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[personal profile] platedlizard
So, I live in an apartment above my parents' garage. This means that occasionally I get rodents. Fortunately I have a cat who is an awesome ratter so this isn't usually an issue. Usually.

Recently I came back from a camping trip to find that my bread had been chewed on. I tossed it, annoyed, and yelled at my cat for not doing her job. She gave me her usual wtf look and went back to sleep, totally unimpressed. The next day a dead rat appeared on the floor, partially eaten, and I thought that was it... for about five minutes when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. 'Oh shit' I thought as it scampered off. 'TWO of them?'. Admittedly I'm not the best house keeper and I have people and pet food up here. An infestation could be bad. As I started ripping apart my room trying to eliminate attractants I spotted the rat again.

It was a black-hooded rat.

Black hooded rats, for people who don't know, are domesticated rats. In other words, this was a former pet rat who had found its way to my place. I live across the street from a park and people are always dumping pets there, so I can only assume that's where it came from.

At this point I had a real situation on my hands.

Part of the problem is my attitude toward rats. Pet rats, as in from a pet store, are fun cute critters. I had them as pets as a kid. Wild rats, on the other hand, are horrible little monsters that all need to diaf. It's not logical, I know, but that's the way I feel. So now I had a pet rat living in my place like a wild rat. It was grossing me out, but I also felt I had a responsibility toward it because it was domesticated. I was afraid to catch it because I didn't want to be bitten (do rat carry rabis? I'm pretty sure they can catch it)

Unlike previous rats this one made little effort to hid itself, it was active all day long. Besides its coloring that behavior is what told me it was a pet rat, as they don't show anywhere near the amount of shyness toward humans that wild rats do. Over the course of the next few days my cat made numerous efforts to kill it, but for some reason she was never able to finish the kill, unlike previous rats. I'm not sure why, but maybe the rat's coloring put her off, or the rat understood cat behavior better or something.

Anyway, yesterday I got tired of the situation and put out a call on Craigslist for help. A lady who runs a rat rescue emailed me, and after I finally managed to get the rat into a pet crate I took it to her. She picked up the rat and lo and behold it was tame, if scared. It didn't bite her or anything, and settled down once it realized that she was not going to let it runaway. The rat was very skinny, possibly because it didn't know how to find food on its own, and had an eye filled with blood possibly from my cat, but other wise looked fine. So yay, one life saved, and it's no longer my problem.

So, that was my good deed for the week. Next post, practicing Chinese.
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platedlizard

February 2014

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