Rat Patrol Part II, The Rat In The Box

Our Hero Bud

Every time Bud barked, Jon got up and went downstairs to see if what was going on with him and the rat.  I heard Bud bark too, but I decided to leave it to Bud till the morning.

Around 5am, there were sounds coming from downstairs that I hadn’t heard before.  That’s what got both Jon and me up.

When I got into the kitchen, the refrigerator was moved away from the wall enough for Bud to have shredded the cardboard backing that covered the fan and motor.  Dryer sheets that I had put on the floor to keep the rat away and bits of cardboard were scattered all over the floor.  And one of the metal tubes (I don’t know what they are) was actually sticking out of the back of the fridge.

There were also rat dropping on the floor.

I guess the rat thought it had a pretty good thing going when it found all those crackers and stored them in the back of the refrigerator yesterday.  Maybe she was even thinking of making a nest there.

Bud did his job last night holding the rat captive in the back of the fridge.  Now we just had to figure out how to get her out of it.

As soon as I let the dogs out, the rat saw her chance.  “There she is.” Jon said as she ran from the kitchen into the bathroom.

Jon closed the bathroom door.  “I’ll get it,” Jon said.  He hadn’t gotten dressed yet, and armed with a broom and dust pan he went into the bathroom closing the door behind him.

After a bit of banging and clanging, I went into the bathroom too and Jon told me the rat had run under the baseboard heater.  “There it is,” he said, pointing to the rats tail sticking up from the baseboard writhing back and forth, “Grab it.”

I was close enough to grab it, but there was no way I was going too.

There are some things that I’m squeamish about and a rats tail is one of them.  “I’m not touching that,” I told Jon and he reached down to get it.

But the rat was too quick and now hunkered down out of sight.

That’s when Jon decided to take a shower.

I wouldn’t want to be naked in the bathroom with a rat, but Jon wasn’t bother by the idea at all.  He actually had a conversation with the rat telling it he was going kill it.

When Jon got out of the shower, I went into the bathroom with a box.  I took the cover off the baseboard and the rat ran out.  We have a very small bathroom with no other place for the rat to hide or escape.  I was able to throw the box over the rat as she ran.  Then I got another piece of cardboard and slipped it under the opening of the box.  I turned the box over and closed it up over the extra piece of cardboard, not giving the rat a chance to slip out.

Now I had the rat in the box, but I couldn’t imagine how we would kill it.

Jon said he would shoot it, but I wasn’t thinking straight and pictured Jon shooting the rat in the box in the house.  Of course that makes no sense, but that’s the image that came into my head.

“I’ll take it into the woods,” I said.   Jon suggested drowning her in the pond, but I knew I couldn’t do that.

I’m fine putting traps in the house that quickly kill mice and rats.   I’ve done it for years.  And I don’t mind taking them out of the traps once they’re dead either.

But I don’t want to kill them myself.

I just couldn’t imagine a quick death for the rat, so even though I know that relocating a rat doesn’t work, they just come back, I was determined to put this rat way out into the woods and hope she didn’t come back.

As I climbed up the hill and over the stream,  I tired to imagine drowning the rat, my mind wouldn’t go there. Instead  I thought of how the rat had survived the night, hiding from Bud and how scared she must be.   I though of how the hunter in Snow White couldn’t kill her and brought back a boars heart to the Witch instead.

I silently spoke to the rat, telling her this was her chance to get away.  That if she came back she’d be killed.  And I felt like a hitman in a mob movie.

Over another stone wall and on the other side of a marshy pond, I opened the box and the rat jumped out and ran in the opposite direction of the farm.

Maybe I thought, she was a he, without babies to get back to.  Maybe he would do what rats don’t and not come back.

As I got closer to the farm, I heard Jon calling me.  He standing at the Gulley Bridge, rifle in hand and Zip at his feet.

I think that was more shocking than the whole rat incident.   It was all so incongruous.  Jon in the woods, with a rifle and cat.

But it’s also when it dawned on me that it would have made sense for Jon to shoot the rat while it was in the box and the box was on the ground.

Then Zip surprised me even further by walking over the Gulley Bridge to greet me as if he did it everyday.  And I guess he does.  I saw cat prints in the mud on the other side of the bridge yesterday.

I guess I don’t know as much about his territory as I thought I did.

I knew Jon was annoyed that I let the rat go. But by the time he got back to the farmhouse and wrote about it all (while I took a shower without a rat to keep me company) he was seeing my side of things and even loving me for it.

It was a wild morning.  And when it was all done, I gave Bud a special treat and told him that he’d done a great joy and to get some sleep.

If the rat does come back I hope she or he does it quietly and stays out of the house.

Jon and Zip at the bridge

10 thoughts on “Rat Patrol Part II, The Rat In The Box

  1. Maria, this is absolutely HILARIOUS! It’s 4:40 AM Tuesday morning, and I can’t remember whenever I’ve gotten up at this hour and had such a wonderful laugh to start my day. Thank you, dear lady!

  2. Oh Maria you made my day. You are so funny . I just loved how you wrote about this. Let’s hope the rat doesn’t return to meet it’s maker in Bud!

    Kind regards Diane Sabath.

  3. I would have let it go too. I read a book about rats once and I see them differently than I did. I wouldn’t pick one up either because I imagine they would bite. Like you, I always think how frightened they must be. We have a couple of cats that are good mousers. Sometimes they drop the mouse, then if I can catch it (with a waste basket and pooper scooper), I let it go outside. But if they are injured the kindest thing is to let the cat finish the job. It upsets me but mice cause so much damage. What can one do? I don’t even kill flies. Ticks are fair game but last time I squashed one of those I felt guilty and it had just bitten me!

    1. There are some insects I have no problem killing, ticks are one of them. I think the more potentially harmful they are the less trouble I have killing them. But then animals are constantly killing each other. Mostly for food, but sometimes not as I witnessed with Bud this afternoon when he bit a mole in half and left it on the ground. Apparently that’s how Boston Terriers kill what they hunt.

      1. Reading this all I could think of was The Godfather scene: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art