they’re so big and messy cause they’re kind of cute. I wonder if they’re sensitive to the conductivity of the power? Can you imagine if one died under the counter? Eeeeeek, that might stink. So let me get this straight. This week so far, downpours, zinged by electricity, spiders in the boudoir, rat’s in the kitchen and mmmmm, what else could be amuck? I wish there were little sleeping pills you could put in a snack.Then once asleep, you could vacate his butt right out the door. Good luck sweetie!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rat has Left the Building | Gardening Nirvana

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