My house has a rat problem. It started with a rat named Greg. He wakes me up, scuttling across the bedroom ceiling back and forth, back and forth. At first, I thought it was squirrels or a raccoon or gigantic ants, but I was soon to find it out I was wrong.

Rats scamper on their tiny or not-so-tiny claws. They smell. They leave poop pellets everywhere. Disgusting. I said, in my loudest voice, “Greg, go away!” The noises stopped as if he was trying to locate me, then restarted at a faster rhythm right above my bed. 

I consulted the almighty Google for DIY ways to rid my house of rats.

First, I put containers of very salty food in my attic—hoping for rodent kidney failure. 

The skittering continued and the smell of rat urine permeated the house…

Then I laid out containers of ammonia for Greg and his family of rodent-lets.

In protest, Greg led his family in calisthenics every 3 am. They ran from one side of the room to the other, back to the first side, over and over and over again. I started waking up a few minutes to 3 am to heckle them from the floor below. “Bad rat, no cheese, break a leg or four, fall in a crack…” You get the idea. They respond with more racing across the attic floor.

As a last-ditch effort, I watched a YouTube video of a man in a baseball cap with a few teeth missing make rat balls. I made the rat balls of Lipton onion soup mix, flour, and Plaster of Paris with the intention of exploding their little bodies. Disgusting, I know but what’s a gal to do? They weren’t paying rent.

Greg and his family were quiet for a while. I checked the attic. The rat balls were gone. For a week. Then they came back.

How do I know it was Greg and his family? One night, I’m watching the Nest camera and along comes a rat racing down a string of lights. He looks right into the camera and disappears into my house. Then, the gall of him, Greg leaves the comfort of my home, sits on a beam directly before the camera, spits at it, and then gnaws on the beam of my house!

In my dreams, streams of rats fall from the ceiling to the cannon blasts of the 1812 Overture conducted by a man in full Hazmat suit. The orchestra looks like an exquisite corpse mash-up of ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Stranger Things’ but each member has pink eyes. If I look closely, a slim tail wiggles out and smacks their compadres.

I have bad rat karma.

(Photo by Faris Subrium from Pexels)

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