Aug 26, 2012

The blog in which I fill you in on our wildlife. (Warning, graphic picture)

Wow.  When put in perspective, this past week really sucked scissors.  (That is Melanie's term, and I will forever o it with her voice in my head.)  So, I told you about the two day migraine from over a week ago, that I followed up with the worst neck/shoulder pain that is still working itself out?  Well, after learning that the West Nile Virus is on the loose, I realized that I probably had a less dramatic form of it, but nonetheless, I still think it was W.N.V.  I'm serious.  It's too late now to go and get checked for it, but I think we should all be grateful that I am okay.  (sorta serious about the WNV... it's the only thing that all that could have come from.)

Then, we had that day where I heard a clunk clunk sound that was in the walls of my downstairs that came from the air conditioning unit outside and when I went to check, I saw a snake poking its' head out of the outside of my house where the wires come from.  He then went back into the hole in my wall, and that's when I called Scarlett, and she came, with a shovel the size of her arm.  All in all, it was less effective than calming, but as soon as she left, he very quickly saw that I was unarmed, and he high tailed it out of there, all the while, me video'ing his departure.  He seemed safe, and was fairly small, maybe about 5 feet in length, and I could tell, he was skinny, so whatever he went after, he had not caught.  Scarlett was closer to his head, and saw that he was all messed up from a fight he obviously lost.  That was not a good sign.

Starting last winter, I told Geoff that I had heard sounds of an animal, assuming it was a mouse, but that I had heard it doing something in by the fireplace or the wall near that AC unit.  Well, about two months ago, Geoff went to the back yard, and he said a HUGE A$$ rat ran past his feet, and he had no doubt that what I was telling him about had to be this Chuck E. Cheese on steroids thing.  So, when I informed him about the snake and the clunking sound I had heard, we knew it had to be going after that rat, and apparently, that rat is the size of a small hippopotamus.  I don't know why the rat is getting bigger by the minute in my story, but I have proof, that the snake does.

While I am typing this, my husband just snored and gassed at the same time.  Is that even possible?  I mean, wow.  My day just gets better and better.  (Everyone is asleep but me at this time, and it is only 8:PM.  I guess I should be happy for the quiet, except, as you can see, it's not super quiet in the room I am in.  Nor does it smell particularly good.)

Moving on.  So, days after that happened, it was Sunday night, and my neck was still very painful, I was exhausted from the lack of sleep from the week of migraines and neck pain, along with the wildlife, excitement, and I head to grocery shop while Geoff and the kids are out.  I get a call from a friend of ours who has heard of our issues, and says he would like to come take a look and see if he can close off the opening.  I arrange to have Geoff call him when he gets home.  Geoff gets home, goes to start the grill, and when he opens the grill, MOMMA RAT hisses at him.  I think she was telling him to be quiet, since her FOUR babies were sleeping there- In. My. Grill.  With a nest, made of SNAKE SKIN, a plastic bag, leaves, and a little of the steel wool I had added to another part of the house so that no animals would get in.  Ummm.. excuse me?  I didn't think steel wool was particularly comfortable, however, this freakin' rat decided to flick me off by using it as bedding for her babes.  Nice.  So... Geoff noticed that when he slammed the grill top down, it caught the rat's tail, and there was bloodshed.  It was nasty peeps.  He video'ed the release portion of the removal, and then, after Momma Rat made her escape out the back of the fence, he took my ladle and scooped all four babies and flung them out the back of the fence.  They squealed.  It was really upsetting.  Geoff prayed.  Then, our friend came, and he did close up the area where the the dinosaur size rat was entering from.  We thought we were done, until....

Thump thump!  That was this morning, before I was going to leave for noon Mass.  Frantic calls to our friend, and while I was making calls, Geoff decided to go investigate the outside area, to see if we could see where it was getting in from.  That son of a b. has eaten MORE of the insulation from the wires, enough so that it could squeeze back into the tiny opening.  GRRRRR. But, Geoff did make one interesting find...

Exhibit Freakin' A.  And no Yvette, my husband is not one foot tall, and this is an amazing demonstration in proportion.  This is a snake skin that was found right by the entrance to where Momma Rat is coming from.   I so wish Yvette was right!  photo © Erin Ahrens 2012

That was it.  I was done when I saw that.  I posted it on Facebook, and I got numerous offers from concerned family and friends that wanted to have our family stay with them until the anaconda and the elephant sized rodent have been evicted.  (Not true.  Actually, part of that is true.  The sizes.  Not the offers.)  I wish.  Seriously.  I am ready to be done with this version of Survivor- The island in Canton known as "The Ahrens Home."  I have been hearing scurrying/building noises in my bedroom wall over the past month now.  Not all the time, but when it's there, you know it.  I assume that the rat is making it's way around the walls of the house.  Nice.  I guess the snake is following?  Oh goodie.

So, after Mass, the kids and I made our way to Lowes, and found $70 worth of traps and one electrocution box.  It says it can kill up to 50 rats on one set of batteries.  That is fantastic.  I'm eager to report back with some news on that.  I also put large sticky traps down under that box opening.  After we catch it/them, we will then go about having the foam stuff sprayed up there and taking care of the wires.  In the mean time, we wait.  And pray.  And if that doesn't work... get the guest bed ready- we're coming!

PS   We headed to the YMCA for some exercise lap swimming this afternoon, and ran into a little friend from swim team today.  When the mom asked how my knee was, I was thrown.. Wait.  What knee problem?  HAHAHA   I got other issues... we have FINALLY moved past the knee issue.  (I think the swimming this past week was great physical therapy for it.)

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