In light of Rob's and Jelaina's recent posts about mice and such and coupled with the fact we've got a new resident rat beneath Noah's room on the Pacific Express, I must tell the tale of how I became known as the Rat Slayer.
It think it must have been during the winter of 2004. We had lots more holes everywhere and at the time there was a dumpster up on shore that got emptied rarely - like every six or eight months. The Bowie also tied up closer to the main ramp.
There was a ventilator fan that came down from the wheelhouse and through the galley. It was a prime in and out spot for them. We had traps and the odd one we'd catch. OH how I despise the things and how they freaked me out. I was such a princess.
Dosha and I had been cooking dinner and she heard a rustle up in that corner and saw a fast movement and we both knew it was Ratty. He' d been leaving his calling card hither and yon and I was doing my utmost to keep things in gnaw proof containers and thus trying to train roommates to not leave stuff out for the rat to get at. I rushed over to the spot and whacked a wooden spoon into the hole knowing the futility of such an effort. I had to let it know that it was on notice and it was going to be him or me.
We proceeded to have dinner and after we came back to the galley, I had seen where it had gotten into a loaf of bread during the time we'd been eating. I cleaned up dinner and we sat down for a bit to watch some TV (back in the day when we had TV). I ushered the kids to get ready for bed and to go brush their teeth.
Bui then came rushing back out into the salon. "Um, Tana, there was a rat going up the ladder into your bedroom."
I looked at Greig, sitting in the salon in his robe and looking all Bhudda like and without speaking, "Well, go deal with it."
To which he spoke, "I'm not going after it. Have you seen how fast those suckers run? I am not so naive as to think I could actually catch it."
I was dumbfounded. I thought to myself, "You bastard. I've just finished cooking and cleaning up after dinner and you CAN'T, NO WON'T tend to a rat?"
Which was pretty much like waving a red cape in front of a bull as far as I was concerned.
I stormed over to the galley to look for a broom, only to find there WAS NO BROOM, as someone hadn't put it back after they'd used it. "AAAAAKKKKKCCCK!!!" I roared.
I did, however notice the broken end of a broom handle that was never there before. I grabbed that and hiked up the ladder to our bedroom. Halfway up the stairs I turned on the stairs and noticed him sitting there on the edge of the hole, not moving very fast. I knew it saw me. But it didn't bolt at all.
I was the Cruella De Ville of the Rat world, "AAAHHHRRRHARRR!!!" I cackled and screamed, Dosha and Bui, watching me at the bottom of the ladder. I raised my broken broom handle and WHACK, WHACK, WHACK, WHACK, across its shoulders. The adrenaline was just pumping through me. I probably broke its spine on the very first whack but then, after the first set of whacks, I had to give it a couple more for good measure. My teeth were clenched, I was probably panting. I turned down to look at Bui and Dosha who were staring up at me, jaws dropped and in awe and wonderment.
"Wow," cried Dosha, "You did it! You killed the rat." Bui, on the other hand was doubled over and laughing his butt off.
Then Greig rushed up to the bottom of the landing. "Don't tell me you actually caught it? I don't believe it." He was laughing as hard as Bui was.
I on the other hand had tasted blood. I was on one hand, proud that I had conquered a fear and on the other hand angry as hell that I had to do it. What kind of knight in blue bathrobe was he anyway and what do I need him for again? I stomped back down the ladder and looked at him defiantly.
Suddenly, I realized I had a squashed dead rat in my room and it had to be removed. Immediately! I looked to a plastic plate that was adjacent to me on the counter. Grabbed it, went back up the ladder and scooped Ratty on to the plate.
"So you couldn't think you could catch it eh?" I charged presenting him with the rat square to his chest and seething, "Here's your g#*damn rat you g*#damn pansy."
Still roaring with laughter and shocked amazed by my killing prowess I realized he was totally mocking me, yet, impressed as hell.
However, I also realized I still had a rat on a plate looking up at me all glassy-eyed. I opened the door to the port side breezeway, and threw the rat overboard into the river.
"Ha! " I said. "Pppffft!"
It was a moment later that I realized that I no longer required the plastic plate. I threw that into the river too.
From henceforth, they called me Rat Slayer. I confess to only consciously killing another rat since - also with a broom handle. But I only knew died days later because we could smell it after it had crawled into a wall and died.
Not long after Rolly removed that dumpster for a smaller one that got emptied on a weekly basis. We get them in occasionally but regular emptying of the dumpster alone keeps them to a minimum. Though they don't freak me out like they used to, I still hate the damn things. I am not such a softie that I wouldn't slay one again.