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Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton

Rattus norvegicus

Rating: 3 votes, 3.67 average.

The above little fellow is kind of cute, I suppose, what pet shop dealers call "a fancy rat."

True, the rat that has infested my house goes by the same Linnaean name: Rattus norvegicus. But he probably should not be confused with his big-eared, big-eyed, domesticated cousin. My unwanted Rattus norvegicus is most likely feral, a greedy little creature upon whose oily coat hop about the sort of fleas whose own passengers once killed half of Europe.

If you would have told me three days ago that I would have a rat infestatin, I would have not believed you. My house is reasonably sanitary; our neighborhood is good; the neighbors not the sort to provoke suspicions that they have laid out an enticing chain of breadcrumbs from the sewer to my door.

Now, I suspect them all.

I heard the skittering above the ceiling, back and forth, punctuated with gnawing sounds. I tried to tell myself it was nothing--a piece of loosened insulation blowing around in the night breeze.

Then the stench of rat urine became way too much to ignore. Sawdust and plaster falls like snow. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, tell-tale pellets are everywhere, and every unguarded crust bears teeth marks.

I cannot catch him in the act. He is a conservative little fiend, very secretive, hiding and lurking as I tug my hair out and wonder about the future of my house and health. I think his numbers are proliferating. Rats breed like fire; their appetite for destruction is exhilarating.

I have taken all the usual steps: mowed the unkempt clumps of heather surrounding my estate; searched on Craig's list for rat tarriers to let; considered even the possibility of an allergic life of running eyes and nose in exchange for one devoid of rats. How quickly would Geoffrey dispatch these devils!

For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.

For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.

I know, of course, that once entrenched, it is very difficult to unhouse a rat; it is, in fact, hard to even espy him.

But it is true, as well, that the lurking rat prefers his anonymity. Much better for him the life before his presence is known--suspected, perhaps, maybe even dreaded, but not entirely 100 percent surely confirmed.

That there is a rat wandering about in my community is no longer the stuff of paranoia and suspicion. I have heard him skittering, smelled his piss, seen his toothmarks, understand sans doute his capacity for destruction.

It has even become clear to me now that sometimes the fancy rat uses his fanciness as a disguise for his feral nature.

Happy the rat that conducts his business in secrecy! Less content willl he be now that his presence is understood.

Back to your sewer, I warn you, for I am dedicated to your extermination.

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  1. Chicken of the Sea's Avatar

    My 6 lb, declawed cat Marmalade dispatches rats and other vermin with aplomb.
    If only it were that easy for us!
  2. The Fortress's Avatar
    I had a rat infestation last December. Most unpleasant.
  3. EricOrca's Avatar
    I have a feral cat, that on occasion, will leave just the face and some of the entrails on my "Welcome" mat in the mornings. Victims include but not limited to; rats, gophers, field mice and small birds. Now if only he could do this to the raccoons that invade the animal feed and chicken coop at night!
  4. Bobinator's Avatar
    Who's the rat?
    I hope you get 'em!
  5. jim thornton's Avatar
    I will put out some poison and hope he takes the bait. I am closing in. I may see if technical service can help me track the rat. From what I understand, rats do not like to leave the periphery and the shadows. They are more secure lurking. So that is where we will find them!
  6. Bobinator's Avatar
    Yes, they find comfort in the shadows. They are hard-wired to work under-cover when no one is around. Lots of creatures in our world could be described as lurkers: Bats, coyotes, roaches, basically any living creature who feels inadequate to bask in the light of the day.
  7. jim thornton's Avatar
    The question now: an intramural rat or an outsider?

    The investigation continues...
  8. Bobinator's Avatar
    I know what I think, but I'm not an exterminator.....just an observer of rodentia life.
  9. knelson's Avatar
    I'm kinds late here, but I hope you didn't use poison. Do you want a dead rat somewhere in your house where you can't get to the carcass? Good old fashioned traps baited with peanut butter work incredibly well.