April 23rd, 2017: Rats!


Look at this Fall sky…

I took this yesterday, late afternoon, as I was cleaning our deck and well, it could have been Fall, right? Not so fast… look closely: see those pink roses? They can’t wait to pop open after all that rain. California is bursting with color after the monsoons we’ve had in the last few weeks and this has another unpleasant side effect: rats.

I wrote about this in our memoir on our house and I’d rather not write about it again as I don’t want you to think we’re absolutely unsanitary creatures but the fact of the matter is, Orinda is semi-rural and there are lots of creeks, wood piles and ivy bushes here and rats love that kind of shit. In the winter, when the rains hit, the rats come inside… and all it takes is a hole the size of an American quarter for a big-sized rat to crawl in and party under your house and start a family…

We had heard one in the crawl space, the other day, so Jon set a number of traps all over, and as we were watching a movie last night, we heard snap, snap, snap and snap again. Grossed out yet? If that wasn’t enough, I let Teddy and Frankie out this morning and Teddy was jumping through the ivy, like possessed.

“It’s a bird,” said Jon, as we were watching this spectacle from the kitchen window as if it were the next best feature in town (yes, these are the sad little lives we lead). ‘”It’s a mouse,” I said, guessing, as I wasn’t wearing my glasses. And just as Jon wanted to intervene, in case it was a bird, Teddy drags out a little creature. “It’s a mouse.” Jon confirmed. “No,” I said, having fetched my glasses from the bathroom. “It’s a baby rat– look at that tail. The entire family can jump rope with that.”

Teddy walked in like a thousand bucks as we were still staring at the sad little corpse on our patio, and then Teddy started licking my feet and I danced away from him, into the shower to wash that bubonic plague off of me.

So yes, it was rat genocide at our house. I apologize if this was a bit much.

Something else happened. To the side of the house we have a fairly high make-shift gate so the dogs can’t escape, and, on occasion, people trip over the damn thing and so far I had dodged that bullet, until yesterday morning. I jumped over the gate with one leg but the corner of my shoe got caught and as I felt myself falling, my other leg got trapped in the gate and I did a total face plant. I cursed so loud that both dogs started barking inside. Nothing broken thank God but over night my right wrist started throbbing and swelling, so now I’m wearing one of those carpal tunnel syndrome braces as I type this. It looks ridiculous but it keeps my wrist in one place, so it doesn’t hurt when I move it. Jon has been complaining about shooting pains from his hip and back so I’m like, wait, we’re not supposed to be here yet: there is that empty nest first, travel, travel and more travel but I guess not. We have some good American slang for that: RATS!

PS: If you haven’t seen my Henry Miller blog yet, do check out my second post: https://spendingtimewithhenrymiller.wordpress.com.

Or better yet, check out my crowdsourcing campaign to fund and write that Henry Miller book that will knock everyone’s socks off: http://www.gofundme.com/henrymillerrocks.

Have a happy week and don’t trip…



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