Monday, March 24, 2008

the return of ratty

Yes folks, Ratty's back. Not the same rattus rattus as last year. Not the poor unfortunate who got into the kitchen closet and ended up stuck permanently to one of those sticky rat trap trays. Not the one that grossed out Danny had to finish off as best he could. No, this time rattus rattus is outside (at least so far). You'll never guess where the little fellow and his closest relatives are camped out. I wouldn't have guessed it, although it makes sense.

I have a gas grill I never use bought several years ago for cook outs that I never have. It has a spiffy green plastic cover over it and is on my screened porch. Said grill made a really nifty condo for the rat pack. Until Ginny discovered them and spent two evenings of frustration trying to lead me to the rodent squatters.

Tonight, just at dusk, I finally paid attention to her constant circling between house and grill. Something's there, I thought. Gotta look whether I want to or not. I suspected a snake. Flashlight in hand, I went to the grill, pried off the green tarp cover and noticed palmetto leaves sticking out from beneath the grill lid. Weird. Who would put palmetto leaves and grass in my grill?

Oh look
, I thought, peering beneath the grill lid as I lifted it with right hand as left held my flashlight, the grasses are even woven together in a basket-like contraption. Sure they were. A perfect nest for the mother rat who jumped into the air to land at my feet on the pool deck followed by two half grown pups. Okay, I admit I sorta shrieked. The three rats high tailed it to the open porch door to the back yard followed at light speed by Ginny. I replaced the grill lid without looking any further, put the green tarp cover back on and went into the house to wait for Danny to come home from evening IT classes.

Five minutes later I began developing symptoms of upper respiratory disease. Maybe Hanta Virus. Maybe even plague. Now three hours later, I am still alive and worrying if the little baby rats will be warm enough out there under the grill cover in the cold snap. Not worried enough to bring them inside though. I may have seen one to many Disney animated films when I was a kid, but I ain't crazy.

Well, not about rattus rattus anyway. Besides I still have the sore throat and runny nose.

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