Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Rats of N.I.M.H. Live Under My House

Seriously, I think they do. As I might have mentioned before, it's been rather cold of late and the area wildlife have been looking for warmer places to live. Apparently that place is in and under my house. Shudder.

For those aliens from another planet whom have never heard of the book or seen the movie, The Secret of N.I.M.H.. Here: The Secret of N.I.M.H. movie.

I have semi-recently discovered my enjoyment of watching birds. I'm not a fanatic-weirdo-dressing-up-in-my-waders-and-vest-weird-visor-thingie-on-my-head-lugging-around-a-tri-pod-for-my-camera-with-the-four-foot-long-lens-and-the-binoculars-that-I-have-to-drag-around-in-a-case-on-wheels-because-they-are-too-heavy-for-me-to-carry-type-of-bird-watcher. I am a sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-the-birds-in-my-yard-eat-the-seed-out-of-the-feeder-through-the-window type of birdwatcher.

I have a very cool feeder thingie that my brother Tony made for me. I decided to use it to put the day old bread and stuff like that in for the birds to eat. Sometimes its fun to watch the squirrels figure out how to get stuff out of it. I also have just a standard tube type feeder that I got at Target. Yes, I am easily amused. But of course, as with all things, I needed even more entertainment. I looked up on the Internet how to make your own suet for the birds. It's basically a high fat and protein mixture that you put in a suet feeder in the winter to help the birds stay fat which keeps them warm. A person can buy it just about anywhere, including a grocery store for cheap, but I like to make my own, you know vegetarian style. The store bought one's are usually made of lard and some kind of cow fat goo. I hung one of these up between the tube-style feeder and Tony's feeder.

The other day, I was sitting in my recliner, watching TV and alternately looking out the window watching the birds in their own version of tag-team wrestling (trying to knock each other off of the four perches, fighting for seed), and I started to wonder if any of the smaller, younger birds had figured out that they would get more seed if they just pecked it off the ground. The larger birds are so busy fighting each other that a lot of it falls. I also noticed that the nuts and stuff I had put in Tony's feeder were gone. I guess the squirrels had eaten them.

Then I noticed that the suet feeder was gone. What?!? I was instantly pissed. I immediately thought that I must not have put the feeder high enough and Mazzy must have ripped it down. The chain was still hanging from the tree.

I went outside to find the darn thing, but it was no where to be found. I could not figure out where the darn dogs had put it. They usually just leave there "toys" in the middle of the yard, they don't bury them or anything like that. As I was rounding the corner to look again near the feeders, a rat scurried under the house. Yes, you read right. A friggin' rat! I'm pretty sure my eyes bugged out, but I can't be positive because I was too busy holding in my screams as I ran back into the house, arms waving, boots making weird sucky noises in the mud. Needless to say but, eek!

Rats!?!?!?! Seriously? Under my house? I still shudder, even while I write this. Apparently, they have been mooching off of the seed that the birds drop from the feeder. And I started to suspect that the rats had absconded with my suet feeder. They needed to be eliminated. I needed to come up with a plan. But first a little re-con.

I silently approached the couch in the living room that sits under the window that is my primary viewing area I normally reserve for bird watching. But this time the mission was different. As I knelt on the couch to watch for the rats, I caught movement in the corner of my eye. I turned to look and immediately flinched back in horror.

As rats go, if they had oh, let's say, gangsta names, this guy's would be, "One Bad-Ass-Rat-Fucker". But we will call it B.A.R.F. for short. And it was sitting, about three feet from my face, in Tony's feeder like it didn't have a care in the world. It had to be at least a foot long and (sorry mom, but) it's balls were the size of the meatballs you find in a can of Spaghetti-o's. (Betcha never eat those again, eh?) What kind of rats were these?!? Maybe they inter-bred with the local nutria population that I've mentioned before.

The B.A.R.F smirked at me, ran down the tree and ran under the house. Three other smaller, but none-the-less still gross rats, came out of hiding and followed. I had to come up with a plan to get my suet feeder back. I just had to, by now it was a matter of principle, but my mind was still stuck in "eek" mode.

I eventually was able to come up with something. I armed myself with anything I could find that would protect me from the icky rat-ness that I was trying to avoid. Oven-mitts? Check. Hot dog tongs? Check. Steel colander for a helmet just in case they jumped on me from above? Check. Giant machete in case the B.A.R.F. was not really the biggest rat, but maybe just the second biggest? Check. Flak jacket leftover from my ex's Army days? Check. OK, I was ready. Well almost ready. I had to wait for the hubby and the kid to leave so no one could secretly film this or anything like that. It's one thing to write about it, it's another to have to relive it over and over again on YouTube.

I entered the back yard through the back door. I paused a minute to orient myself to my surroundings. (OK, that part's a lie, I was actually looking to see what new goodie piles my dogs might have left me.) As I stealthily approached the place I had last seen the B.A.R.F. go under the house, I was startled to see, just under the leaves of the apple tree, what looked to be magazines. I think I stumbled upon their outhouse of sorts. Perfect! What better place to catch them with their pants down so to speak. I took out my home made rat trap, that I had previously slathered in peanut butter and set it down near the rat turds.

I then proceeded to look for their lair. As anyone who has watched the Secret of N.I.H.M knows, it must be under the rose bush. Well, I looked there, and I guess these rats are trying to be more stealthy. The main hole was right under the damn bird feeder. And guess what I found right inside? My now empty suet feeder. Fuckers. I can't wait to go inside and watch from my window as the rats one by one get trapped inside my ingenious rat trap.