Thursday, October 25, 2012

This Is War

The house is under attack!

It's that time of year again, when the rodents that are supposed to live outside come inside.  It's just that I thought we'd be immune to the rodentine invasion this year because over the summer when we had all that digging done around the house, we had a RAT in the house that Shane and I both saw.  Shane tried to kill it on the basement stairs when he chanced upon it.  He saw the rat, the rat saw Shane, and he chased it down the stairs, trying to jump on it.

Even though I was upset that we'd have to live with the rat until another method of assassination proved successful, I'm kind of glad really, really glad that Shane missed when he jumped from the third-from-bottom step.  I would have hated to see the aftermath of that, and plus, he probably would have had to throw out his Lugz he was wearing.  I mean, that's what you'd do, right, if you killed a rat in your shoes?  You'd throw the shoes away.  Even if they were only on their third wearing, because you just wore them when you jumped on a rat to kill it.

Thankfully, we don't have to ponder that dilemma much, because like I said, Shane missed that big rat that day.

After the incident on the stairs, I saw the back end of the rat that was in our house.  It had a big rump.  I cannot lie.  I'm surprised it could haul that big butt into the space between the washing machine and the dryer.  It was a biiiiiiiig backside.

Besides just the creepy factor, I was seriously worried about my washing machine and my dryer.  A rat can do serious damage.  When we lived in the Domicile of the Damned, we always involuntarily played host to lots of different kinds of rodents, since the foundation of that house had more holes in it than a colander.  And one time, a rat chewed a hole in the drainpipe of the dishwasher.  We had to use epoxy putty to fix it, because it was right in the elbow, and we were going to be moving soon anyway.

Back to the rat in my house where I live now.  My dream house, which isn't a Domicile of the Damned.  It's actually really nice place to live.  Like rats do, it kept carrying off the rat traps Shane put out.  I readily admit that Shane's the one who deals with extermination duties, because about wildlife of any kind in my house, I'm a disaster.  Out of desperation, Shane ordered an Electric Rat Trap that I've since named Big Yella Momma, just because that makes me howl with laughter whenever I think about it.

The very day he ordered that trap, though, there was a standoff in the kitchen.  Thankfully, it was after Zoe had already gone to bed for the night, and it was late enough that Rozzie had already been carried upstairs.  Shane had the rat cornered and told me to run for his shoes and a shovel.  He was going to take care of that rat then and there.  I brought Shane the shovel from the basement, and his slip-on shoes, and did what anybody with as much courage as I have would do.  I made a beeline for the front stairs and barricaded myself in our bathroom, with my ears plugged and Rozzie staring at me like I was crazy.  So I don't really know how Shane got the rat, but it involved the shovel, and an entire roll of paper towels and half a bottle of Clorox Clean-up.

Because of all of that Drama of the Rodent Kind, I really hoped that this year, the regular mice that usually invade the house when the weather cools and the house warms would just figure our house is Off Limits.  Big Yella Momma is in the house, after all, and if it'll zap a rat to death, it'll turn regular mice into crispy critters (it just has to be taken out of its packing box and plugged in!)  But no.  After Shane took Zoe up to bed tonight, I went to the kitchen/laundry room area to turn off lights, and I saw the floor move.  What I wanted to have seen is the floor move, I should say.  We have gray slate-looking ceramic tile out there, and I saw grayness dart from under Zoe's changing station toward the dryer.  Why do they have such a fascination with my dryer?  Don't they realize that if they ruin my dryer, Maytag doesn't make that kind anymore, and I will go so deeply into mourning that... I don't know.  I'll be upset if there's ever No Fix to my dryer.

And I realized that in this war between Human and Rodent, there is no armistice.  There is no peace treaty that if they just stay outside and don't come in, we won't kill them, and if we leave them alone outside, they won't come in.  Mice and rats are by nature sneaky and they go back on treaties made with them.  It's like they don't even know about them!  Sneaky little jerks!  So now it's Fall, and they're flocking to the warm house, where they're most certainly not welcome, and we have to fight to protect our walls and floors and dryer.  And we will.  We have Big Yella Momma, and we won't hesitate to use it.  And if Big Yella Momma fails, Shane's really handy with a shovel, apparently, and isn't afraid of a little hand-to-hand combat with a rodent.


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