“There’s a rat …  in the basement!”

Those words came in a shrill of desperation and panic from a very worried woman.

Did I say “worried”? … Nope.  Not a good term…  Terrified.  Terrified is a better term so let’s go with that.

That person was my mother.

She hates mice, and anything that resembles a mouse.  That includes hamsters, guinea pigs, weasels and you guessed it… rats. 

Personally, I don’t know how a weasel looks like a mouse, but in her mind it does, so she hates them.  And for this reason I was not allowed to have any pets that fell into her list of animals or rodents that would trigger fears of mass population and overall destruction of the house that she lived in.

So anyway, when she found out there was a “rat” in the basement it was up to my dad to eradicate the pest from her dwelling place.  She even started talk of moving to a house that didn’t have rats, which immediately lit a fire under my dad because he hates moving more than any other activity known to mankind.

However, the thing about having to eradicate a varmint of small proportions from your basement is that you have to find the creature first.  And that takes patience and cunning because to capture the creature you have to hunt for it, and while hunting for it, you have to begin to think like it thinks.

Normally if you can find the trail of waste product that it leaves behind, you can eventually find its nest.

Once the trail and nest are located, you can then lay traps for it to kill or capture it.

The process isn’t as tedious as I make it sound, but it does take time.  However, when you’re in a state of mental worry and panic, patience is not something you have a lot of.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my mother.

She didn’t sleep until she knew that “rat” was exterminated from the premises.

She wouldn’t step foot in the basement until she had solid proof that my dad had accomplished the task for which she married him.  And even when the all-clear was given, and my dad revealed his trophy of a deceased and decaying mongrel, my mother wasn’t satisfied.

She wasn’t satisfied until the basement was cleaned from corner to corner of every possible “rat-like” remnant.  There could be no trace of the deceased or its where-a-bouts.

That was twenty years ago.

Fast forward to today and the memory of that “rat” still haunts her.  She hates the thought of it…hates the idea of it and even complains every once in a great while that there is a family of “rats” still living in her basement.   Of which my dad assures her is an impossibility because he cleans the basement every year with the ferocity of a million clean-freak maids who just took adrenaline shots.

The point here is that our fears can always get the best of us, unless we tame those fears so they don’t control our every thought.  The only way to do that is to challenge yourself to face those fears and work towards changing your thought process towards said fears.  

If you haven’t or can’t do that, you’ll end up living every day with the idea that your fears are always waiting in the shadows to pounce on you when you least expect it.  

Like yesterday when this little guy scurried out from under a piece of furniture in my apartment:

house centi

I didn’t sleep well last night thinking that his family was lurking somewhere in the walls just waiting to spring forth in vengeance after I took the life of one of their loved ones, so I had to spray poison everywhere until I was positive that none would be allowed to live.  

I still didn’t sleep well… 

Fears are a very pathetic thing.  



13 thoughts on “Rodents

  1. I have to say…I agree with your mother on this one. OMG. It may be pathetic but I think you’re right there with us…..there is great strength in numbers…perhaps with 3 of us we might begin to outweigh the pathetic factor…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bugs don’t usually bother me (didn’t have the heart to say they don’t bug me) but I’ve always had a fear of worms for some reason. Snakes, spiders, beetles? Okay that’s fine. Worms? No way on this green earth.
    Most fears I can talk my way through but when it comes to anything worm-like, forget it. When I was little I used to stop halfway down the playground slide and jump off if I saw one near the end on the ground.
    I’ve also had a run in with eating crackers I hadn’t realized became infested with maggots until dumping them out on a plate. Needless to say it didn’t help my fear of worms. Theend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a thing where bugs don’t bother me at all when they’re outside.. they deserve to be in nature, it is their home, but as soon as they cross my threshold I am no longer cool with them. My house is my home, and unless they’re gonna help pay the rent I don’t want bugs around.

    I also have a thing where I don’t like killing bugs, especially big ones. The crackling sound they make, as if every single bone in their little exoskeleton is breaking, really upsets me. Makes me want to vomit. Or if they’re in the sink and you turn the water on and they try so hard to swim but can’t.. it’s tragic, I feel awful. I always capture them and release them outside, after all, they don’t form a super-bug and crush me every time I walk outside, it seems only fair.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have the most insane irrational fear of spiders. I would probably pee myself if forced to hold one – even the smallest one.

    A friend of mine had an infestation of centipedes a few years ago in her house…it was really bad. And she started to have nightmares about them…including one where an old boyfriend of hers came to her dressed as a centipede…but in the dream he wasn’t in costume, he actually was a GIANT centipede. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

Herd Mooings

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