My quality of life took a steep nosedive a little after midnight on Thursday/Friday night, when I woke to the unpleasant sounds of a rat skittering around my bedroom.
I chased him out of my bedroom and into the kitchen, and spent a largely sleepless night jumping at every potential rat sound. Its amazing how many noises sound like “rat” to an anxious mind.
I called my apartment manager at the earliest decent hour on Friday (7:30 is decent, isn’t it?) and he promised to put “medicine” out for the rat after I left for work.
Medicine, poison, whatever. I don’t need the euphemism – I just need it to work.
Curiously enough, I was hoping to come home yesterday to find a dead rat sprawled on my kitchen floor (its the easiest to clean). No such luck – although I did appreciate how many cardboard plates of “medicine” had been laid out for my unwanted guest.
The “medicine” isn’t poison, exactly – its “rat glue”.
My understanding is that the rat is supposed to get stuck in the glue – which makes the dead-rat cleanup easier than poison baits. A poisoned rat is just as likely to die in its hiding spot as out in the open, leaving one with the unpleasant “sniff test” to determine where its body lies. This would make a bit more sense if the rat were smaller, as the pieces of cardboard are smaller than the rat I saw, but … oh well. I’m no expert.
Last night before going to bed I closed off the kitchen door, the salon doors and the door to my bedroom (which I then “sealed” with a rug – I didn’t want a repeat of last night). This morning when I woke, it was easy to tell which room the rat had taken for its own – droppings littered the floor, table and bookshelves of my salon (how much had he eaten yesterday? I wondered), and he had gnawed at the underside of one door in an effort to escape. Two glue traps were disturbed – as was I.
I cleaned up the droppings in what was admittedly rather dim light (the power went off early today, thanks to a blown fuse), closed and barricaded the doors to the closet that I think serves/ed as his home, and headed off to the gym.
When I came back, the power was officially off (another reason for the quality of life decay …). I sat at my table in the salon, having breakfast and backing up my computer files, working contentedly and not a little smugly at having dealt so well with the rat issue.
Content and smug, that is, until I looked over at my rocking chair. My cleaning lady had come yesterday and had draped my favorite sweater flat across the seat of the chair. Now, I realized queasily, it was not so flat.
Yes, that’s right. Like the cockroaches of early summer, the rat appears to have decided to leave this earth in my presence, using my favorite sweater as its shroud.
I say apparently because despite my usually sanguine approach to animals, dead animals and gross issues generally, I cannot bring myself to remove the body. I’m waiting for the concierge to return from his morning errands and counting the minutes until he does.
And meanwhile yes, I am not only living but also working in the presence of a dead rat.