Not a Rat

My friend M at Eighteenyear’s Blog, recently wrote about her husband trying to find a dead rat in their attic.  They have been preparing for a home visit from their social worker, in the final stages of getting licensed for foster care licensing.  They didn’t find the rat, but they did get rid of the smell.

After reading her post, I was recalling a few dead animal stories.

Yes, a few.

When Mack and I lived in our little white house we would occasionally have a little brown house guest.  I was always bothered by them, but honestly, before I could get a mouse trap set, or call my landlord, our cats would usually have their fun with the mousie and there would be no point in calling.

I think it only happened twice in the three years we lived there.

One of the times we had a visitor, Nala and Meg, our cats, played with this poor thing to death.  I tried to catch it myself to get it out of its misery.  I couldn’t catch it.  Nala and Meg, did catch it.  They would catch it, bat it around for a while, carry it around, then let it go and let it run.

Mack was gone for the night with my parents, I was alone with these two nocturnal beasts chasing the poor mouse around our tiny little house.  I finally fell asleep, even through the chasing, and cat and mouse games happening all over the house.

When I woke up the next morning, my darling cats, had placed their dead prize on my chest.  What a way to wake up.


After my husband and I moved in together, with Mack and my oldest step-daughter, we rented a house in a historical area of town.  Beautiful home.  I wish we still lived there.  Kind of bent out of shape about it actually.  We were looking to buy a house, told our landlord, my husband’s friend, and after we moved he ended up selling the house.  It didn’t dawn on him to sell it until after we had moved.

So this was an older home, two-story, with an attic.  We primarily used the basement for storage, and the attic wasn’t finished, but every now and then we would put something on the stairs, that needed to be found upstairs.  The door was rarely opened.

Once my youngest step-daughter came over to babysit Mack and to spend the weekend with us, Mack was 8 and E was 14.  The evening that she babysat, she and Mack explored the attic.  Until they found a dead bird.  Then they freaked out, and wouldn’t go upstairs for the rest of the night until we got home.

Then we had a bat.

My husband chased the bat around with a tennis racket, and a bucket, for hours.

He had made contact a few times, but never actually got it.

Then he couldn’t find it again.

We assumed that it had gotten out and we hadn’t noticed.  While he had been chasing the bat around we had opened the windows and the doors, hoping that it would just fly out.

A few weeks passed.  We didn’t think anything of the bat, but then there was a smell.  Something was dead.  It wasn’t horrendous, but we also couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from.

We looked all over.

We moved all of the furniture.

I took all of my books off of the built ins.

Checked all my plants.

Looked inside of the piano. (If you haven’t read the piano player story, go read it when you are done, it is kind of hilarious.)


Entertainment center.

Anywhere we could think of.


I kept candles lit at all times we were home.  Finally, the smell just went away.

When we moved, I found the bat wedged in the side of a basket that had magazines in it.  We had looked in the basket, but it has somehow gotten itself stuck in the side of the weave of the basket, and just blended in so we didn’t see it.

I threw the basket away.


2 Comments on “Not a Rat”

  1. Oooh, what bad cats! We have cats over all the time at our house (because I feed them — slices of ham and turkey, occasional canned cat food treats) who belong to our neighbor. To say thank you for all the treats, they left us a squirrel tail on the front step last week. Better than on the chest though.

    I imagine that was the best thing you’ve ever thrown away (the basket).

  2. Holly says:

    Every winter we get a couple mice from the field that borders up against our backyard. We’ve always just set traps or poison, or just whacked the sucker with a broom if we saw it. This year we discovered that our new weiner dog is also a mouser. She will follow the trail and obsess over the mouse until she finds it, then she will kill it and present it to us. Good dog.

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