Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mystery Rodent

For some time now, Husband has been telling me about this rodent-type creature he’s been seeing periodically in the back yard. He would never commit to the type of rodent it was. He had a hard time believing it was a rat because it was so large, but knew it wasn’t a rabbit. He would always see it over by the fence next to Non-English Speaking Neighbor’s side of the yard. It would quickly duck under a little hole in the fence when it saw anyone in our yard. It knew we were dangerous.

Criket has, for a long time, been periodically obsessed with something under the deck and/or the air conditioning unit. Once, she dug so much under the A/C unit that the concrete pad it sits on started to wobble. Of course, we just try to distract her or drag her in the house, not knowing what it was she was after…a bug, a snake, a mouse. Really, I didn’t care. I just didn’t want the A/C unit to crush her little head.

So this morning, the mystery was solved. It started out like every other morning. Drag myself out of bed, give the dogs a snack, send them out to potty, and start getting ready to go. Usually Crik does her business then comes right back in, but to day she was outside for an unusually long amount of time. She finally made her way back in and I immediately knew something was up. She hates getting wet – and detests wet grass. However, her feet were soaked, her belly was wet, and the scruff around her mouth was not only wet, but dirty. She’d been up to something. And she had that little gleam in her eye that said, “I’m so psyched about this, but I might get in trouble for it!”

So, as I made my way outside, I asked her to show me what she’d been doing. And she kindly obliged. She led me over to where else but the A/C unit, and proudly picked up quite possibly one of the largest rats I’ve ever seen. Now, I’ve seen some rats, folks. This one was huge. Put a fluffy tail on this thing, and it’s a squirrel. And a fat one, at that. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this entire time, Argus seems to be completely oblivious to the dead rodent. Maybe because it was dead, I don’t know. But he couldn’t care less.

Now, Criket has this thing in her mouth, and I’m halfway ready for work. I was not about to try to pry this thing from her jaws…I’ve done that once, and it wasn’t pleasant. So I decided to go the other way with it. I started praising her like she’d just won the Nobel Prize. Boy, was she proud of herself. Knowing the reaction I’d get, I said, “Let’s go show Daddy!” She proudly marched her way into the house, through the kitchen, living room, bedroom, (all the while I’m thinking “Please don’t drop it on the carpet!”) and finally into the bathroom, where Husband was showering. She proudly showed off her prize to Husband, who was quite vocal about his unhappiness over the situation. (If you haven’t heard the mouse story, remind me later.) I’m not a fan of rats, but his reaction was worth the risk of her dropping it on the carpet.

Now, the problem still remained – how do I get her to drop this thing? I figured if I could wait her out, she’d drop it willingly. I mean, this thing probably weighed about a quarter of what she does. She had to get tired at some point. Huge rat. Huge. But I didn’t have time. So I did the next best thing. I took her into the laundry room, got a Wal-Mart sack (thanks Wal-Mart!), and a biscuit. I asked her to drop the rat and gave her the biscuit. With the rat safely in the sack and her crunching on a biscuit, the trade was successful. She was a little distraught when she saw me put it in the garbage can in the garage, but she got over it with another biscuit. About this time, Argus came inside and realized she was getting treats. Still oblivious to the entire rat incident, he just wanted a biscuit too.

So the enormous rat is gone. Hopefully it doesn’t have a family that will try to avenge its death. Oh, and I have to try to find a (safe) way to disinfect both dogs or else Husband will never pet them again. Any ideas? Pin It


  1. Was it a black rat? They carry the plague!!!!!!! In which case I would dig it out of the trash, build a catapult or a trebuchet (they are a little more complicated) and launch it over your evil neighbors castle wall/privacy fence!!!!!!

  2. On the disinfecting deal, put some diluted Listerine in their water bowl and see how that goes over! You brush their teeth all the time, now you have a good reason to!

    Funny can get a LOT of mileage out of this tale! It will be good for years to come!

    Yeah, and I am pretty sure rats are semi-social creatures so even if he didn't have a family, he probably has "friends" who are more loyal than family anyway!

    Happy hunting!

  3. I say you don't disinfect the dogs until Husband lets someone dog sit for you!! Maybe that's changed in the last few years... :)

    I love the story, but would love to hear about the mouse sometime.

  4. Anonymous6:13 PM

    I am hear to say that I being the only person outside the house that has actually seen the "rat", it is indeed the biggest rat I have ever seen!!! GROSS!!

    You could always put some shampoo in the toilet toss in the unsespecting pup, close the lid, and FLUSH! Oh be sure to sit on the lid! And make a clear path to the outside door before leaving the lid!!!


  5. See if Husband can make an invention like the finger toothbrush that he was going to invent. He could call it "Rat Away" or something snazzy.

    I would also be interested to know more about Husband's immediate response. (Did he squeal in terror?)


  6. I wouldn't call it squealing, but there were definite shouts of disgust and anguish. I told him of your "Rat Away" idea, and he shuddered once again to think that a certain doggie had licked his toes just this afternoon.