Tuesday, August 31, 2010

House Guests and Other Noises

We got back from the beach to a mostly clean house. Except. In the kitchen we found a weird mess of dust bunnies and plastic lids. The windows were closed, so it wasn't the wind. The rest of the house was fine, so we just shrugged and cleaned up the mess.

On Monday Chris emailed me.

Subject: Mystery Solved
T'was a rat. :(

He'd seen the rat that morning, as it scurried from under the hoosier, across the dining room and into a gap by the pocket doors. (not that you asked what a hoosier or pocket door is, but I am helpful like that)

That night we heard some scratching in our wall and were mesmerized as we listened to the on again, off again noise.

The next night Chris set traps, and while we watched Mad Men we heard one of the traps slap closed. Ugh. I refused to look, but from Chris's face I am sure it wasn't pleasant. I feel a little conflicted about using a killing trap, but not enough to have taken steps to handle it another way. I was so much more squicked by the reality of a rat in my house than I'd imagined I would be. I felt much better once the rat was gone.

Except that not more than 10 minutes later, we heard the scritch scritch scritch sound again. We probably should have known that there would be more than one. Luckily, we'd gotten more than one trap. We left the traps out and went to bed.

The next morning I got up with the babies. I dutifully went around picking up the traps before the babies discovered them. First the two glue traps, and then the spring loaded trap. Leaning over, I noticed that it had been sprung. Huh, that's weird, it's sprung but there is no rat in it, I thought. That's when I noticed the dead rat a few inches away, under a chair. I was so shocked I did that involuntary full body wiggle of ewww! I didn't quite jump on a chair, but I was too much of a wimp to deal with the dead rat myself. I made Chris come get it so that the babies would not get a chance to go after it.

The next night involved no rat sounds, thankfully. However, at 3am I woke up to Chris walking out of the room. He briefly went downstairs and upon returning said that he'd heard something. He got back into bed, but we both lay, heads cocked, listening to some kind of weird scratching noise. At first I thought it was in our room, but then Chris realized it was coming from outside our window. He peeked out the window and saw a dark shape moving from the neighbor's vertical rain pipe onto their second floor porch. It was a racoon, climbing the drain pipe, he said. Eventually we relaxed and fell back asleep.

The following day I took Ada and Lila on a bike ride to the ice cream store. When I got home, Chris had news: Last night? It wasn't a raccoon. It was our neighbor. Apparently Sam found himself locked out, his cell phone was dead or not with him, and he could not wake his house mates by knocking on the door. He decided that the best way in was through the second floor balcony, so at 3 am he'd scaled the rain pipe to get into the house. And now we know that our neighbor looks and sounds a lot like a really creative raccoon.

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