It breaks my heart knowing so many animals were displaced in the recent Bobcat Fire. But, they are not welcome in my house!

I have a cat that is organic pest control.  This morning, when I went to fetch the dog’s kibble, I came upon a dead rat with its head cleanly removed. 

I congratulated my awaiting cat, “job well done, Mae.” 

I got the shovel – then, with my eyes barely opened, I felt the gray and red mass plunk into a bag. 

Rodents are my kryptonite. 

That evening, my daughter Lindsay’s sixteen-year-old voice was heard piercing from 

upstairs, “MOM! GET UP HERE NOW!”

“What?” I called out already knowing what.

“A RAT!” 

“Alright, I got this,” I said.


“Where’s the cat?” I hollered.

I ran upstairs to find Lindsay doing rain dance circles on top of my bed, with her legs uncontrollably flailing like she was barefoot on hot asphalt.

She pointed and shrieked, “It came in through the door from the deck.”

“Did you see where it went?” I asked, logically. 

“No! Why would I do that? I didn’t want to see it at all,” she said uncovering her eyes.

“Sam, get in here now!” I ordered her twin brother.

It could be anywhere – behind the drapes, among the tossed pillows or underneath the bed.

Sam arrived and gallantly proclaimed, “I’ll look under the bed.” Rats are not kryptonite to this superhero.

“NO!” My response shocked even me.

A year ago on my birthday, some of my friends gave me a gift box filled with devices of a sexual nature – some that needed batteries. They thought, because I am a prude, I would find it hilarious. I did not.

This is bear country, so I couldn’t just throw it in the trash. My trash gets scattered all over my front yard on a regular basis. Not knowing where else to dispose of this gift, I tossed it under my bed. Until this moment, I had forgotten all about its existence.

Dilemma – if Sam looked under my bed, that would expose my secret. If looked under my bed, I might see the rat running around squeaking. “You killed my brother!” 

Not unlike the Headless Horseman, this Sleepy Chamber was turning into the Sleepy Hollow.

Facing the better of two evils, I looked under the bed, praying that the rat hadn’t jumped inside that gift box causing it to vibrate. 

 “All clear here,” I declared.

“I’m sure it went back outside,” Lindsay said.

I returned to the den. One hour later I heard the call of the wild.

“IT’S BACK!” Lindsay shouted.

It was a huge disgusting rat, no Stuart Little, frozen in the middle of the room, tail flipping. 

With newly found courage, Lindsay had found a small white box.

“Not that!” I shouted,  “please don’t tell me you’re about to kill that rat with your dead grandfather’s ashes?”

It was too late. She hurled the box with her water polo throwing arm, missing it by a hair. The well-sealed box and the rat remained intact, but it was enough to scare him out the door, which I slammed shut.

“Tomorrow we’re getting an army of cats!” I announced, angrily.

Lindsay looked baffled, “Armenian cats?”

“I’m not sleeping alone tonight,” Sam said.

“Me neither,” I said.

Just like Charlie’s bedridden grandparents in Willy Wonka we crowded in the big bed, armed with what we needed for our survival: 

  • Sam had a fully loaded Airsoft gun.
  • Lindsay had her phone.
  • I had a large glass of wine.

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