The Passion of the Rat

After days of not sleeping worth a damn, I was curled around my sweetheart like a contented kitten, warm and asleep.

“Baby, do you hear that?” my love asked, shaking me awake. “It’s the sound of a rat screaming.” He got up and began getting dressed. “Let me go see what’s going on in there,” he said.

I sat up, groggy and feeling drugged. “Do I need to go?” I asked, hoping the answer was no. “No, baby, just stay there,” he answered, pulling the bedroom door shut behind him.

Grateful, I burrowed back under the covers.

“Damn! He’s got it in his mouth!” he called.  I got up and ran into the living room to inspect the carnage.

There sat Rufus, my 85 pound hulking beast of a dog, with a huge 15 inch rat dangling out both sides of his formidable mouth.  He smiled around its dying body, wagging proudly. When he saw me, he dropped its battered body onto my cream couch and ran over to greet me, smearing fresh rat blood on my hand.

Needless to say, this was beyond disgusting. But I wasn’t unhappy he’d killed it.

For months, I’ve been dealing with varmints. Each morning, I’ve found messes that weren’t there the night before: broken bottles, items knocked around, food gnawed open and eaten.  Anyone who knows me knows not to mess with my food, ever. But taking my food is especially egregious when I’m unemployed and on food stamps. But these varmints aren’t the roaches, ants, and mice I’ve battled since moving to the big city. These are big rats. I’m certain the one Rufus killed had recently been appointed mayor on Foursquare.

I realized I was dealing with rats late one night when, all alone, I came into the kitchen for a drink. I flipped on the light, and while everything looked normal, I had the strange sensation that something was amiss–almost like I was in a horror movie and being watched by the killer from the shadows. As I surveyed the kitchen suspiciously, a rat the size of a caterer’s serving platter leapt from the darkness of the pantry to the floor. I screamed and it scurried under a cabinet and vanished. Just remembering it now makes me feel itchy and in need of a shower.

Everyone told me I’d have to get some traps, but I didn’t want to deal with the cost of the traps or any dead rat bodies.  Thankfully, now, I don’t have to. The mister swept the heavy rat body into a shoe box and promptly put it in the trash.

Rufus has put the rat world on notice and sent a clear message to the rat community that their aggression will not stand.

A friend joked that the rat is the Easter rat. After catching a few minutes of the big budget snuff film “The Passion of the Christ” last night, I hope she’s wrong. I don’t want to see that resurrected. But if anyone is capable of handling that, it’s Rufus.