Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Here, Somewhere














I've lived in rat-infested hovels before. Not in recent memory perhaps, but in memory nonetheless.

In rodent situations, men are worthless. But ok, because always, always, a resident dog has stepped up to the mousy plate. And if the rodent did not adhere to the eviction notice, it would, that night, be scared to death by two gleaming doggy eyes.

One place I lived (with worthless man), mornings would greet us with a mouse body untouched, but stomach-up, in the kitchen with a look of terror in its dead, but still open, eyes. Nearby, a doggy tail waving with pride.

All this to say, there is a mouse definitely in my house. As I write. As I sleep. As I wake. As I (shudder) shower. For two days, there has been a mouse in my house.

My boxer was a terrific terrifier of anything that squeaked (really, a terrific terrifier of anything that scared me). One time something got in the attic and my boxer was up all night (well, we all were) running laps in the kitchen and living room barking the order "Get out or I'll kill you." Whatever it was up there, it decided Phoebe meant business.

But now, my boxer is 12. She has kept her figure, but the hearing is shot; she has passed the guard duties on to Albert the Lab.

Albert, however, hears no evil -- sees no evil-- wants no evil -- is downright scared of evil -- unless it has rubber, a solid bounce, and a Spaulding insignia. So when I hiss, "Albert, go get the mouse," his call to action involves nothing more than a dangerous tail and a tennis ball.

Yes, Albert is all man.


So tonight I tear the place apart to search for my ratty tenant. I'll have a broom in one hand, the vacuum in the other. Phoebe will be snoring next to her gold retirement watch, and Albert, well, scared of vacuums and brooms, will probably tip something over as he scampers out the door in search of his balls.

(Picture found at http://rediscoveringnorway.blogspot.com/

30 comments:

Susan C said...

Eek! Eek! I love rats and mice, except when they're running willy nilly around my house.

Cafe Observer said...

I thought that was your Craftsman entry.

Ok, but what bout the cougars & coyotes?

Vanda said...

You need a cat. Female of course, they are much better mousers.

I like that picture of people browsing in a post-apocalyptic library. It's like a Terry Gillian movie.

Vanda said...

Oh yeah... I have moths.

altadenahiker said...

Someone emailed that I should name the mouse Stuart Little and forget about it. I prefer the cat solution. I have great respect for cats, though s/he would probably scare the shit out of Albert.

pasadenapio said...

Yep, I vote for the cats. And a good exterminator.

Petrea said...

A cat is an excellent idea.

But remember, dogs are easy to train and eager to please.

When I was a kid we lived at the edge of a cornfield. Field mice were always getting into the house. My dad would set traps and whenever he caught one he'd flush it down the toilet in the downstairs bathroom.

One day when we got home from church our Samoyed, Marshmallow, greeted us at the door all barky and whiney. He was trying to tell us something. He was like Lassie - "Old Doc fell down a well!" or something. He'd never been like that before. So we followed him.

Marshmallow led us to the downstairs bathroom, where he sat proudly next to the toilet and waited for praise. He'd caught a mouse and put it there, where he'd learned it was supposed to go.

Good boy.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

My darling,

I love you story but I also feel for you, mousely.

At one time, at the time of John Lennon's death, I lived in the Barcelona apartments on Madison and Union. A vetty lovely place, I might add. Anyway, one night after a rehearsal, at about 3 a.m. a giant cockroach appeared on my nightstand. This bug was at least 6 inches long!
I spent hours with a can of Raid foam. I found it and foamed it. When the foam dissipated, he was not there. NO BODY.

I took a framing hammer from my tool chest and waited. At dawn a large cockroach appeared on the lime green shag carpet. I hit it square on and turn to (grid) decimate completely. If this had not been a successful operation I would have called the Pasadena Police Department.

altadenahiker said...

P, I'm channeling Marshmallow. MG, where's my viking helmet -- I'm going into the back closet. Albert still in search of alleged balls.

Susan C said...

I'm such a freaky animal-loving pacifist that I once caught rats in humane cages and then brought them to the Pasadena Humane Society, where they were relocated to wilderness areas. Well, at least they told me that's what was going to happen to my rats. I didn't want them put to sleep.

Petrea said...

Susan I am actually Laughing Out Loud. (I won't say LOL, I won't.)

Tash said...

"find his balls"...ha-ha, hee-hee. He sounds like such a sweetheart.

Those ultrasound thingys work well. We had a rat (a nice big fat one) in the garage rafters & that was the only way to get him. Found him dead in a bin with some summer toys - so neither the rat nor the toys survived.

I like your getting in shape recommendation...except NO dogs on Abalone Cove beach. Amy does tend to get over excited and rush down the trail, dragging her human behind. We were walking along a fire lane with a turnoff for the beach & there is this big sign with NO DOGS, along with little signs of NO this & that. My husband did not notice the NO DOGS sign at all.
I like your reference to Don Quixote, hadn't thought of that one.

Cafe Observer said...

Yes, I agree with y'all - cats for rats! Uh, we dogs are better with cats.

Vanda said...

Does the snake tank count as "wilderness area"?

