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.