Oct 052010

A few days ago, I heard some sounds coming from the attic and began to suspect that a rodent had decided that our home would be a nice cozy place to spend the winter.

I live out in the middle of the woods, and cannot be too surprised if occasionally wild animals decide that the warm comfort of my home might be preferable to the challenges of the wilderness, but I am not very hospitable to rodents.  They are too dangerous as potential disease and parasite vectors to my animals, not to mention the fact that each year they manage to do thousands of dollars of damage to the hoses and wires in our vehicles.

My first thought was, “Seriously?”  There are more than a few rodent-eating predators in my house.  It just does not seem like a wise place to set up shop if you are near the bottom of the food chain…

For several days I engaged in a primordial battle—man against rodent…  Intellect against instinct.  Knowledge against cunning.  And for several days I lost.

Finally, I determined that he was, for reasons not entirely clear to me, going into my bathroom each night, so I left the door open only a few inches and rigged a live trap so that as soon as he ran through the opening he would be in the trap.  I put a delectable combination of apple, peanut butter, and dog food in the trap. At around 2am I heard the trap spring, and went to check, and sure enough had caught the largest bushy-tailed woodrat ever.  I decided to leave him in the trap overnight.  I dubbed him “Bright-Eyes,” and headed off to bed, smug in my evolutionary superiority.

This morning, I loaded him into the truck and headed out deep into the woods to release him.

I took the cage out of the back of the truck and walked into the woods and opened the trap (I always wonder why they do not design have-a-heart traps with a release mechanism that does not require you to stay there holding the cage open while the angry animal comes out…)  He shot out of the cage, took one look at me, and sprinted as fast as he possibly could around me and towards the truck, where he instantly leapt onto the axle and climbed up into the engine bay where he remained hidden despite my best efforts to find him…

So, to recap, I gave him dinner, took him for a nice drive in the country, and then brought him home.  I now feel considerably less confident in my evolutionary superiority.

Round 2 to follow…

 October 5, 2010  Posted by at 6:13 pm

  2 Responses to “Neotoma cinerea”

  1. OMG! *splutters* I feel so much better now knowing I am not the only one… I have had to go to war with the rodentia around here, which -with the exception of the woofers who cannot be allowed to roam freely at night inside with my afeared kitties and a house filled with delectable plastics, a known food group- are far too big for the cats to deal with….


  2. excellent story. laffed all the way thru

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