The Dog is recovering well from his stroke. He’s still not 100% and sometimes he stumbles when he walks. He doesn’t go very fast. But if I’m traveling at his pace in a straight line when I’m his age, I’ll consider myself to be doing pretty well.
One sunny Saturday, we take a walk together. Not far. Just around the corner and back.
We get back just in time to see a critter meandering through my front yard and disappear under a bush near my porch. It’s about the size of a squirrel, only without the cute bushy tail.
You know, a rat.
I know a few things about rats. Fun facts like: rats are nocturnal – meaning that something is probably up with this one, given that he’s strolling through my yard in broad daylight.
Or how about this: Rats can gnaw through concrete. I learned this from my next door neighbor, who at one point had rats living in the crawlspace below her house.
No, not her house in the ghetto. Her house right next door to mine, in one of the suburbs where property values are actually increasing.
Or maybe, they were increasing.
Come to think of it, maybe this is a really good time to sell.
I shoot her a text: “Seen any rats recently?”
She replies: “Yes. My husband found a dead one in the driveway. No head.”
Why could she not be one of the many people in my life who lies to me?
We have new neighbors in the next house over, so I send an email. It takes me a long time to compose, because they’re new to the neighborhood and I like them and there’s just not a really welcoming way to say, Hey, be careful of the rats – they’re baaaack.
She replies fairly quickly: “Thanks for letting me know. My mother saw one on the fence yesterday, too.”
I’m going to assume that there’s some sort of language problem with her reply. There must be. Her fence is six feet tall. She must have meant near the fence.
I don’t want to talk to any more neighbors. It’s like there’s a block party in our neighborhood and the rats have a 100% RSVP rate.
I need someone to deal with this for me. I’m too busy having visions of the bug scene in Creepshow, only with rats that can leap tall fences in a single bound. Mostly with heads.
What would The Departed do if he were here?
Oh wait – we had a mouse once that we thought might be a rat. What we did was this: I dealt with it.
I can do this.