Rat Dance

We’ve established by now that I am a friend of rodents and reptiles. We used to have Mango, the hamster, and we’ve Gecko now. The Hawaii house had Gouda and my Bellevue house has–and there’s no delicate way to put this–a huge rat.

On an up note, the huge rat seems to stay in the garage. He/she seems to like the macadamia nut chocolates I was keeping there. He/she seems to think I was keeping the chocolate covered nuts for him/her. It’s a gracious thought, and I certainly appreciate my rodent friends thinking of me as a generous and hospitable landlord, but I’m not that nice. I don’t see the…ungodly big…rat in the garage and think, ‘Oh, lovely, rat’s having a party today. What fabulous fun.’ I stare in horrified fascination as rat runs across the garage doors and disappears down around the refrigerator I keep in the garage for extra soft drinks and frozen foods and that’s when I slam the door to the house close and shudder. uuuuggggh.

If only the rat was…smaller. If only the rat was more like Gouda. Gouda was tiny. Gouda was the size of a teaspon running across the floor. And up the footstool. And sitting curiously by my feet. Gouda freaked me out. Gouda could have been cuter. Gouda could have been even darling, like a mouse from a children’s storybook, a fluffy little white mouse, but no, Gouda was a charcoal colored mouse that left mouse poops everywhere. Happily the cat in the Hawaii shack has scared little mouse away and we’ve no more problems with mouse poops there.

Bellevue, now, Bellevue’s another story. I haven’t actually found rat…droppings…because 1) I haven’t looked as 2)its gross and 3) kind of scary. I know I won’t pull a box out and have the rat come flying at me like a squirrel with wings but rats are excellent jumpers. It might freak and leap toward me. And did I mention it was big? Easily 6-8 inches and hefty. It’s enjoyed a lot of chocolate macadamia nuts and I know from first hand experience that those put the weight on.

Thank goodness the big rat is a light grayish brown, kind of boring grayish brown, and if it sticks around a little longer it will soon be the size of a cat and a perfect companion for my children and my one eyed bulldog. I just don’t want the rat to run really fast. I might even like having a house rat if it walked more slowly, kind of sauntered a bit, think Elvis Presley. If the rat could be casual and cool, it’d be fine. Abi, our bulldog, would probably really like having someone (something?) to play with while kids are at school.

But would the rat be safe? Do wild rats have rabies? Or have rats just earned a bad reputation? I don’t know. And I really struggle with this. I mean, I haven’t joined any of the rat right groups, but maybe it’s time. Maybe I’m ready to be a card carrying member of Equality for Rodents because I sure have created a most inviting home for them.

Welcome home, Rat Family. Welcome home.

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