Who is the Saint of Pest Control?

“What is this a picture of?” you may ask.


“A rat,” I say.

“But there’s no rat.  I see an orange and a black thing.”

“Yes, you are right. That’s an orange, and the black thing is a sticky rat trap.  And the rat you don’t see is a very lucky rodent.”

You may have read the Incident Report, in which I mentioned that our oven mitts had been mysteriously defiled, and that my dear husband, Cap’n Firepants, seemed to think a rodent was responsible for their disembowelment.

He was even more certain when he walked into the kitchen one morning and found a half-eaten banana.  On our counter.  He and Dimples don’t eat bananas except under extreme duress.  I love them, and would never just eat half.  Mrs. P.I.B. has never once counter-surfed in all her 10 years.  So, unless Wonderbutt was able to launch himself to the center of the counter, then suddenly lost his appetite in the middle of eating the piece of fruit AND placed his half-eaten treasure back up on the counter, the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to a home invader.  Since the invader did not choose to take Wonderbutt when he left, the only conclusion left to us was that we definitely had a Pest That Must Be Dealt With Swiftly.

So the Cap’n went out and bought him some traps (now can I call him Captain Von Trapp?), while I looked at Wonderbutt and Mrs. P.I.B. accusingly for allowing such a vile trespasser into our abode without so much as a bark.

Sticky traps set around an enticing bowl of oranges, we went to bed, confident that there were two possible outcomes – neither of which, quite frankly, I wanted to be the first to witness in the morning.

Around three in the morning, Wonderbutt sounded the alarm.  He was out in his pen, barking his head off.  For some reason, this is where he goes when he feels he needs to alert us of something – not to the baby gate that separates the bedrooms in the Forbidden Section from the Neutral Zone where he and Mrs. P.I.B. (and the rat, apparently) roam free.

Cap’n Firepants leapt up (after some hesitation – did he think I was going to confront the intruder?), and ran to the kitchen, certain his trapping had worked.  I pulled the covers over my head, quite content to let him be the hero this time.  After all, I did take care of a live snake that had the misfortune of meandering into our house a few months ago.

I heard the garage door open and close, then again, then again.  Back and forth.  How many friggin’ rats did that man catch?

Finally, he came back to the bedroom, washed his hands, and climbed back into bed.

“Got it?” I said, relieved.



“You’re not going to believe this.  The trap got its tail.  When I got out there, it had already gone back down its hole, all but it’s tail.  The trap and the tail were sticking out of the hole, and it was trying like crazy to pull through.  I didn’t know how to grab it, so I went into the garage to find some way to pull it out.”

This is what he decided on.

Ouch! I'm not sure even a rat deserves this...


“By the time I got back, it had gotten its tail free and all that was left was the trap and the orange.”

The “hole” by the way, is so ridiculously small that you wouldn’t believe a spider could get through it, much less a –

well, no need to go into de “tails.”

I see I have to take matters into my own hands.

There’s a house for sale a few blocks away.  Do you think that’s far enough to move?  I will just bury St. Anthony St. Joseph in the front yard, and we should be able to leave this whole nasty business behind us in a week or two.

Too bad rats are nocturnal. Wonderbutt is quite alert during the day.

After 10 P.M., his shift is over. (Loyal Readers, this may be the closest you ever get to seeing my face.)


Posted on January 4, 2012, in Cap'n Firepants, Dimples, Dogs, Family, Humor, Mrs. P.I.B., Wonderbutt and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. K, let’s see…Wonderbutt didn’t grab it…Mrs. P.I.B. came up empty…Cap’n Firepants was a step too late…you don’t want to go after it…Dimples still wants a pet…

    I think the solution is clear.

  2. Are you sure Dimple’s perfect friend took her rat home with her again? This creature seems awfully bold.

    I helped a friend trap some mice, recently, and we used a new kind of instant kill trap that electrocutes the rodent inside an inclosed box. If the light is flashing red, the problem is solved and you never need to find the garden shears to deal with it. Perhaps you should invest.

    Man, am I glad there are no rats in Alberta.

  3. Note that I meant an “enclosed” box. As in one a rat cannot escape from. I’ve been off work too long.

  4. Skip the sticky traps. When you catch something, they’re scared and rather vicious. And the trap is too small to keep your hands away from it when you try to dispose of it.

