The Rat vs The Cat (and the Human)

19 Apr

Animals are Assholes, Example Five: The Rat

Rats are assholes. This may not come as a surprise to you. I, however, always defended them, because I found them cute and thought their ability to do things like decimate 30-60% of Europe’s population with the plague was impressive. That was until I had one in my apartment.

Aren't I cute? I carry the Black Death. Hehe.

Normally when I get home, Ophelia will do one of two things: Greet me at the door like a dog, all excited and friendly-like, or completely ignore my arrival while sleeping on my pillow like a passed out party girl like the cat she is.

Why did you wake me up, human?

However, as I arrived home a few years ago to the Lower East Side studio I lived in, I found Ophelia, as stiff and angry-looking as a gargoyle, frozen and staring at my radiator. Her fur was spiked, her tail puffed to three times its normal size. I was on the phone with my mother and I told her to wait a second, there was something wrong with the cat. “Phe? PheBaby, what’s wrong?” Without moving a muscle, she emitted the lowest most evil sounding growl.  “Mom,” I said into my cell, “I think Ophelia has finally lost her mind completely, she’s growling at the radiator. HOLY SHIT!” At this point I had finally followed Ophelia’s stare to the top of the radiator, where I now saw sat the largest rat I have ever seen. This thing was Phe-sized. “There’s a RAT in my apartment! MOM!”

Ophelia and Rat were NOT down with this peace and love bullshit.

“Get a broom and shoo it out!” she told me. A broom? Did I have one of those?

“Hold on, I have to put the cat in the bathroom so she doesn’t get out or get bitten. I’ll call you back.” I ran over to Ophelia, grabbed her, and dragged her hissing and spitting and screeching like a hell demon all the way to the bathroom. Which was like, a foot away in my tiny apartment. Bad move on my part though, because as soon as I muzzled the would-be guard dog, the rat took off under my bed, free to terrorize my apartment without the inconvenience of a psychotic cat on mood elevating drugs. With Phe locked away, howling from the bathroom, I found a broom and began jamming it under my bed in an attempt to scare out the rat. In my head, one jab of the broom would result in the rat thinking “Screw this, she has a BROOM! I am OUT of here!” while he skittered right out my front door. Not so much. A half hour later, there was no sign of him.

My friend, who was due to come over and hang out, called to see if I needed her to bring wine. “YES!” I shouted into the phone. “LOTS of wine.” Here is where I should tell you that said friend is almost pathologically afraid of mice. I knew I should tell her about the rat, but I also knew that meant she wouldn’t come over and I didn’t want to be alone. Like selfish people do, I chose to lie, but hint at the problem.

You'd need this too if there was a rat in your apartment.

“Um just so you know, I might have seen a mouse. But I’m not sure.” She was nervous, but she also knew I had mouse –sized balls of Ophelia fur that blew across my floor like tumbleweeds, so I think she weighed the odds and figured I was mouse free. Which I was. This fucker was a full-out rat. She came over, and with no sign of the rat invader, I released Ophelia from the bathroom. She stalked throughout the little apartment, sniffing the air and revealing her teeth to every shadow she came across, but there was no rat to be found. My friend and I chatted, drinking wine and laughing, and I managed to convince myself that the rat let itself out of the apartment the same way it got in. Until a look of pure fear came over my friend’s face. She pointed to the bookshelf across the room. There, with Ophelia staring on, books started falling off the shelves, one by one, like the library scene in Ghostbusters. The rat was behind them, pushing them to the floor with a loud BANG as each book hit. Once the shelf was cleared, its eyes gleamed green, right at us. My friend freaked. “It’s a RAT! A RAT!” Yeah, I knew that already. She jumped onto the couch with a bottle of wine in one hand and the broom in the other. Oh, no he didn’t. This rat not only invaded my apartment and terrified my friend, but now he was messing with my books? It was war.

I needed these guys.

I grabbed an empty shoebox and set to work. My friend screeched directions at me from the couch that mainly included her yelling things like “Kill it! Kill it with FIRE!” Ophelia chased the rat around until she cornered it, and I’d tried to jump in and trap it. We were getting close, but it’d always get away at the last second. I’d run screaming across the room with the shoebox, barely missing it each time. Finally, Phe got it cornered again. The two stood there staring at each other, with Ophelia howling. I snuck up ever so slowly, and then the rat pulled out its best move yet. It STOOD UP. And it was BIGGER than Ophelia. With this, my tough as nails Baltimore street cat flattened her ears on her head and literally backed away slowly, too smart to turn her back on it. Seeing her in this defeated stance was the last push I needed. I dove, and got that rat in the overturned shoebox. My friend started screaming in victory. She threw the lid at me, and I gently slid it under the opened end of the box so the rat was now inside the closed box, lid down. But now what? “You have to bring it outside,” my friend told me. “Get it OUT of here!” I was going to walk it down the three flights of stairs, but as soon as I picked it up, I felt its nails scratching on the lid against my hand and almost dropped it.

“Open my window.”

“What? Are you going to throw it out the window?”

“OPEN MY WINDOW! OPENMYWINDOWOPENMYWINDOWOPENMYWINDOW!”

She jumped from the couch to my bed, threw open the window, and leapt back onto the couch. Carefully, with rat-in-box-in-hand, I crawled across my bed on my knees. Carefully, I leaned out as far as I could reach and gently placed the whole box on my fire escape. I slammed the window shut and my friend came flying back over. We peered out the window with Ophelia and watched as the rat calmly used his rat hands to OPEN THE BOX. He then looked around, slowly stepped out of the box, and calmly walked off down the fire escape. I swear he turned and gave us one last mocking look and the middle finger with his little rodent hand.

And that is why that rat is an asshole.

(photos borrowed from wildlifetrapper.com, dailymail.co.uk, ropnews.in, today.msnbc.com)

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6 Responses to “The Rat vs The Cat (and the Human)”

  1. Nancy Weinkam April 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    mollyw
    Very funny. You were not as brave when Texas found a rat under the sofa.

  2. Mary Nathewitch April 23, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Looks like you are a great storyteller – must be your Irish heritage!!

  3. Joe April 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Very fully! You need to borrow one of my guns.

  4. amy May 7, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    i found a rat in the bathroom and i drowned that fucker in the toilet.

  5. Alex May 20, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    I would like to say that this post is a work of fiction, but alas I cannot. I was THERE, man, and have the PTSD to prove it. Every word is true. I have currently broken out in hives just reading this. I would also like to confirm that I AM this much of a wimp around rats/mice/vermin of all kind. (“They’re like the Viet Cong…Vermin Cong.” – Caddyshack) The only part you left out is that after the stupid ugly psychotic disease-ridden rat was safely on the other side of the window I might have started shaking and fake laughing (read: crying). But just a little bit. However you, my friend, were a stoic champ. And OPP just acted like nothing had happened and took a nap.

  6. sdjfbsldjfnsdf September 5, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    why would you opt to use a broom when you have a cat? A cat is the best rat killer there is!!! Shame on you!

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