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Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Mystery of the Rat

Twas the night before Wednesday and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a rat....A RAT????

"There's a mouse in the house!"

"A mouse! A mouse!"

"There's a mouse in my room!"

"A mouse! A mouse!"

I sat in front of my computer typing away, trying to ignore the histrionics happening on the other side of the house. The shrieking was getting louder and my son was jumping around like a wild banshee. I continued typing away, trying to ignore the chaos.

I was sure that the mouse, if it had any survival instinct at all, would flee for its life and vacate the premises. It was surrounded by a teen girl shrieking and an eight year old boy hopping through the room yelling "A mouse! A mouse!" I started feeling sorry for the poor little mouse and it was becoming harder and harder to ignore the bedlam.

My husband finally got out of bed to investigate. I settled back down to my computer. I was sure he could effectively deal with this crisis on his own. After all, he is the man who successfully captured the last mouse a few months ago at 2am, in his underwear, while his daughter and wife were huddled on the furniture pointing him in the right direction. He is a professional, in my estimation.

Unfortunately the chaos did not die down, it increased in intensity. It was becoming obvious that I was going to have to intervene. As I walked down the hall I quickly ascertained that the situation was much worse than I had anticipated. My son was in his underwear jumping around with a wild gleam in his eyes yelling "A mouse! A mouse!" my daughter was on the verge of hysteria, at least she was clothed. My husband, also clothed thankfully, was assessing the situation.

Apparently one of our cats brought a live mouse, a very large mouse, into my daughter's room. Unfortunately all the excitement that was given to this wondrous event spooked the cat and he dropped it and ran for his life. Now we had a live mouse, a very large live mouse, loose in my daughter's room and both cats were nowhere to be found.

Plan #1: Find cat. Put cat in room. Close door. Cat captures Very Large Mouse.

Sounds like the perfect plan, but there was one glitch. One of our cats is an excellent hunter, our other cat is missing a few very important brain cells. The hunter is easily spooked. All the excitement had sent him running for the hills. Our mentally challenged cat was still in the house trying to figure out what was going on. He was lovingly captured and set loose in the room with the door closed. We waited for him to catch the Very Large Mouse. Shockingly, he did so rather quickly. Sadly, he lost it just as quickly and couldn't find it again. When he curled up on my daughter's bed (the cat, not the Very Large Mouse) and started grooming himself (did I mention he is a gorgeous cat?), we gave up on Plan #1.

Plan #2: Systematically move all furniture and detritus on the floor. Search for Very Large Mouse. Kick cat out of room.

We were planning our attack, trying to decide where to begin (remember, this is a 13 year old girl's room, scary in its own right) when we had the distinct feeling that we were being watched. We slowly turned around and saw two beady little eyes watching us with his nose twitching. It was not a Very Large Mouse, it was a RAT!! I hate to admit this, but I shrieked. The rat scampered away. I left the room and closed the door and wished my husband and daughter luck. I became the Disaster Relief Coordinator (DRC) safely behind the closed door.

As I briefly mentioned earlier, a 13 year old girl's room is a very scary place without a rat running free in it....with a rat running free in it, it becomes a place you don't want to enter in bare feet, in the dark, by yourself. I was on the other side of the door performing my DRC functions, very competently I might add. I was beginning to become distraught by the sounds emanating from the room. I heard banging and crashing and loud voices and a few expletives. I increased my DRC duties as I increased the volume of my voice, just to be heard above the racket, of course. All this to no avail....the maelstrom continued. I again increased my DRC tactics only to be told to be quiet.

Suddenly the door opened and a chair was thrust into my arms. The door closed. Just as suddenly it opened again and I was given the beanbag chair. The door closed. Confused, I again tried my DRC maneuvers only to be told again to be quiet or do the job myself. Stunned I stood in the hall and watched my husband walk away and leave me with a beanbag chair in my hands, my daughter, her scary room, and the rat.

I dropped the chair, stepped into the room and noticed that my feet were bare. I almost ran, but I could not leave my daughter alone with the rat. I put my bare feet out of my mind and closed the door. I was now in the scary room with my daughter and the rat.

We started our own Rat Recovery Process. One by one we moved the furniture. Inch by inch we worked our way around the room. We found socks, pencils, necklaces, coins, books, barrettes, pens....piles and piles of treasures. No rat. We moved more furniture. We found dust bunnies...whole colonies of dust bunnies. No rat.

