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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Varmint Invasion

This has been such a hectic time for me.  My vinyl business is in full swing, I have been teaching genealogy lessons at our Family History Center, my husband retired and just had hip surgery, and we have become a refugee for a variety of varmints.  Well, not all varmints but our home seems to have become a sanctuary for the lost.

A few months ago a cat came to our home.  Our son who lives next door (but we live in the country so next door is about 1/4 mile away) had a female cat come to his house and had babies.  Well, this beautiful male cat came to our house.  We think someone may have dropped them off and the cats relocated to our places.  The gray male cat took up home in our barn. We saw him now and then but he never really gave us much notice.  He discovered that we fed our cat on our front porch and began helping himself to free meals.  Slowly he has decided that we are his new family.  He actually is an extremely friendly cat.  He obviously was raised with kids and dogs as nothing seems to scare him off.  As the weather has gotten colder, he has tried to become a house cat (which I do believe he was at his last location).  Unfortunately, we have a very old cat that doesn't really want to share his home with another cat.  Out of respect for our cat, I have restricted the new cat to living in our basement or the barn with an occasional visit into the house.  He gets all the food he wants and love and attention - just not freedom of our house.  So now we are a family with two cats.

About 2 weeks ago, we got a new visitor.  I discovered something was getting into the garbage under the sink.  It was pulling trash out and hauling it somewhere into the walls.  We could hear it in our walls.  It sounded like it was eating my walls trying to get out.  I hated the sound and the stink that was now coming from under the sink of mouse urine.  We set out a sticky trap to catch the varmint.  We heard it clunking around under the sink as it was caught but when my husband went to get it out, it was gone.  It had managed to escape the sticky stuff.  This went on for a few days...we'd catch it, it would get lose and hide out again.

We then got one of those big rat traps that would kill anything.  NOPE!  This varmint got caught one time and when my husband went to get it out from under the sink, it was gone.  Left behind was some gray hair but no sign of blood or of being hurt.  It continued to torment me with his noise in the walls.  Every day he would release the trap, take the food, and off he'd go.  We moved the garbage from under the sink so he wasn't getting into it but I could smell that he was still visiting under the sink...ugh!

My husband went into the hospital and I was left alone with the varmint.  I decided to buy one of those live traps and set it up under the sink.  About 10pm I heard it go off.  I peaked under the sink and there he was, caught and staring up at me with his little beady eyes.  Actually, he was quite large.  I called my son to come and take him away.  When my son pulled out the cage, we saw that it was no ordinary rat.  It looked somewhat like a chinchilla rat cross.  It had a soft wispy tail but a rat face.  I have not seen a rat look like him.  My son took him far away from our place and let him go in the woods. 

Now I am one varmint short....but so glad that he is gone.  I have scrubbed under the sink and tried to plug up the hole he created under there.  I guess this is one of the prices to pay for living in the woods. You would have thought that with 2 cats around, that nothing would be able to get in or at least live in our house.  I guess it may be time to let our new gray cat move into the house - we'll see on that one.

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