Warning: parts of this blog post may be graphic to some people.
So we had a rat. This smart little bastard was so big, no mouse trap could hold it. I found hairs in the triggered mouse traps, so I know they did their job, he was just too big for them.
Just to give you a sense of proportion, I noticed one morning that I went from 3 sweet potatoes to 2. I shrugged it off, but when I went down to 1 and no one fessed up to eating said sweet potato, giving it to the guinea pigs, and there were no trimmings in the trash, I went searching for those sweet potatoes. I found them...or some of them anyway. One had been dragged all the way across the kitchen close to the fridge and halfway gnawed. The second had been dragged across the kitchen and UP a four inch ledge underneath the sink. Yeah. This rat was big.
I retrieved the one real rat trap we had. One of those wooden affairs that you take your life in your hands to set. With my husband's help, we set it up with a smear of cake and icing for bait under the sink. I also retrieved a live trap meant for small animals a little bigger than a rat and baiting it with a pizza roll I left it across the entryway to a hole we knew mice had used. I wanted to catch this thing alive or dead.
I could almost HEAR the rat laughing at us. It avoided everything after that. Mice traps, rat traps, everything. It disappeared like magic into spaces we couldn't even find a crack. But then, it began to make mistakes. It was "seen." Now many people are familiar with John Peterson's children's books, "The littles" that are about little people who live in the walls of houses. Their overriding fear was being "seen" by humans. The same usually goes for rodents. Above all, don't be "seen." But for some reason the rat marched behind our bed one night, across my son's room another night, and then in a fit of sheer gall, across the kitchen in full daylight. TWICE. IN ONE HOUR. It could have been because it began to feel superior, or just that it was really really hungry, but I didn't care. The second time it did it, I declared war. I screamed ferociously and brandished a kitchen knife at the hole where the rat disappeared into. My husband thought I had gone nuts and encouraged me to "calm down a little."
I told him that you have to declare your intentions, put the rat off its game, but he didn't understand. Then the rat finally made its last and final mistake. It decided to investigate the original rat trap with the cake and icing smear. In the middle of the day.
I heard the snap and I have to admit, my heart fell a little. I really don't LIKE killing anything, even if it invades my home. I hate fumigating every six months because I don't like killing insects. I do understand, however, that invaders are just that and wishing won't get rid of them. I found that the rat had been caught by its snout. Stupid rat. You almost got away. I also understand a responsible human doesn't allow an invader to suffer, so I asked for a knife, told my husband he probably didn't want to watch, and made sure the rat was put out of the obvious misery it was in.
I am still happy this morning, because I don't have to be tense, wondering if the rat is going to pull out my hair, bite my son, or steal/ruin more produce. To every life that affects me, I say Good Night, and so I say this very thing to that enemy, the invader of my home.
Goodnight ... little f*&#'r.