For 8 months I resided with a rat - only he wasn't in a cage. Dusty brought him in the house on Nov. 10, 2005. At that time he was little, a baby. I set traps everywhere baited with peanut butter, but the rat didn't like peanut butter.
After the first week I thought it got outside somehow, cuz I didn't see droppings or any trace that it was living in the house. I did notice that all of a sudden Dusty wasn't interested in eating her dry food, which we left out all the time for her.
So it's summer (July 26, 2006, to be exact), and we are in the middle of a terrible heat wave. I HATE summer, and have been begging for an early fall since the beginning of spring. Not being one who can stand the heat very well, I usually end up sleeping downstairs on the sofa under the moderate relief of the ceiling fan on â€œhigh.â€ This night was particularly bad, and after what only seemed like an hour or so of deep sleep, I was abruptly awakened by a loud banging noise from the kitchen directly behind my sofa. As I startled to quickly awaken, the first thought was that someone was breaking in the house from the backyard slider about 6 feet from my sofa. I sprang awake, to see my Dusty kitty carrying something HUGE in her mouth. She stopped in front of the dimly lit TV, dropped her cargo, and as it moved, regained her position of dominant female feline huntress, re-pounced, and as she was in this heroic position, I lept over the back of the sofa and ran upstairs, my heart pounding so loudly I was sure it would wake the neighbors.
I am hoping I can outrun this swift-footed feline, as I envision her steps behind me. Quickly I reach the foot of the bed where my hubby is sleeping blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding at his feet. I manage to croak a barely audible, but panicky â€œMmm-mmm-iiiiâ€™kke!â€ I quickly glance to my rear to make sure Dusty and â€œfriendâ€ are nowhere to be seen. â€œWake up! Dusty has something HUGE in her mouth and itâ€™s ALIVE!â€ By now he thinks Iâ€™m delusional or in the early stages of a stroke, but at my insistence he throws on some pants, goes to the closet to retrieve a couple of fishing nets, and bravely sets out downstairs to placate his hysterical wife, who by now has barricaded herself in the upstairs bedroom.
Moments seem like an eternity as I sit curled up in a fetal position on the bed awaiting some sound of victory from downstairs. After much rustling around, he announces that Dusty had dispatched her prey with the skill of a seasoned huntress and was preparing to feast on RAT TAR-TAR on the entry hall rug! He managed to scoop the dead but scary-looking creature into two fishing nets, depositing the corpse into the garbage can outside. When he issued the â€œall-clearâ€ signal, I gingerly crept downstairs to a wide-eyed victorious husband. A quick glance at the cable clock - 5:25 am, the adrenaline still wildly pumping through my system, and I knew that further sleep was out of the question.
Flashback to last November 10 when I stupidly left the back slider open and Dusty appears on same entry hall rug with much smaller RAT. She is probably distracted due to my screeching, drops rat, who escapes capture and has apparently has taken up residence somewhere in this house. Said rat apparently dislikes peanut butter, because despite 8 well-baited traps, cleverly eludes re-capture. Curiously there have been no rat droppings or other evidence of this creature living in our midst for the past 8 months! We have concluded that this wily rat has existed on dry cat food and Dustyâ€™s water bowl, coming out in the wee hours to dine in solitude, while the feline and human residents were peacefully unaware of its nocturnal meals.