Yes, this is a story about rats, real rats.

So my wife and youngest daughter come running in to the house, visibly upset and both talking at the same time "Dad! You should have seen the mouse that was by our front door, it the was biggest mouse I had ever seen. And it was looking at us!". I calmly asked "How big was it?", to which they responded "It was huge!". I calmly asked again "How big was it, exactly?", to which they responded "It was huge!". Obviously this approach wasn't working, so I calmly asked "Show me with your hands how big it was.", and I was given a size more appropriate for a large possum. Gradually it came down to a size more appropiate to a rat or a large hamster. So I started to get somewhere, now I understand why they say eye witness testimony isn't worth much. I asked, "Did it have a long hairless tail?", and was told they didn't see one, apparently they seemed to have been locked into what the eyes were doing. They continued to call it the largest mouse they had ever seen, eventually labeling it Mousezilla. Why is it that people don't want to admit to a "rat", the name "mouse" must be a nicer label? Maybe because of Mickey? I wonder if Disney had come up with Ricky Rat instead of Mickey Mouse if it would be the other way around? Oh well... So I went outside and wasn't able to find a thing, so I made some comment about them seeing things and went back to reading my book. For the rest of the day I'd say "Oh look, it's Mousezilla!", and they would shreek, realize I was kidding, and then throw something at me.

A few days go by, and I'm told of another incident with Mousezilla crawling along the top of our fence next to the house. This time I'm told that I must do something about it, but they express concern that I might have to kill it, but they insist I do something about it. So I ask, "If I can't kill it, what am I supposed to do?". They don't have an answer, I ask if they know of any rat havens where I could take it, and I start getting dirty looks, but finally they say it's ok for me to kill it. But before I do anything, I tell them that it might be someone's pet, and maybe they should check with the neighbors and make sure someone hasn't lost their pet rat, or hamster, or small furry animal, or unusually hairy child (with the name Mousezilla?). A few days later I'm given a bag with some rat traps that the neighbors have donated to the cause, apparently they had a few rats too, nobody reported having any lost pets.

So I go to the Hardware store to get some more supplies to kill a rats, or what I assume to be a rat, given the poor description I had it could be a praire dog for all I know. There are sticky trays, expensive battery operated shock houses, plastic snap traps, and the old traditional wooden snap traps (like the neighbors gave me). I go the cheap route and get a couple more wooden snap traps. After a long few days and with no luck, and a few sprung traps (smart rats I guess), I was about to give up. Then we had some teenage girls come to visit my daughters, and the rat decided to come out for a visit. Such screaming you have never heard, probably scared Mousezilla to death (I wished). Once again I was given a "It was the biggest rat I've ever seen!" story, and the same poor description of the suspect creature, however in this case they were certain it was a rat. So I was convinced we did have a rat, so the traps were freshly baited and placed close to the scene of the crime. In addition, I put out some rat poison in the hopes of slowing down the smart rats so they might get caught in the trap. It worked, I caught a rat, then another. No where near the size of a possum or prarie dog, and actually kind of medium size rats. I had the primary rat witness ID the rat bodies, but she said "It seems so small, It looked much bigger when it was alive."

End of story, Mousezilla was history. I'm now the hero of the house. :\^)

I still hate ants more than rats.


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