Tuesday, 18 November 2008

There's something nasty in the corner.....


Oh My Goodness! I said a terrible word in front of the children at breakfast!

It was a really hectic time - you know the sort I'm sure. 10 minutes till we leave for school, and the children are STILL slowly eating breakfast and only half dressed. My aunt had just popped in for a cup of tea on her way to work, and I was looking through the cupboard, desperately searching for something to make three packed lunches with. Magpie was behaving strangely, sniffing and squeaking at the shelves in the corner of the kitchen behind the clothes airer. This was most unlike Magpie, but it reminded me that I had woken in the early hours of the morning, and heard her crashing around downstairs. I had just assumed she must have fallen off the sofa in her sleep or something similar, and hadn't come down to investigate.

There, under the stereo, and covered by a curtain, are stacked hundreds of Cd's. I went in to have a look, wondering if perhaps the cats had brought in a mouse, which had escaped. After taking out a few handfuls of albums, I spotted a movement down behind the Tom Waitts collection. I grabbed them, and to my horror, there was an enormous rat!

That's when I swore and leaped backwards. As one, the kids jumped on to the kitchen table, toast in hand. My aunt retreated to the far corner - " You screamed!" she said accusingly " I didn't think you were that sort of person". Luckily nobody seemed to have noticed the F word contained in my shriek. Mild panic ensued, as I tried to decide what to do.

The kids suggested I got the gardening gloves and grabbed it - " You must be joking" was my reply.

My aunt suggested we ran next door to borrow their Jack Russell, an excellent ratter, but they were out.

I tried shoving Beetle towards it, but despite being thrust to within 12 inches of its hidey hole, he merely flicked his tail disdainfully and sat down to wash his bottom. Then suddenly , thankfully, the rat made a dash for freedom, and shot across the kitchen and out of the front door. Beetle appeared not to even register it's presence as it shot past him, but Magpie, after a moment of shock, raced out after it and down the garden.

So, this made us late for school, but the kids were pleased because they got to have school dinners instead of healthy packed lunch. Magpie was also over the moon because she felt she had been extremely helpful in removing the intruder, and she is still keenly checking the stereo shelves in case another rat should appear. It just left me, slightly shaken, and with the prospect of cleaning my kitchen from top to bottom. Still, there was a silver lining of sorts - while disinfecting and cleaning rat droppings from the entire CD collection ( it took an hour and a half) I did find an old Lou Reed album that I haven't heard for years, which helped me to while away a days work .

Magpie, Proud Pest Controller

15 comments:

kathy hare said...

OH NO! my cats bring in the occasional live mouse and I find that quite traumatising, but a rat! I would be quivering in the corner!
thank goodness for Lou Reed, a perfect way to soothe your nerves... :)

Christine said...

We once had three rats in the house. It was the most horrifying thing I ever went through. They are so smart and sneaky! And at night, so loud! Terrifying to see them glaring at me from under the counter where I couldn't get them yet they could escape through a hole my husband put in the wall to run plumbing up. We eventually poisoned one (we just couldn't get him so resorted to rat bait), one my husband smacked hard enough to kill it and the third was in the bottom drawer of the stove so we carried the WHOLE stove outside and let it sit there! That is the last time my husband left the basement window open.

Vita said...

yeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww....:(
I would have produced a whole sentence of words that should not be ever said. I despise rats...
I am glad it ended well

DEB said...

Danielle, that was a FUNNY story! Thanks for the giggles! Now, you need to paint a rat and Maggie! DEB

Jess said...

Ohmygod! I know EXACTLY how you feel because the same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I thought having a cat might deter them,(we don't have one) but apparently not as I think you have pets don't you? I'd made up my mind to get a cat in case in happened again, what do you think?

Danielle Barlow said...

We do have two cats who are pretty good mousers as a rule. We reckon it came in through the broken cat flap, on a scouting mission, and was promptly pounced on by the dog, though she wouldn't kill it (no killer instinct there, even if a rabbit falls out of the hedge at her feet, as happened once). Personally, I reckon a terrier is probably the best rat deterrent! Most of the ones I know want to kill everything in sight.

DW Quilt Art said...

Good grief, I would have to move out...would never be able to sleep again and would have a permanent case of the eebie jeebies :-) Nice blog!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Ick a rat! And I thought having a mouse in my house was bad the other day. The cat's ended up losing it in the laundry room.

Love your music. I saw The Killers twice, they were awesome.
Gogol Bordello has a movie coming out soon that was directed by Madonna. It looks cool.
~Jen

Linda said...

I had one come up in the tiolet bowl once, lucky I heard the splashing and flushed him back from whence he came. I could never go to the loo in the night after that without putting the light on!
Lindax

artbyakiko said...

Hi Danielle! This is Akiko. You are tagged! Check my blog to see what that means. http://artbyakiko.blogspot.com

Danielle Barlow said...

Oh No Linda - I thought it was just a myth that they did that! Now I shall be worrying about that!

Dianne said...

Well it is a funy story but I'm sure not funny from your point of view. The rats seem to get in a lot of places, so you are amoung a large group. I know this doesn't help, but its gone now that is a good thing:):)
I am so inspired by your dartmoor ponies, I went on google images and found a beautuful pic, its a close up of its gorgeous face and she is now on my desktop. I call her Shatan after the Black my favorite movie.. Everyone loves the Acoes I got almost as much as I do...They are brilliant..

Allegra Smith said...

Now that I have stopped shaking I can offer my sympathies. Once a little field mouse, we live next to a state park here in the USA, came into the house. It was so tiny that I am sure it could have gotten in through a keyhole. Colette, our cat who had never seen a mouse in her life and lives only inside the house except in summer when she is allowed to tell the hummingbirds who come to drink in our feeders to get off "her property", didn't think for a second of killing the little thing.

She played with him and every time it made a try for safety she would catch him and bring him back to where she was. Finally both my husband and my son got a hold of the poor thing and threw him out.
Me? I was looking for the smelling salts! LOL

And I probably would have let out a blue streak if I would have been in your shoes.

herhimnbryn said...

Good dog.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Lou reed.. tom Waits... hey my kind of music..

I am amazed at how much your Magpie looks like our Tabitha!!!

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