Thursday, October 4, 2012


"I caught the mother tonight."

This sentence does not work for me in any scenario.

In this case, it was my husband telling me that he had dismissed an unwanted house guest from the basement.  It has taken me a little while to write about this, because I am still traumatized.  First of all, I wasn't aware that we had a rat community in the house - I thought it was just one stray critter.  Second of all, I had a face-to-face with what apparently was the "small one," and I am still dealing with it.

It started with a typical day in my life.  I walked into my pantry to get something, and found some soft black beans on a shelf.  "What are these?" I asked out loud.  But I knew.  I knew what they were but thought if I asked the question, God would give me a different answer.

Later that day, my son came up to me with a "I'mnotsupposedtotellyouthis" look, and said, "We have a rat."

Yes, I knew.

And I assumed that my husband would handle it.

The next morning, as I approached the pantry, I saw a note on the door:


After a brief pause to digest this missive, I calmly turned around and went back to bed.  When my husband got home that night, I asked him what the "maybe" meant.  "Well," he said, "it was in there when I closed the door, but there may be a hole it's coming in and out of."

Sure, that makes sense.  Now go get a @#$!&*<?:} trap and handle it, my love.

Another day passed.  Beneath the pantry door, wood dust and scratch marks began to appear.  The children were getting hungry.  Neighbors were questioning me at the bus stop.  I started calculating all the food I was going to have to throw out and how long it would take to burn down the room and rebuild it.  And then I hit my breaking point.

One night, my son busted his finger at football practice and needed ice. I walked downstairs to the pantry to get an ice pack, totally forgetting that that room didn't belong to me anymore.  I opened the door, turned on the light, and came face-to-face with this:

Apparently, "The Secret of Nimh" had taken up residence in my closet.  

The bulbous creature had a long, winding tail that flicked fire when it saw me, as it slithered up the wall like a snake.  It had red, beady eyes that emitted evil, and I could feel its devil curse upon me.  

I returned upstairs without the ice pack.

Me: "If you want the ice pack, you'll need to get it yourself."
Him: "What happened?  Why did you scream?"
Me: "I met the rat."
Him: Ha ha hee hee.
Me: "You need to take care of that immediately."
Him: "I know Hon."
Me: "No.  I'm not kidding.  Handle. It. Now.  Or else I'm not going to live here anymore."
Him: "Gotcha."

The next day a cage appeared, and it seemed that progress was made.  The pantry was sanitized and food disposed of without another word. And then I got the news from my husband, "I caught the mother tonight."

I slowly began the process of recovery.  But I believe the animal kingdom is not pleased.  Since this event, I have made contact with a roach on top of my kitchen trashcan, and a Biblical swarm of gnats on the football field.  I am not sure how to do penance, but I am starting with a cleaning crew.

Until next time, keep crowin' and don't eat the soft beans!

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