About a week ago, the man thought we had a mouse in the basement. Mice in the basement is not a huge deal when you live in the country on a farm, it's kind of expected. This doesn't make it okay or better, but I've learned to live with it. He set a few traps, as he does every year around this time, and we waited. A few days ago he had a sneaking suspicion that this mouse wasn't a mouse after all, but a rat. The traps he was using had been sprung, the bait had been eaten but there was no 'body' to be found. He and his nephew poked around down there for a while on Wednesday and they found more evidence that this wasn't your cute, little, run of the mill mouse. They actually saw it, or at least part of it, and described it to me as 'half as big as Sophie'. This is when I started getting worried because Sophie is our 12" long, 5 pound, 3 month old daschund puppy. In my mind I was picturing a huge sewer rat! The kind you see in crime shows, when the characters are looking for a dead body in the underbelly of a large city. I was NOT okay with this rodent living in my house!!
Last night, Super O! and I were on the couch watching a movie and I noticed that Rascal was acting very strange. He's usually relaxing on the couch with us but last night he was very agitated. He couldn't be still, he was running between the living room and Super O!'s bedroom door. He was whining. Something was amiss. I went to Super O!'s bedroom door and removed the gate so he could investigate. At this point I realized the rodent was in her closet! I could hear it moving around in there. I started to panic! What do I do? I can't send her to bed in there...not with that B rated movie sewer monster in there! I was afraid to even tell her about it. I couldn't deal with her panic on top of my own! I let Rascal stay in there for a while. He sniffed, he poked his nose into nooks and crannies, he stared at the walls as if he could sense it moving around in the skeleton of the house. He freaked me out!
After a while I decided the best course of action was to just put the gate back up and close the door. The man would take care of it later. After all, he IS the man and rodents are his job! Around 10:00 we went to bed. I let Super O! sleep in my bed because of the horrors that were laying in wait in her room. I put the dogs into their crates, locked the doors and turned off the lights. We settled into bed. After about 10 minutes Super O! fell asleep and I started to drift off. That's when I heard it. IT WAS IN MY ROOM!!! How it got there I still don't know but I could hear it's little nails scraping on the hard wood floors at the foot of the bed. Then I heard it next to the bed!! I jumped up, turned on my nightstand lamp, grabbed my glasses and cautiously started looking around. I refused to leave the relative safety of my bed! I must have spooked it (HA...I spooked IT! Right!) because I didn't hear it anymore. I waited a few minutes and bravely got out of bed to get the phone. I called the man to let him know what was happening...IN OUR BEDROOM! He suggested I let Rascal out for the night to see if he could catch it. Rascal has never been out of his crate while we're in bed so he wasn't sure what to do. He went from the bed to the floor to the living room and back again. After a few minutes he vigilantly settled in by my feet and watched. I figured I was safe at this point so I started to drift off.
I'm not sure how much time passed but I was rudely jolted awake by the sound of Rascal hitting the floor. He was determined to get the intruder and save his female masters. However, the rodent was sly and got away from him...this time. He came back to bed to play the waiting game again. This time he sat upright at the foot of the bed. The next time he saw his foe he wasn't going to fail. He had a duty to protect his family and he took it very seriously! I felt safe with my knight in furry armor standing guard so I drifted off again.
Again I was yanked from the depths of sleep by the sound of my hunter pouncing on his prey. Rascal had it and I knew I didn't want to look. It was over in a matter of seconds but the sounds I heard keep replaying in my head. The victim squealed a few times and then...cruuuuunnnnnnch...it was done. The rodent would not be bothering us any longer.
I was very relieved until I remembered that the cats we had when I was a kid liked to bring their new 'toys' to us so we could see how well they were earning their keep. Was Rascal going to do this? Was he going to jump onto the bed with a rodent corpse in his jaw, his ears perked up and a sparkle in his eye? "Look Mom, I got this for you!! Isn't it great?" I knew the man would be coming home soon but would it be soon enough? I laid in bed, paralyzed, willing him to come home RIGHT NOW! Ok, RIGHT NOW! No? How about RIGHT NOW? I really don't know how long it was and at some point I realized I couldn't hear Rascal in my room any longer, but finally I heard the man on the deck. My man was home! I didn't have to deal with a corpse because HE WOULD!
He came straight to our room when he got into the house. I told him what had transpired and begged him to find the body. I don't do well with dead things and he knows this. Rascal was jumping around as if to say "Guess what I did Dad...come look...it's the coolest, bestest thing I've ever done!" The man poked around in our room and couldn't find anything so he followed Rascal to the living room and there it was. I like to believe he knows how his mother is and felt the need to remove the body from the scene of the crime so she wouldn't completely LOSE HER SHIT! I love him for this.
The man took the evidence outside where he deposited it in the snow a few feet off the end of the deck. Right in the center of the view from my kitchen window. So I could see it when I got my morning drink of water. And he thought this was funny. I still love him though.
So, that's the story of Rascal the Rat Slayer and how he saved his damsel's in distress. He's a good boy and he knows it!
p.s. Super O! slept through all of this. The barking, the yelling, the freaking out, the lights turning off and on, the talking...she didn't hear a thing! And the rodent wasn't as big as the man made it sound or as big as I imagined it. It was about as big as a small can of fruit cocktail. I know this because it was one of the first things I saw this morning. Outside my kitchen window. Where the man who loves me left it. For me to see. Did I mention that I still love him anyway?