Thursday, December 09, 2010

This Post Is Not For the Weak. You've Been Warned!

I'm serious. If you can't stand rodents of any kind, please do not read further.

So, I'm reading a great book. It's called The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. It's non-fiction and it's about the Ebola virus. Yes, I know, it sounds crazy, but the guy is an amazing writer and this stuff about lethal viruses is actually quite fascinating (in a scientific way. Not a kills-9-out-of-10-people way).

So, I'm reading about infected monkeys, insects, people; it's slow-going because I rarely get the time to sit down and read for a while. Anywho, it's been on my mind, right? I'm not paranoid about viruses now, but I have been noticing more things --maybe washing my hands more. I don't know.

So, tonight, after getting the kids into bed, I answer some emails, watch Community and The Office, and I get up to turn off the fireplace when I see it.
I stop, mid-track. I know immediately what it is, because our cat has brought us "gifts" like these every single winter. But nothing like this.


Brace yourself:

I think it might be a rat. ACK! A RAT!! I'm still shuddering again and again and again!

I called Brandon immediately and made him look at it through our video surveillance (yes, we have video surveillance; my husband works for a security company, what else would we have?) and he couldn't really see what it was, so I took pictures of it to send to him. After that, I psyched myself up because I couldn't leave it there! I couldn't let the kids see it in the morning!
It took A LOT of guts, but I got some big cups (that I didn't mind throwing away) and I kind of scooped the thing into them, double bagged it all and threw it outside in the big garbage can.
I can't stop shuddering!

I then cleaned up the little bit of blood and all I could think was: What if it had the bubonic plague!

What if it had EBOLA!?

Well, not really. I'm too intelligent to think like that for long.

But still! It was SO VERY GROSS. And I'm not easily grossed out. Blood, puke, poop, whatever. I can handle it. The cat bringing in dead Birds and Mice, I handle pretty well. They are small. I feel sorry for them. This thing? This HUGE thing!? AAAAAAHHHHH!!!

One positive note: I think it died outside and the cat brought it in as a present for us. The thing already had rigormortis (sp) when I scooped it up (which made the process even grosser), and I know it hadn't been in the living room too long; I remember changing #5's diaper near that spot around 8:30PM and it wasn't, between 8:30PM and 10:30PM, it showed up. Anyway, my point is that I was worried for a bit that there might be MORE IN THE HOUSE (screams of terror), but since I'm pretty sure it was from outside (there's a hill with a lot of foliage and animals across the street from us), I'm not as panicked.

But you better bet your sweet little tootsie that I'm gonna be cleaning like a madwoman come daybreak!

Sorry to ruin your night. Or day, if you are reading this on Friday morning.



Julie said...

Hedgehog? I'm thinking hedgehog now that I look at the bigger pictures.
I have to be honest, I think I would barf if I found that in my house dead.
You are awesome for just cleaning it up!!!

Cheryl said...

Okay, so my cousin thinks it's a nutria:

and I think he's right! I don't know if I've ever seen one before, but I probably just saw it dead in my living room.


Biff said...

Nope... that's just a plain old rat. Google Image "rat" and "rat teeth" and you'll see that is all that it is... although a pretty large one.

sunrabbit said...

Dude. We need an object for size reference! It's like a train wreck--it's hideous but fascinating. :) I'm sure Kaz thought you would be super proud of him. Be sure to give him an extra pat for being such an awesome hunter and sharing the wealth with his family. :D

Rochelleht said...

Welcome to my world. We have rats. Two dead in the back yard just last week. I have an exterminator who comes out every couple of weeks to clean out the dead ones from my attic.

Yep, me. It's the dirty little secret around here. Everyone has them. NASTY!!!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Um, gross. This is exactly what husbands are for; make sure Brandon knows he owes you one!

I'm sorry.

flip flop mama said...

Again...super nasty! You're brave for cleaning it up! Although what are ya gonna do? Leave it there? Even more gross thinking about it. We saw lots of nasty little rodents when I was living at home and we had a cat. Blech!!

Amanda D said...

That is Nasty! Brandon totally owes you one. :) I'm impressed that you cleaned it up - way to go!

Annette Lyon said...

Rat, nutria, whatever. DEAD RODENT.

I should tell you about the mouse infestation we had our first winter int his house (the builders--oops--didn't seal off something they should have). That was delightful!!!

Kim said...

OH...MY...YUCK!!!! Nasty! Kinda looks likt a Vole! We used to get em in Driggs! Kinda like a mole but yuckier! Sorry you had to clean that up! I am not sure I could have! You are one tuff lady!!!

Anonymous said...


Michelle Catherine Walker said...

Cheryl, you truly are Wonder Woman! I could NOT have cleaned that up!!! I MIGHT have called 911. :)

Jill said...

This is Jill's husband. She was so excited she had to show me the post. That is definitely a nutria. Growing up in Idaho we always called them muskrats. They swim in the rivers and ponds and eat mostly vegetation. Harmless so don't worry about Ebola. One those actually rode around in the back of my truck for several months one winter. I know, that doesn't help with the redneck image that Blackfoot has, but hey, I was in high school.

Cheryl said...

HA! Blackfoot's a hick town, man. I hope it always stays that way. :)

Courtney N said...

You're reading The Hot Zone?! For reals?! I love that book! I've actually read it a few times. Its so interesting!

Anyways I think I would have had a heart attack if I came in my house and saw a rat... dead or alive!