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Mission: Rat- Accomplished!

Just for an update: our apartment is now rat-free! (Or, at least as far as we know...)

Yes, she was a crafty one (I say "she" because after seeing the actual rat, I didn't see those gigantic balls for which the male of the species is so famous. Not that I was looking, but in my experience, you don't even need to look for them!). We set a two-door humane trap over the weekend (and I also put 3 of those sonar things about the house that are supposed to annoy the hell out of rodents and the like) with a peanut buttery cracker and kept the studio door closed, hopefully keeping her confined. There was nothing until Monday, when I woke up and the trap was deployed, but empty. It seems she crept partway in and with her tiny, evolved, people-like forepaw-hands, grabbed the cracker and scooted out with the back door resting on her butt. I though "Oh no, we're messing with a Super Rat!"

So...we figured she was getting in through the heaters. Since it's summer we duct taped cardboard to cover all the openings (we were going to use chicken wire, but would you believe that urban Home Depots don't carry such things?). Thinking she may already be in the room, we shut the door again, figuring she'd have nowhere to go but into the trap. We also covered it with a towel, kept one door closed and set the bait at the far end. When James came home yesterday, he told me that there was dirt under the bathroom heater! A second entrance! Thinking she had already come and gone, we covered up the bathroom and the bedroom in the same fashion as the first and put the trap in the hallway, just to be safe. We were going to cover up the living room after we ate dinner. But James went into the kitchen and found fresh doodies! She was still in the apartment and sneaking about the kitchen!

We ate pizza anxiously and trying to watch Kitchen Nightmares (har har). Suddenly, James spotted the culprit quietly creeping from the kitchen into the bedroom. I gasped and it darted off (I had only seen the butt up to this point, so I still wasn't sure just how big she was. James assured me that it was HUGE.) We heard some banging about the bedroom and waited. 15 minutes later, she emerged and darted under the couch. We jumped up on the cushions ala any lady in a Tom & Jerry cartoon, minus grabbing up our proverbial skirts. James motioned for me to go into the bedroom and close the door. We had already figured out that she was scared of James, but not me. That's why she'd wait until he was gone in the morning before coming out, even though I was still there.

I waited for a minute, hearing some banging and such, and hoping James didn't bash her on the head. Suddenly, I heard a comforting *CLANK*. I came out of the room. Could it be true! Yes, she was so terrified of James that she ran for the only new "exit", which was the trap. The poor thing was trembling in the corner when I pulled the towel off. So much so that we thought it was better to leave it on so she wouldn't she us mammoth creatures looking down at her (we could tell she calmed down because we could hear her eating the cracker). She had them beady eyes. And her squeak was gross-sounding. But I didn't think she was as big as all that. We put the cage in a box (she had pooped excessively underneath it) and put the box in a cart and walked out, about a mile or so, across the highway and released her in a little green patch. We couldn't find the quick release triggers, so we had to do it the hard way and it took a few tries, while trying to keep distance. But there was eventual success and she darted out and away.

We left the box by a dumpster and walked home with me cursing and doing creeped-out shivers all the way. It'll still be a few days before I feel comfortable again. And I'm sure we'll find more "presents" to vacuum up for a while. But, I think we're better for it. I feel like we did something good. It's up to the rat what to do next, though.
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

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