Finally we were at the last part of the room. The darkest, scariest place of all.....the closet. We slowly and gingerly emptied the closet item by item....shoe by shoe. No rat.

Eventually her room was clean...every inch inspected. Every pencil put away, every dust bunny eradicated. No rat.

It disappeared.

To this day...we have not found the rat. Did he wait for the perfect opportunity and escape? We don't is a mystery.


DysFUNctional Mom said...

Ew, ew, EWWWW!!!!!! I hate rats.

Tera said...

Oh Gawd,

I have just been walking on my tip-toes eevry time I walk around after having a rat infestation in our yard. Last week, I went out to feed our guinea pigs and a rat ran out of their cage. Later in the day, I saw 3 babies and a papa with them. I was worried. Rats do not easily leave. And I hate them. Give me nearly any beast, and I am happy. But rats? RATS!!! So, I bought poison, which I hate to use, but seeing we had 5 rats in our tiny yard, I wasn't taking chances. I haven't seen one in about 3 days. But I'm still walking around on tip toes, and now this? Argh. You freaked me right out all over again!!! Hope he truly is gone, and good that the mess was resolved. God works in mysterious ways. LOL

mama speak said...

Our neighborhood has roof rats. Their bold and we see them all the time on the power lines (the rat freeway). Our dog likes to take them out! It's gross, but any of them who braves our yard will be taken out.

Did you put the hunter cat back in her room when she turned back up?

Heather said...

I bet he snuck out with your husband somehow! This was a riot to read! You write so well, Alison.

We had a cat named Tosca when we lived in England who would bring "prizes" to show us through her cat door. She always announced her "prizes" with a loud horrible meow. If we were quick enough, we'd slam our doors until my Mom got rid of the mouse!

thanks for bringing back good memories.

By the way, did Cassie sleep in there last night? I don't think I could having not found it.

Anonymous said...

:D Rats are very intimidating - when our 3 boys were very young we went to the kitchen one morning to find the bread bag with a large hole in it and chunks of bread gone. We assumed it was one of the boys - after an interrogation of wide eyed boys proclaiming their innocence we sent all three to their room until the guilty party admitted his offense. After about 15 minutes the eldest (about 7 years old) came out and confessed. However upon being pressed he unconfessed. In the meantime Daddy went in to examine the evidence and upon doing so he found other "evidence". The nasty kind. The boys were released from their room and apologized to. The next night we set to watching. Sure enough around dusk TWO huge rats scampered through a hole at the back door they had chewed throught and was hidden by carpet. What ensued was a frantic chase in the kitchen and the rats disappeared through their hole. We repaired the hole and the boys have never tired of telling the story of their undeserved punishment. They have pointed out that if they wanted to get into something in the kitchen it would not have been bread!

Karen in SC

Anonymous said...

Yuck, yuck, yuck, I have gone all cold just reading that I would have taken to the hills until it was caught!
If Cassie slept in her room that night she is much braver than me.

Anonymous said...


storyteller said...

Oh my ... what a night!!! And no real resolution ... so it could show up again??? Methinks I'd have trouble sleeping until the rat was found for sure.
Hugs and blessings,

Mamarazzi said...

you are a brave brave woman. i would be at the hotel telling my family to call me when they could PROVE (read; dead rat) that it was safe to come home.

"mentally challenged cat" all the pretty cats are right? it's like they know they can rely on their looks.

karisma said...

He was watching you all and enjoying the show, Im sure! I hope he was not someones pet! (Mind you if he was he would have come up to you! Contrary to belief, rats are very affectionate and intelligent!) Mind you I would not mess with a wild one, they have very sharp teeth!

Pamela said...

reminds me of the time I watched two of my grandkids (they were very small)

The toy rack was against the wall -- 3 levels with plastic bins that fit on an angle.

"My," I thought, "that little mouse looks so real with it's little feet hanging on to the edge of the bin."

Hey, that mouse IS real.

My husband caught it and threw it out doors.

Jennifer said...

OH MY GOD!!! All I can say is Torch the House and MOVE NOW!!!!!

bermudabluez said...

I would totally have been freaking out!!! Not a fan of mice or rats!! I sure hope that by now you have found the mouse / rat!!

lisaschaos said...

THAT is a hilarious story! And a night to be remembered for ages!