May 14, 2009

Cat, Rat, & Me

The fun never stops. Last week (or was it earlier this week?) Ravenpaw got himself stuck in a gigantic eucalyptus tree, right? Well, last night I was sleeping soundly when around 2:30 a.m. I heard a meow--which meant Ravenpaw had finally come in through the dog door. We keep the cats upstairs at night so their playing and loud purring doesn't keep us awake, so I stumbled out of bed and up the stairs where I held the door open waiting. And waiting. It was dark and I couldn't see so I switched on the light. There was Ravenpaw at the bottom of the stairs and slinking its way up the stairway against the wall was a big gray rat. Alive. And moving towards me. Ravenpaw had brought in a live and very large rat.

One moment I was half asleep the next I was wide awake. I closed the door at the top of the stairs, hurried downstairs past the dazed rat, closed the bedroom and bathroom doors and assessed the situation. My feet were bare. They needed protection, so I went to my closet and pulled on a pair of cowboy boots as I formulated a plan. I would shoo the rat out the back door using something like a broom--except that the broom was upstairs in the kitchen. Instead I grabbed a long roll of butcher paper that happened to be in a corner of my closet. I opened the back door, left it that way, and headed up the stairs. But the rat was nowhere to be seen. Ravenpaw, however, was swatting at the inside of a shoe Jerry had left on the top step. Using my Sherlock Holmesesque powers of reasoning, I deduced that the rat was inside the shoe. I crept up the steps, grabbed a dish towel (I have no idea where the dishtowel came from) and stuffed it into the shoe. With a quick shove I put Ravenpaw upstairs and closed the door again. It was just me and the rat.

How to transport the shoe out the door without letting the rat out? I used the only tool I had at hand--the roll of butcher paper. I stuck the end of the paper into the shoe to hold the towel in place, and made for the back door, past a groggy Warren who had come out to see what all the commotion was about. One outside, I put the shoe down, ran to the door and closed it. Then I waited for the rat to come out. I waited. And I waited. "Who's out there?" Jerry called from behind his closed door. He was scared. "It's only me. Ravenpaw brought in a rat--I'm just putting it out." I was not about to tell him how I had managed to transport the beast. Luckily Jerry stayed put.

The rat stayed put, too. In Jerry's shoe. So I crept out the door, flung the dishtowel out of the shoe, ran back to the house and close the door. Finally, the rat came out, took a quick look around, and he was gone.

Of course, with all that adrenaline running through my blood (or wherever adrenaline runs) it took forever to fall back to sleep.

This morning when I crawled out of bed and checked Jerry's shoe there was a little mouse turd inside. Poor guy. Ravenpaw scared the shit out of him.

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