Monday, October 14, 2013

RATS IN THE PIPES



This is where Wife does (and I, infrequently, do) the laundry. For weeks, Wife very firmly claimed that sometimes when she's in there and it's quiet, she hears something scrabbling inside the pipe, very much like the scraping of a little rats finger/toenails/claws scritching along the inside of a rusty pipe. She was ADAMANT. And I very much did not believe her. Sure, I believed that she thought she heard something in the pipe, but Wife is very afraid of small rodents, and I thought perhaps her fear was running away with her a bit.

I was WRONG.

A little while ago, I was around and accessible when Wife heard the scrabbling in the pipe. I really wish that I had thought to get my phone out and take a video so you could hear the sound, for it is truly chilling. I couldn't believe it was real, but there was no denying it. It was definitely the sound of a rather large rodent climbing up or down a pipe. No doubt about it.

The thing is, that pipe is the sewer pipe that drains the upstairs shower, sink, and toilet. It goes down through the laundry room, down through the basement, and beneath the foundation of the house to the city sewer lines. Could it be that there is actually a rat (or God forbid, rats) that live(s) in the sewer and climb(s) up our sewer pipe for a gasp of air??? What happens when we take a shower, or flush the upstairs toilet? Does it just hold its breath and hold on for dear life? Does it get washed away? Worst of all - does it open its mouth? I have been mulling this question over for a while now, and I think I've figured it out.

Wife and I were so preoccupied with the fact that it sounds like there's a rat in the pipe that we just believed/assumed that there actually a rat IN the pipe. We neglected to consider one thing, which struck me just a few minutes ago, prompting this blog post. What if the rat is climbing outside the pipe? I went down to the basement, and sure enough - the outside of the pipe in the basement is much rougher and rustier, would produce exactly the sound we'd been hearing if a rat climbed it, and is much more likely to have a rat climb on it than to have a rat climbing up the inside from the sewer system. It's very possible we have a rat in the house. Possibly a really large mouse, but from the amount of noise it makes, I'm betting a rat...

It's very possible we have a rat in the house.

So, this evening I placed a rat trap just so:



After placing it, I informed Wife of my conclusions. It's probably not a surprise to you that she absolutely freaked out at the possibility that what she had been hearing was most likely not in the pipe, but just a couple of feet below her feet... After the announcement, Wife actually chided me for not recording her reaction, as it truly was classic. I completely agreed, hindsight being 20/20. The good news is, I thought of something better.

I gave Wife a choice:

1. I could go pick up the rat trap and put it away, allowing the rat (or mouse) to continue living happily a couple feet below where she cleans our clothing.

2. I could leave the trap there, hopefully killing the ratmouse. Once it is dead, I could record her reaction when I bring it upstairs to show her. I could then post that reaction here on the blog so that it is easily viewed/remembered years from now.

Wife wasn't the biggest fan of having to choose between these two options, but I was fairly relentless. After saying, "Neither!" about thirty-seven times, Wife finally blurted out, "Dead rat! Always the dead rat!" And that sealed the matter. Once the trap is sprung and a ratmouse gets caught, there will be a delightful video that gets posted online... Also, there is very little danger of Wife discovering the trap and ruining this fantastic opportunity. You see, she was scared enough of the basement before she thought anything might be living down there. Now, she'll be sending me down any time she needs something. Worth it?

Yup.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I was little we had a sewer rat that would come into our Michigan basement and eat our dog's food! After quite a time of trying to figure out where all the dog food was going my father hatched a plan. Our little guy was not little at all, and we actually put poison down to get him! Ewwwww...such a bad memory! Good luck!

Eniola Prentice said...

A rat! i probably would have died. I did have a rat in my home in medical school once....it was bad.

Jill Thomas said...

Happy hunting and may the best man win. I am looking forward to the reaction video.

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