Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rat Tales, Part 2 - Ralph the Rat Does a Houdini

The Critters I Live With - Part #2

Slowly, the sleep fog lifted, and I could identify the sound.  I was hearing some creature repeatedly hitting something plastic. I had a pretty good idea what the creature was. But what in the world did I have in the kitchen that would make that sound?

Finally, I figured it out. The trash can I used to seal off the second set of cupboard doors had a swivel top. Obviously, my nocturnal visitor had somehow fallen into the trash can and now could not find its way out. With every jump, he hit the swivel top and was knocked back down

“Just great!” I thought. “I have a rat in my trash can. NOW what am I going to do with it?”

I went to the kitchen door and listened. Of course, as soon as he heard the sound of my movements, Ralph the Rat stopped jumping. I can picture him sitting inside the trash can listening for my sounds every bit as intently as I listened for his. Finally, the sound came again.


OK. He was still in the trash can. I grabbed the broom, opened the door, and slipped into the kitchen, quickly closing the door behind me. If Ralph got out, I certainly didn’t want him to be able to take refuge in my bedroom.

Of course, when I opened the door, the thumping stopped. After tuning on the light, I stood there eyeing the trash can warily. Finally,…


With the advantage of the light, Ralph was able to get a grip on the rim of the trash can. He clutched the rim just long enough for me to get a glimpse of a big ugly rat paw before he fell back down.

“Oh gross!,” I thought. “I was right!. It is a rat, and he’s a big one! WHAT am I going to do with him?”

Then, I got an idea. In my office, I had a roll of clear packing tape. I’d get that, pull off a sizeable strip, and fasten it over the top of the trash can so the swivel top couldn’t swivel. I’d take the trash can outside, as far from my bedroom as I could, and deal with it in the morning.

Still armed with the broom, I went back through the kitchen door and closed it swiftly behind me. I found the tape and returned to the kitchen. Same routine. Get broom. Listen. Open door. Slip inside. Close door.

This time, I pulled off a length of tape and quickly whipped it over the top of the trash can. Now that I knew nothing could escape through the swivel top, I ventured to kick the can.

          Small kick. Nothing.

          Stronger kick. Still nothing.

Ralph the Rat had escaped. Now where was he?

I could only hope that Ralph was so shaken up by his captivity in the trash can that he had escaped my house the same way he had gotten in.

I noticed at that point that I had failed to complete the nighttime routine of sealing off the cupboards. That is probably why Ralph fell in to begin with. The trash can was not in its usual nighttime position. I remedied that oversight and headed back to bed.

I was only in bed for a few minutes when I heard a new sound.


Great! Just great! I knew exactly what that sound was. …(to be continued)

Click below for the rest of the story. 


  1. I hate mice, let alone rats. I can't even imagine. After your gecko stories earlier this year I thought, "no big deal, I kind of like lizards" but they've never been scurrying through my house. But Rats, rats are different and disgusting.

    A long time ago, my sisters had like 7 pet rats in two aquariums, and my family went off for vacation for a week. I was at home, and the task of feeding the rats was mine. I completely forgot, and they all died. My sisters took years to forgive me for that. But the house smelled much better without those rodents living there.

  2. I wonder...did your hatred of rats maybe have a little bit to do with forgetting to feed them.? Just kidding. I must admit, I really hate them, too, but have to deal with them without freaking out.

    They are disgusting, but at least they aren't poisonous. Some friends of mine had two large cobras get into their house just this past week. I've been here over nineteen years, and I've never even SEEN a cobra. (Not that I want to, of course.)

    1. Yeah, cobras are worse than rats. But at least cobras are a "cool" animal. Maybe if you got a cobra you wouldn't have problems with rats. Yeah, maybe a cat is a better idea.

    2. Rats are gross. Cobras can kill you. And if I had a cat, I'd go around with red, itchy eyes all the time. Where I live now, I think the phantom monitor lizard in the ceiling helps keep the rat population down. More about Larry the lizard in another post. :)

  3. Rats! Aren’t they just the worst? Why don’t you try putting traps around cupboards so that Ralph, or any other rats, wouldn’t be able to freely run around your kitchen? Getting a cat might also be a good idea, but I fear your house would only become a warzone. Have you considered calling pest control to help you out?

    Lucile Lynch

  4. Hi Lucille. Yes, rats are the worst. Just so you know...I don't have rats roaming free all the time through my house. This was a story about one particularly persistent rodent that invaded my house over ten years ago. Not funny at the time, but I can laugh about it now. They were so bad for a few weeks because the house had been empty for a month in the tropics, and the neighborhood rats took up squatters rights for a while. Yes, I did use glue traps and eventually the problem got down to manageable occasional rodent every month or so. When that happens, yes, the traps come out again. A cat wouldn't work as I am allergic. And pest control??? In Bali??? I think I'd get laughed at if I asked about bit. There is no such thing.


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