Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What a Difference Two Years Makes!

Two years ago, for Halloween, I decorated with these Martha Stewart cut outs--


Now, of course, I don't need Martha--thanks to Stitch, we have the real thing.

Yes, one or two of you may have been wondering about our little mouse big rat, so I thought I'd let you know it's alive and well. These days, we seem to have close encounters of the rodent kind just about every couple of days.

The other day, I went to get something out of our hall pantry and saw movement; when I moved a box full of candles, it was heavier than it should have been, and . . . you guessed it! A rat jumped out and fled down the hall, with our older cat Spike in hot pursuit! Spike chased it into the bathroom, and when I caught up, Spike was peering behind the toilet, so of course I closed the door and stuffed things along the crack so no one and nothing could get out. I figured they could both stay locked in the bathroom until one was dead--after all, we DO have two bathrooms, so the standoff could go on indefinitely. In the meantime, I tracked Stitch down--he was catting around outside--and carried him in the house. Cracking open the bathroom door, I shoved him in too--now the odds were in our favor, right?

Silence reigned in the house for the next half hour or so, until I couldn't resist any longer--I cracked open the bathroom door and looked in. Both cats were bored to death and wanted out. No sign of the rat. No rat carnage. No blood, no rat hair. Darn!

When I got out my Halloween/fall candles a day or two later, I realized why the rat had been in the box--it had EATEN MY CANDLES! Out of a box of about 10 to 15 candles of every variety, I don't think any escaped having a rat tooth mark or two, and most were so completely consumed they had to be thrown out. Thinking I was being clever, though, I "baited" the box with a couple gnawed candles and a spring trap and put it back on the shelf. Several days later--and nothing still.

Hubby saw the rat the other day. First he heard it and then he saw it scurry under the drawers in the kitchen. When he was sitting in his recliner a little while later with Spike in his lap, the rat ran into the living room, paused, and sat up to look at Hubby, taunting him and the cat. Of course, Hubby's not fast enough and the cat didn't really care, so the rat turned around and high tailed it back to the kitchen, daring anyone to follow.

More recently, when I was feeding the cats the other morning, I again saw movement in the hall pantry. Movement with a long, thin tail. Spike and Stitch came wandering up to see why I was taking so long getting their food, so I shoved them both into the closet and shut the door. Let them get their own food! Surely two cats shut into a closet with a rat would do SOMETHING! Nope. When I checked on them a little while later, the cats were waiting to be let out of the closet to eat and the rat was nowhere to be seen. I grabbed my Swiffer duster, extended it as far as it would go, and poked around a bit, while the cats stood by their food bowl in the kitchen and watched. Suddenly, movement! The rat jumped down from the shelf and ran past me down the hall. I turned to the cats and demanded they give pursuit, but again, they were uninterested in anything but me filling their food bowls. Sheesh!

Yes, we have traps. Sticky traps by the thousands and spring traps by the hundreds. In all sizes. As the rat grew, we bought new and larger traps. We've tried all types of bait. We have two completely useless cats. I'm not sure what's next, but I'm kind of resigned to considering the rat a Halloween decoration for now. And if those darn cats didn't make for good Halloween decorations too, they'd be out on the street by now, holding signs proclaiming their homelessness and begging for change.

22 comments:

Lorraine said...

Eeeeeeeeeeeeuw! I hate rats! ...and your cats are being less than helpful...unless of course you call bringing in the rat in the first place "helpful"! Good luck....does it not eat rat bait?

word verification:carmousu...is that like Tiramisu ??

Beth said...

Ick! Maybe it's time to hire an exterminator...I couldn't sleep at night myself.

Kim said...

OMG! I would have moved out by now! Quit feeding those darn cats and maybe they'll be hungry enough to look for their own food!!

Shelley said...

Rats are intelligent, probably smarter than your cats, sorry to say, the evidence speaks for itself LOL! He probably cut a deal with the cats and now they're all laughing behind your back....call the exterminator..yeah, that's what I'd do :)

Yvonne said...

Have you considered just making him a pet.....he's been living with you for quite a while.......yuck!!!!!!!

Winona said...

LOL Kim I am so sorry, but you gave me a good laugh this morning. I know you do not find this funny, but if you don't have a rat and two useless cats in your house and read this story, it is funny. LOL Hope you catch the critter soon. He has lived with you for quite some time now. Time for him/her to be gone. Good luck. Winona

Lady of the Cloth said...

