"That's just like dad," my son told me, big brown eyes wide.
"What do you mean?"
"Dad was looking for those traps to kill rats. He said he wanted the ones that would kill them instantly."
"Do you mean mice?" I asked drawing my feet up and looking suspiciously around the room.
"No." He shook his head and I could tell this was not a case of word confusion.
When we lived in NYC I once plucked my daughter out of her stroller and ran the other direction, leaving behind my husband, the diaper bag and an enormous rat who was giving me the stink eye.
"The rat would have run away," my husband insisted.
"Or it would have jumped in the stroller and chewed off Child #1's face."
When it comes to me and rats, there's a low occurrence of rational thought.
Here's the rest of the skinny.
|Gateway to Ratopia|
We live in an old inner city neighborhood, filled with big trees, historic homes, pretty parks and rats. The neighborhood's rat problem is our dirty, little secret.
A friend of mine who lives in a tasteful, elegantly appointed tudor tells a cringe-inducing story of hearing scratching noises inside a drawer, opening it up and having a rat jump out.
Dinner party discussion topics have touched on rats in walls, rats climbing out of toilets and I've seen the ocassional drowned rat in the street. But until that moment in Child #2's bed, they'd all just been cautionary tales. Suddenly, it felt personal.
I confronted my husband later that evening. He shook his head. "He wasn't supposed to tell you. I can't believe he didn't keep it a secret."
Child #2's lack of secret keeping skills was not what I wanted to focus on. I needed details and I got them. The rat was found in our backyard, dead and bloody. Good, I thought. Something out there is killing rats. And that was the last time I thought about it until yesterday when I was blithely walking through the backyard and came upon vermin carnage.
It might have been a rat, but given its mangled and bloody state it was hard to tell. Later in the day I ventured back outside but the carcass was gone, disappeared as though my backyard is inhabited by a group of vermin hitmen skilled in the art of 'disappearing bodies'.
Some people might be disturbed to discover their back yard is a killing field where misshapen, bloody animal corpses disappear in a matter of hours. Not me! It feels like I have a guardian angel in my backyard. My guardian angel might have a ferocious appetite for mid-sized rodents and the personality of a serial killer but really, what's the point of quibbling over small details?
P.S. Posting the pictures for this blog was *almost* more than I could manage. Immediately upon finishing I closed the lid on every toilet in my house.