After a long day, I was ready for a relaxing evening at home, all alone for the first time in months. I poured myself a large glass of wine, warmed up a piece of leftover pizza, took hold of the TV remote, and settled in for the night. Wait, red pepper flakes would be the perfect accent on my pizza. I skipped to the pantry and pulled aside the rice in search of the pepper. 

“Oh no!” I said, spotting that signature pile of raisins. I was playing a game of Jenga. Slowly, nervously, I removed a cereal box, a hot chocolate box, then the granola box. 

FREEZE! The RAT, tucked in the corner with a Cheerio in his mouth, looked at me! I slammed the pantry door shut with a clap. Panic seared through my veins. The cat – I will throw her into the pantry, close the door and let nature take its course. “Miss Mae,” I called out.

A ruckus erupted upstairs. Banging, barking, meowing and yelping came out from Lindsay’s room. Before my daughter had left for the evening, she let the cat into her room and left his door open. The dogs seized upon this opportunity. Mayhem. 

Miss Mae ran from the bed to the bookcase and across the desk – up high, down low, paws up, paws down – scrambling to escape. I lunged to catch the computer before it hit the ground. Miss Mae doubled back and landed on the floor. Quickly it became a Wile E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner encounter. One giant ball of fur with legs flailing. I wrestled the dog, and the cat took off. 

“Stupid dog,” I grumbled, “I needed that cat.”

Now, what was I going to do? I couldn’t very well grab the rat and toss it. I was hyperventilating. I began texting friends. No response. I called, Lindsay, who was with her good friend, Paige. 

“The rat is back in the pantry,” I yelled into the phone, trying not to use expletives.

Paige jumped in, “My dad can help.”

“Is he home? We. Have. An. Emergency!”

Minutes later, Paige’s parents were in my kitchen, equipped with rat paraphernalia. 

Looking at the dog’s scratched-up nose, Greg asked, “What happened?”

“Let’s just say you were not my first call.”

Carelessly, they opened up the pantry, “Yep, there he is. Cute little guy, but gotta kill him.”

I protested, “I can’t! I built him an altar!” 

Lindsay interrupted, “Mom! We can’t have a rat living in the kitchen!”

“You make it sound like we live in urban squaller.”

That rat had been harassing us for weeks. Now, it was taking advantage of my hospitality. Yep, it had to go.

Greg started assembling the trap, “They like peanut butter. Do you have any?” He asked looking like Christopher Walken in Mouse Hunt.

“Yes, in the pantry. Shall I ask the rat to hand it to you?”

“Cheese will do.”

He placed the trap in front of the rat. Sarah Jane, Greg, the girls, and I waited for the snap. We passed the time telling rat trapping stories and drank beers, like medieval executioners. It wasn’t until morning that I discovered the remains from the dastardly deed.

I telephoned my, trusted friend when it comes to these matters. “Eric,” I have a situation. Clean up on aisle 1. Dare I say it put up a fight.”

Live with waffletude

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