I need to loan Heidi to you, she brings mice,snakes, you name it in daily through the dog door to show us. Most of the time they are already dead, but, their have been times where I have resorted to "Mice Hockey" though. That's chasing through the house with a broom to kill it myself. We live where there is a field behind us, so lots of small game for her. I hate it too, but HRH thinks it's funny.

andsewon said...

Okay let us hope your mouse grown into a rat is not a she and will leave any small ones behind!!! We have had a couple smart ones as well darn 'em! I have put down some poison though for the ones who get in and refuse to be trapped in any way!Sorry my love of animals stops with rodents!

Good luck!
Lola

Wendy said...

Eeeek...I don't like rats. Maybe a barn cat would be more helpful.

Brandie said...

Oh Kim, I feel for you! That sounds terrible! Just knowing that they exist, is enough for me. I've been cleaning out my shed, where those little buggers have lived and I hate every minute of it! I haven't seen or heard any live ones, but reading your story about it being in a box you were holding, gives me the chills!

Judy in Michigan said...

I think an ad in the local paper asking for a "ratter" cat...of maybe there is a listing "Cat for Hire"??? The rat must have little hidey holes that the cats can't get into so they have decided not to get too excited about the intruder! Good luck with this.

Jan said...

OMG, please forgive me, but this situation is hysterical. Of course, that's easy for me to say since that little monster is at your house and not mine!!! You my dear are handling it quite well I might add ... I would be a maniac. Either me or the rat would have to leave. I can't stand those little critters ... perhaps it's time for a third cat!!!!!!! Good luck :)

Jen in NY said...

Oh my Lord Kim, I don't know how you can sleep at night! I love the humor you find in this situation though. Maybe the cats have just decided he's a fellow pet? Call an exterminator...please! I'll feel better! LOL

PunkiePie said...

Wow. Your felines sure don't care for the rat, do they?? Send them to my house for some rat boot camp training. Our 2 cats will whip them into rat chasing (and catching) shape!

Anonymous said...

We had a little brown mouse in the kitchen. My husband said "where there's one, there's more." I was sure he was wrong. Well, we caught one and reset the trap. Unfortunately the type of trap I got doesn't kill them right away. We trapped another and I let it go outside. It scurried away. Well the dogs were outside and they caught it and killed it. I felt bad. We've caught 6 now! My husband now says the same ones are coming back in to eat the dog food and then I let them outside. I put steel wool around the hole where the dishwasher lines are, and we haven't seen any more. The traps are still set with peanut butter, but we haven't had anymore. Thank goodness.
Chris

Anonymous said...

Do you want to borrow my hunter? She'll take care of that rat in no time.
What about the drooling dog, put him to work.
Your sis-in-law.

AnnieO said...

Laughing a lot over here, far away from rats and cats and what's thats...Hope you catch the varmint soon. He's obviously quite comfortable and knows his way around well, LOL!

quiltmom said...

Ohhhh rats--- I know about a cat who is a useless mouser- Mars thinks that mice are her toys to play with but she never manages to kill the things-
We have had them a couple of times in our house and we have ended up calling the exterminator- it was the only way to get rid of them...
Hope that you soon are no longer says " Rats"
Regards,
Anna

Sharon said...

I think you need to borrow a nice little rat terrier! I'd be worried about my fabric - or maybe it's just mice who would use it for nesting material. Yikes! Time for that intruder to be gone!!!

Janet said...

Kim,

we had a similar problem. When you position the trap make sure it is perpendicular to the wall and touches the wall as well. Rodents run only along the baseboards and won't willingly cross open spaces. Also put a piece of newspaper under the trap, it makes clean up easier. I know, gross!!!

Good Luck

Gran - Knot-y Embroidery Lady said...

LOL at the difference two years makes ... Good Luck!
Janet sure has some good info. - that's a Canadian for you, eh!?

Patty Nordahl said...

Have you slept at all? I know I wouldn't. Definitely time for "RATBUSTERS INC". Or you could try a little pre-halloween party for four or five 10 yr old boy's - The King of The Ratcatcher's gets the prize. Other than that the only answer is move in with Gran.