That’s right. It’s a rat that is living above me. I discovered that the pitter-patter is the feet of a rat and not a squirrel. My mother’s hairdresser told my mom that that’s what they sounded like. So, with this expert advice, my mom and I at 1:25 am, stood half asleep on my bed and listened as best we could as the rat scurried back and forth above us. Yep, we concurred — it is a rat up there.
This all came about after I spent well over three hours going up and down a ladder to the roof to set up that squirrel trap. I started at exactly 8:25 am. I needed to do it at that specific time because that is when John isn’t around. Remember? He didn’t want me to be up on the roof putting, as he put it, “a fucking whale trap on my roof.” So, because we ran into some trouble setting it up, he arrived home at his usual 9:15 am arrival time seeing pale-faced me up on the ladder with the trap in hand while my mom held her feet against the ladder on the ground to hold me in place.
He looked at my mom, then the ladder… then way up the ladder at me. A beat — as both my mom and I knew we were caught red-handed with our hands in the cookie jar trap so to speak. Some funny swear words were about to be unleashed across the neighborhood. “Christ, what the hell are you two fucking idiots doing now?” came out of John’s mouth. I felt safe from the question as I was way up the ladder and pretended to not hear or see him. Well, actually the seeing part was hard because he and I had already eye jousted for what felt like eternity before the question. “We’re putting up the Christmas lights.” answered my mom smiling her best smile. John just huffed “oh” and went inside.
My mom looked at me serious “Sometimes the best answer is the dumbest” I guess it is because he didn’t bother us for the next few hours, even as I banged and kicked and struggled to finally lock the trap around the chimney directly above where John sits and reads until his lunchtime.
Once in place I had to put bait into the trap – aka peanut butter on a piece of bread. Easy right? Nope. Not with John having his lunch at the usual 11:30 feeding time. It was actually 11:29 when he walked into the kitchen and saw me putting peanut butter on a slice of bread. “You fucking hate that shit. Why are you eating now anyway? Didn’t you just finish your breakfast 3 hours ago.”
“I’m a bit hungry from putting all those lights on the roof.” I quickly retorted as I walked to the back door. “What the hell are you going outside to eat it for? It’s as cold as a nun’s tit out there.” “I don’t want the crumbs on the floor” I managed to say. “Well make sure you don’t get it on the deck either because we just had it painted four months ago you know.” “I won’t.”
I walked outside thinking I was free. However, from the corner of my eye, I could see him watching me from the kitchen window. My mom picked up a broom and started sweeping the deck to distract John’s gaze. But it didn’t work. I forced myself to eat two mouthfuls of peanut butter before he turned away to make his own lunch.
As I went back up the ladder my mom stopped me. “You forgot this” as she handed me a huge circle of Christmas lights. “Don’t forget to make sure that they can be seen from the front of the house” “But it’s September.” She glared at me, “You sure you want to answer to who-know-who as to why you’ve spent over 3 hours on the roof of this house and yet there are no Christmas lights up there?”
She had a point.
Suffice to say, at the end of all of this manual work by me, the trap is still empty, the peanut butter is starting to smell and that darn rat is still racing over my head as it trains for the Rat Olympics while keeping me awake every night.