I heard scratching noise in my room a few days ago. I thought it was my imagination playing up (You see, I have recently been hearing my phone ring despite it being on silence.) I listened, closed my eyes and tried to shut out every sound except the scratching noise. I could hear my heart beat though and I could hear my thoughts (I have always found it hard to shut that one up, she’s a mouthful).
I heard the sound again, I moved, it stopped. I stayed really still and it started again. I started river dancing around my room, trying to get as close to the noise as I could. I discovered it came from the shelf beside my bed. I moved the bed and waited. Didn’t have to wait for long before the culprit showed her face. She stood there, stared at me for a split second and ran under the bed. I raised the bed and saw it at the far corner. She was too far, I couldn’t reach her. She ran back to the shelf.
Days of chasing rats, big smelly ones in Nigeria came back to me. This should be easy I thought. It’s an English rat for Christ sake, it won’t have the manoeuvring skills of escaping collision with whispering mortars like the rats back home. I deliberated a little when I saw it make a dash for my pile of shoes.
I was alarmed,” not the pile of shoes,” I cried.
For beside the pile of shoes is a stack of travelling bags. Now those bags contain important items like shoes never been worn, new bags, new clothes that have never caressed the contours of my beautiful body and books that have never been fed to my weary eyes. Now if this rat took one more step near those bags, I was going to be a very angry, out of breath twenty something year old woman.
So I moved my ass and gave the stack of shoes a shove and yippee there was an umbrella, a formidable weapon, not as good as a Nigerian broom or a mortar but adequate enough to do some damage to a trespassing visitor. All the while, I left my door open so that if I was unable to send the rat to the great beyond, it would have an escape route far away from my treasures and we wouldn’t have to do the atilogu dance where I chase it to a corner of the room and she runs to the next.
I saw it between my boots and my very new canvas from Dorothy. Now that is a shoe, I would not in a million years think a splash of rat blood would do any good to. So, I compromise, hesitated for a while and the rat made a run for it. Unfortunately it escape destination which is my basement was shut and by the time it made a u turn to come back to my cosy room, I had recovered from my freeze and sprang to action.
Cornering it between my umbrella and the wall. I saw the tail moving and I sat there looking. I couldn’t move because the rat would run. This is the part where I should catch it by the tail, take it out and smash it really hard on the hard concrete, then use my broom to finish the job before I throw the limb body over the fence. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, because experience had taught me that rat tails do have a way of slipping off your fingers and apart from that I was already too conscious of the possible bacteria living on it tail but I had no paper or tissue to hold the tail up. Well I improvised. ( yiii genius) I used the cloth part of the umbrella to hold the rat tail.
It was so cute I couldn’t kill it. So I went in to the kitchen and I found a watched out jam jar. I threw the rat in it and made a hole on the top, that way she could breath. I think I like her. I may actually keep her. What if I can’t keep a dog because I am not officially settled and it would be unfair to the dog to build attachment with me only to be left behind when my expiring date kicks in, at least I can keep a rat.
This rat can do all the rattish taunts like standing on two feet and cleaning her mouth with her two front hands, I love her already. Now is there anyone out there who knows how to care for a rat?