  5. I would have already moved! I thought I heard a mouse up in our aTtic once, and literally called a pest guy to come out THAT afternoon. He came out and said there was nothing, it could have been lizards?!?! I wonder what you look like!! 😉

  6. Did you faint due to the sheer horror of it all?And look at Wonderbutt the faithful- is he trying to revive you?
    Ooooo, and your toes look purity!

    • Believe it or not, I was fast asleep, and the Cap’n thought that made a lovely picture. I do kind of look like I am playing dead, don’t I? I am glad you mentioned the toes, though, because I was proud of my self-pedicure in that pic. I know you can’t tell, but their is very festive glitter on my nails.

  7. http://www.tedsnyderonline.com/2011/03/st-patrick-the-patron-saint-of-pest-control/. yeah. that’s a stretch. i think rodents are too nasty even for saints. i don’t know how you can rest easy knowing there’s a mouse/rat/rodent running loose. that would have me up all night clutching a machete. best of luck with that.

  8. Captain Von Trapp. Ha! Nice way to close the circle.

  9. I’ve got shivers just reading this. Mice are not one of my favorite things.

  10. Cap’n Firepants needs to carry a camera around with him on his rat chasing escapades. Would have loved to see a picture of that tail and the rat trap sticking out of the hole.

  11. We haven’t had any rodents but, based on Piper’s fear of Chiuauas (sp?), all 120 pounds of her would get body slammed by a mouse, crawl into bed with us, kick me out of bed and look at me with a “get down there man!” look.

  12. I don’t know about losimg a tail, but “now can I call him Captain Von Trapp?” That’s painful!

  13. “de-tails”

    Well played… well played. 🙂

  14. I had mice in my rental one summer… it was terrible. I used standard snap traps, and the headboard of my bed shared a wall with the kitchen, so the SNAP! woke me up when it happened. Which meant that the night that it went SNAP!!! skitter skitter skitter skitter skitter skitter… etc… I couldn’t just ignore it until morning. Which is how I know that mouse traps float in water, and that the morning after you drowned a mouse at 3am (while sobbing), people at work will assume someone died.
    I hope you guys get your rat… or that he’s spooked enough to get outta dodge.

    • Oh, that sounds like a nightmare. Fortunately, our bedroom is very far from the kitchen. However, I think he may have “gotten out of Dodge” as we have seen absolutely no evidence of his return. Knock on wood.

  15. Captain von Trapp! *groans while laughing*

    I’m glad the bolt cutters didn’t come into play, but I’m sure there was sufficient trauma to all participants even without them. Good luck in your struggle with the Wild Kingdom. 🙂

  16. True horror. The rat sacrificed it’s tail. I wonder what evil plan he has for retaliation. Don’t be surprised when you feel a tug at your big toe tonight. Remember, an eye for an eye or a tail for a toe. 😦

  17. Urgh! I hope you can catch your pest. We had a mouse problem until I finally agreed to get a cat. For a rat, though? I think you need a terrier.

  18. Loving Cap’n Firepants’ new name! Rats are not so loveable though…

    • I’m torn about the name. Is he a swashbuckling pirate, or a noble, military captain who breaks out into song? I have to determine which is the most embarrassing before I settle on his moniker.

  19. That is one lucky rat! Love the photos!

  20. writingandrecovering

    That is so frustrating and one lucky rat!
    Let someone else deal with it. I like that solution!

  21. Ew. We’ve had a mouse caught in the trap before and crawling around with it on in our cabinet. Neither of us was capable of putting it out of its misery. We’ve never used a trap again. It was so awful.

    • This was the flaw, I believe, in Cap’n Firepants’ plan. None of us really thought about what would happen AFTER it got caught in the sticky trap. Luckily, the rat helped us to not have to make a decision.

  22. Miranda Gargasz

    Please don’t ask how I know this, but if you get a cat that is inclined toward hunting, it WILL go after the rat, but may, in all likelihood, bring it back to you as a trophy. No lie! I am shivering with the creeps just thinking about your interloper! I agree with Becoming Cliche. If you want to go the live trap route, get something that it can’t come out of. Wild rats are nothing you want to see up close.

  23. My dogs try to play with mice. Of course, they are goldens and congenitally convinced of their own adorableness, so.

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