Tag Archives: wildlife

An Unexpected Visitor

19 Jul

I went upstairs… and a cute little rat appeared on the sewing room threshold. It sat there looking around with curiosity, while I stared and let my mouth hang open. I grabbed a cloth bag and started walking toward the rat, so it turned and ran to a far corner.

I called for Vita and Virginia, my two hunter cats, and they came upstairs and chased the mouse. To them, this was playtime; I merely wanted it back outdoors.

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The rat sat in a corner, and Virginia slowly approached it. The silly little rat walked up to Virginia and touched noses with her. This cat has caught and  killed countless rats and mice! The rat acted like Virginia was its mommy. She seemed rather shocked and didn’t know what to do, so she backed off.

The cats chased the rat across the hallway, into my bedroom. Urgh. By the time I followed, Virginia and the rat were sitting inches away. I had my cloth bag ready. Anytime, I could grab it by the tail and put it in the bag: I’ve done this with numerous tiny mice. But… I didn’t want to touch it. It was small for a rat, but bigger than any mouse.

The rat saw me coming and ran toward the window; Virginia chased it. The most disturbing part was seeing the rat climbing the curtain. Virginia jumped onto the windowsill. She was fuller alert now. Through the sheen curtain, she tapped the rat, and it squeaked. I noticed it had a white underside and wiggly black whiskers, like a chinchilla. It was cute, but I still didn’t want to touch its tail. It kept climbing, while I tried to figure out a way to catch it without touching it.

I remembered seeing a pair of gloves in my dresser, so I rummaged through a drawer while Virginia and the rat were still in the window. I couldn’t find the gloves, so I grabbed a sock. Still carrying the cloth bag, I approached the rat and, through the sock, began to grab its tail, but it moved, I panicked, and the rat jumped to the floor.

Virginia thought this was fun. She jumped down and stared at the rat. I approached it with the bag again, and it ran across the room, Virginia right behind it.

Virginia cornered the rat on a bookcase. Finally, I used a dustpan to push the rat into the bag. It worked! I held the bag closed, took it downstairs, slipped on a pair of sandals, and went outside, where I released the rat in the bushes at the far front corner of the yard.

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Even that was difficult, because the rat didn’t wish to leave the bag; I kept shaking the bag over the bushes, and the rat clung inside with its little hands. I lowered it closer to the ground while keeping my arms outstretched (I kept my distance in case it ran toward me when it got out) and gave it a few more shakes. Finally, the rat slipped out, head first, to the shrubbery.

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