Nov. 16: New range

I suppose I should thank the dirty rats
who decided to nest behind the fancy
range that came to live with me 18 years
ago when I had the kitchen remodeled,

and I definitely need to thank Leaman
the handyman, who has pulled out more
than one appliance as, over too many years,
we’ve tried to flush the rats that didn’t
succumb to traps,

because last week he and I found
the fetid mess behind the fancy range
and called it a total loss, the rats
having eating so much casing off
the wiring and making a cozy nest
that it was, Leaman said, a potential
electrical fire in the making.

And thanks to all this I have learned
that you can order a new stove/oven
online and have the glistening appliance
speedily delivered to a house with
at least one rat who refuses to leave.

I saw her about a week ago—the one
I imagine is a her—when I turned on
the kitchen light in the middle of the night,
her ample brown body scurrying off
the counter by the back door where
the little violets and heart-shaped
cacti live. And though I’ve set traps,
made sure the house is locked up tight,
hired two different pest companies
to get her (I pray it’s just one her)
without success, she has eluded us all.

Yesterday a new range arrived,
and Leaman returned to install it,
gleaming and gorgeous, an hour after
Jason the pest guy came with additional
traps—one of which now hides under
the new stove.

I wonder where she and (God help me)
others like her might still hide in this
old house, sneaky rodentia stealthily
avoiding two cats and me.

If she’d only learn to use a litterbox,
I’ve said for far too long, and quit
destroying appliances, I might not
mind her snacking on cat food
bits I try to sweep up daily. I might
even consider her a pet, think about
giving her a name.

Me and the new GE / Photo by Dick Schmidt (of course)

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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2 Responses to Nov. 16: New range

  1. Cora Johnson says:

    Oh yes, I know of these things. Dean loves to show off his catches and, of course, brings them into the house. Most of the time there is a carcass on the floor in the morning. BUT where are your kitties? Why aren’t they on duty to catch that felonious rat or at least alert you that the varmint is in the vicinity?

    • janishaag says:

      First, I love the phrase “felonious rat.” Awesome! Second, my cats have nailed (and probably brought in) rats over the past few years, but for some reason, this is one wily rat who evades them, even when Diego plots himself in front of one of the appliances she’s likely behind. They’re trying, but this rat is, unfortunately, good! Or bad…

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