packrat

my underwear drawer was full of dog food

my linen bin had kibble layered between the sheets and towels

my silverware drawer contained piles of raisins

in my shirt drawer…mounds of soft, creamy colored fluff – something unidentifiable had been chewed

and stored

I am missing an earring

this was no ordinary mouse

this was a creature preparing for armageddon

I saw him out of the corner of my eye once or twice, scurrying into the kitchen

he was tiny and gray and seemingly harmless

I thought it was sweet for a while; I texted my friend with photos

“how cool” she replied

then,

after googling pack rats and seeing how big they become I decided that there is not enough room in this house for the two of us

three if you include Elvis the Wonder Corgi who apparently is not a mouse hunter

last year’s 7 foot snake was, but she didn’t return this summer

I put out traps with peanut butter

packrats can’t carry that away for storage so it didn’t work

then I went away for a few days, making sure there was no dog food available

I came home and immediately sensed that my roommate had left

with relief I went on with my days, grateful that I didn’t have to commit murder

then, last night, as I was closing up the house, I saw a creature hanging onto the screen of the front door

splayed, flat, arms and legs spread in a fearful grip on the mesh

startled, it took a minute for my mind to grasp what I was seeing

he looked like a lizard hanging out

why wasn’t he on the floor where a rat should be instead of scaling the screen door like a reptile

I let out a yelp and he ran under the washing machine

it’s time

he’s getting bigger by the day

I hate being startled

elvis won’t eat out of the same bowl that the rat has

determined, I set out two traps; one with the standard peanut butter, just in case

the other had kibble

I closed the laundry room door, blocked any potential exits with blankets and towels and went to bed hoping to hear the SNAP of a trap, the snap of a neck

this morning, there he was, splayed again like a lizard, arms and legs straight out, little fingers spread wide, neck flattened under the guillotine of the trap

the kibble trap

do I feel badly having killed

absolutely

but I can’t afford to keep feeding him

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s