Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh, Rats!

“A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.” ~Sarah Jessica Parker

“I wouldn't mind the rat race - if the rats would lose once in a while.” ~Tom Wilson

“Money often costs too much.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If it were me,” she said to me as we were driving back from our trip to Florida on Thursday, “I would want to know before I got home.”

In a split second, my heart fell into the pit of my stomach and my mind began to race. Oh no! The cat! What happened to him? How will I tell the kids? How am I going to keep from crying? And how will I be able to drive when I can’t see through the tears?! Should I stop the car? Oh, good grief! Pull yourself together!

“Okaaaaay …,” I slowly replied, bracing myself for bad news.

“Well, um ….” She hesitated. Not good. “You have something living in your garage.”

Come again?

“Whatever it is tore into the bird seed and the cat food. It especially likes the cat food. It could possibly be a mouse but its droppings seem to be too big … more like what a rat would leave. I put out some glue traps and …..”

She continued, but as I was recovering from my fear of what horrible things had happened to the cat, I only heard snippets. It was obvious my friend was more freaked out about our loitering rodents than I, and I was trying very hard not to laugh. I was simply grateful that the only critical information I had to share with the kids was to be careful around the glue traps.

I appreciated my friend alerting me prior to our arrival, and my husband and I figured it could have been any of a number of critters - mouse, rat, squirrel, or even possum. (The picture to the right was taken in our garage just a few months ago.) We surveyed the damage when we pulled into the garage about two hours later, but after two days on the floor the adhesive was still shiny new. Despite my daughter’s protests, we decided that the cat would actually make a better mousetrap, er … rat-trap, so that night we ousted the glue-topped cardboard and put the cat in the garage.

Speaking of rats, my conscience constrains me and I must confess.

Remember the motel that promised not to charge us for the room we did not actually get to sleep in? Well, true to their word, they did not charge us. However, the motel where we apparently actually had reservations did, in fact, charge the credit card.

Yes. You read that right. It took some research and a phone call to the establishment named on the Visa bill before I figured out what had happened. For those of you who just can’t stand not knowing the gory details, I was the idiot who wrote down the correct phone number with the incorrect motel name, and then directed my husband to stop at the incorrect motel which was named on the offending piece of paper. I feel like a rat. I still wonder why, though, when we called the correct phone number, no one answered, for if they had, we surely would have figured out we were in the wrong place and had a room for the night after all. But, then, I would have missed out on some great blog fodder. (I am referring to the previous post, of course – not this one. It is never enjoyable to admit you made a mistake.)

So, though he will never read this, my apologies to the gentleman at the incorrect motel for my sarcastic blog comment about him actually listening to me.

My apologies to my family for the stupid mistake that cost us one night’s rate.

I already apologized to the woman at the correct motel for getting flustered on the phone (not with her, but with my own idiocy.)

My apologies to you, both of my faithful readers, for giving you a false impression of the fine citizens of Dubois, Wyoming. I’m sure they’re actually very nice people.

I think I’m going to sleep in the garage with the other rat tonight.


  1. Ok for the record, I was not freaked out. I was entrusted with the key to your home that when you left did not have a creature in the garage but while you were gone did. To be perfectly honest, I was not sure how you would respond to the newfound visitor. I did not want you to be startled or the kids to step on the glue traps.
    Oh and for the record, Smudge was not reading War and Peace. It was Crime and Punishment. He was trying to figure out his best option for capturing the creature in the garage!

  2. Ha ha!! OK, I will give that to you. You weren't freaked out. But a little disturbed, perhaps? :-)

    War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, whatever. I think he actually read them both. Tolstoy to coach him on battle technique, and Dostoevsky for ideas on interrogating the POW. ;-)

  3. I was only concerned for you. If it has been my house, the cat would have alreday been in the garage and the creature gone!

  4. Thanks for clearing up the motel thing. And I hope your cat caught the rat.

    Ü Woody Clowns

  5. I feel your pain more than I had ever hoped to.

  6. I could send Jeff over with the BB gun...or give you my "how to trap a rat with dog food" recipe. Hmmm????


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