(not for the squeamish)
An hour before leaving for my family’s
Thanksgiving gathering at my sister
and brother-in-law’s house, I heard
Diego’s hunting trill and went
to investigate. Sure enough, the big
dumb orange boy cat had the big rat
cornered behind two boxes I’d
moved to the kitchen.
“Wait here,” I said to them both,
hurrying to open the back door,
hoping to make a clear path to
freedom, then moved Diego, tail
swishing in annoyance, out of
But the rat I’ve been thinking of
for ages as “her” did not take the hint,
dashing under the Brand New Stove
to encounter a devilish sticky trap
placed there as a last-ditch resort.
I texted Jason the rat guy
(“sorry to disturb your holiday;
this can wait till tomorrow”)
with a photo of her stuck on the trap,
eyes wide, both of us horrified that
it had come to this. Jason texted back
a big thumb’s up, and I took my
heavy heart to my sister’s house
with a new rat tale in the long saga.
This morning Jason came to retrieve her,
expired under the Brand New Stove.
“I can’t watch,” I told Jason, stepping
out of the kitchen, as he deposited
what I hope is the last bit of rodentia
in the house in a white plastic bag.
“He’s a big one,” Jason said as he
went out the front door.
“Not a she?” I asked.
“I doubt it,” Jason said,
which didn’t make me feel better
about the calculated demise
of a long-term housemate.
But after he left, I sighed with relief,
listening into the silence,
a weary veteran of this years-long
siege, daring to imagine that
it might finally be over.
Coupla nights ago our USUALLY well-behaved skunk unleashed its aroma when family was here for dinner. UGH! Surprisingly, Felicia and I didn’t SMELL it! One of the happy surprises of growing old? DT