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.