Life has been a little too interesting around Casa Tuel lately. My husband Rick, got airlifted off the island because he could not breathe one night. He’s much better, thanks, out of the hospital and on a new regime of dialysis.
The night before he was checked out of the hospital, I took a suitcase full of clothing to Rick so he’d have something to wear when he was discharged.
Perhaps I was a little distracted when I left the house. When I got home that night, our front door was standing wide open. Apparently I’d not closed it properly when I left. Like I said, distracted. I hoped I would not be greeted by raccoons in the house. I’ve heard stories of people having raccoons move in during the recent cold spell.
A walk-through of the house showed that all was well and I was alone, except for the dog. I turned in, but Marley sat on the corner of the bed and growled for about an hour. I figured something was up and I hoped there wasn’t a raccoon hiding under Rick’s side, of the bed, but all was quiet and after a while the dog and I both went to sleep.
That was Thursday night. On Sunday afternoon our son JD came to me and said, “I think there’s a rat in the house.”
“Where?” I asked.
“In the woodpile by the stove.”
Ah, a traditionalist rat. The woodpile sits behind the wood stove, and between two of the 4x4s that support the stairs.
JD and I began to move all the detritus around the woodpile until it was clear, and then JD got down and started peeking through the open spaces between the pieces of wood.
Finally, “There he is!” he said.
The rat was hiding in a little cavity at the bottom of the woodpile. So, we’d found him. Now what?
JD grabbed a large glass jar that was waiting to be recycled; I handed him a plastic lid from my stash. he held the opening of the jar up to the hole where the rat was peeking out.
I walked around to the other side of the wood pile, grabbed our wood stove’s poker, and, yes, poked it through the wood from that side. Once the poker hit the rat, it ran right into the jar like it had been shot from a gun, and JD clamped the lid over the opening, with about half the tail hanging out.
It was a large, gray Norwegian rat, and it looked scared, and who could blame it?
JD walked it some distance away from the house and dumped it in the blackberry bushes by the creek. He said that when he tried to dump it out of the jar it freaked out and clung to the insides with its legs spread out, kind of like a dog or cat trying to keep from being put into a bath.
When he came back I gave him a high five. He went back to playing his video game and I came in here to write the story down.
I can’t believe it was that easy. Keeping my ears alert for other unexplained noises now, and will not ignore the dog again if she growls for an hour.