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

My cat Tess could never bring herself to kill her prey. She'd do her hunting in the middle of the night. Once she had a rat, she'd toss them about for awhile and when she was done and they were half dead, she bring them into bed with us. Mr V has balls but he uses them to capture and release.

CB3Dot said...

I have a Squeaker role based team with a process that could have been designed by a top tier NBA coach. First there is Ulura, 6 years old, about 60 pounds, and a mix of 8-10 generations from various resident hoods. Accepted wisdom is that the PIT/Lab mixtures provided the dominant genes. She is alpha pooch. Her trusted side kick is Winston, the 160 pound black harlequin Great Dane with white diamond chest. Aesthetically he is the most fetching of the 7 Danes who have owned me over the years. I say WHO rather than THAT because Sir Winston demands such recognition. He first catches the squeaker scent and attacks the couch, washing machine, computer desk, wherever squeaker might have revealed itself. Upon discovery, squeaker makes the dash for safety, under a couch, behind a filing cabinet, under a bed, wherever … The tandem team waits patiently. Eventually, squeaker tries to sneak out and makes a dash for the back door to the outside, only to find that it is closed. It can’t jump through the doggie door. It turns to the final refuge of safety, behind the washer and dryer. Sir Winston, signals to move in for the closer. He head butts and body bangs the washer and dryer, creating a cacophony of sound, movement, rumblings, until he finally moves the machines enough for squeaker to reveal itself to Ms. Alpha. She snares it, jumps through the doggie door and is followed by Sir Winston. It is generally quiet for a while, until one of them reenters with Squeaker and places it on their blanket. There it will lie until morning when discovered by the Master of the Manor and given a proper send off. Call for references. They charge a 2 hour minimum. They are not responsible for any damage to the property.

altadenahiker said...

You guys are too, too much. But Vanda, that was cruel. Susan is crying. And Chris, well...

Mister Earl said...

I was going to say, "That big wilderness area in the sky."

altadenahiker said...

I think many, many people owe Susan an apology (and a bottle of cheap cava).
My word is stings. You know who you are.

Petrea said...

I say hire CB3dot's pooches. Get it over with. Then we can all pitch in for Susan's Cava and drink up.

Susan C said...

Cheap cava? I don't think so. The wounds run deep. This may call for the Veuve Clicquot.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, we can play Susan like a fiddle. Watch this: Susan, is there a difference between the cheap cava and good champagne? Can you prove it?

Susan C said...

OK, I'll play. I shared a bottle of the better stuff on New Year's day and now I'm spoiled. I drank my cheap cava last Sunday and felt disappointment.

altadenahiker said...

But Susan, we should be scientific about this. Perhaps your disappointment was purely psychological. Tell you what. I'll get a bottle of Cava, you get the Cliquot, we'll have a couple of people over and do a blind taste test.

(My word is gotta. Gotta have the good stuff.)

Susan C said...

You crack me up. (And your namesake is entertaining the troops in the worm bin.)

I went to a blind taste test vodka tasting on NY eve. Bottles ranged in price from $5.00 to $37.99. We all agreed that the cheapo was the best.

So that would be pretty embarrassing to flunk the bubbly test too.

Vanda said...

I was just going to suggest switching to hard liquor.

My wordk is latingle. Propethic?

Tash said...

RE deep dark colors (on buidlings)...isn't it strange that I just love them. Maybe it's something deep rooted like Scandinavian vs. Mediterrenean origins.

Laurie said...

I had a cat in Venice who was afraid of mice. She would run yowling into the closet and climb to the highest shelf if she saw one on the deck. One of them got inside once and Kitty didn't come out of the closet for three days. Then again, this was the cat that brought me, as an offering, a tiny corn cob she must have rooted out of an old Chinese take-out container in the garbage. I think she was part Pagan.

Virginia said...

I'll attempt to be brief but this is story that must be told. In my other house I had rats in the attic every winter. I thought they beat it in the summer because the attic was about 150 degrees. I was wrong. I was cleaning out the attic to get ready to move and was coming down the pull down stairs with a plastic crate of old books and albums. Out of the corner of my eye, a RAT bailed out, over my arm and ran down the hall!! I threw that crate across the room and ran out into the yard screaming like a banshee. My nieghbor tried to find it but to no avail. Enter Bobby the Bugman. My hero. I spent the night at my daughter's and he came the next day and Mickey is in hell now I hope.
Wilderness is too good a place for rats. Sorry Susan.

As for moi? I could use a little therapy because I still have flashbacks. Maybe some of you could rig up some toaster wires to my head for me???

And Albert sounds like a lot of men I've know. Help him find his balls, KB>

Margaret said...

Petrea: What a winner that Marshmallow must have been.

Susan: I have little sympathy for rats in my house. Actually, no sympathy at all. In this case, I am as pathetically girly as anyone. I once found a dead mouse in our coop preschool. I told the other mom working that day -- a doctor -- that she had to deal with it because she had dissected dead bodies so it would clearly be easier for her.

As for my pup, Scout, I hope she is never challenged by a rat because that will mean a rat is in my house, but she does catch flies!