Anyone Else Afraid Of Rats?


I hate rats.

We had one once. Its’ name was Pesky.

But this wasn’t any old ordinary pet shop rat, you understand.

This was a wild, field rat.

One evening, I was on the phone to a friend in my bedroom. I looked up and simply watched this rat trot across our landing.

Calm as you like.

It went out of my view and while I sat, horrified and dumbstruck, it must have turned around.

Because it trotted back again.

I started shouting for my husband who, as is the way with husbands, wasn’t paying attention because he was watching baseball with headphones on.

I had to keep an eye on the rat while trying to keep calm while trying to propel my husband into some kind of action.

It was hard.

I got a broom, he made some strange noises.

And we managed, while attempting to scare it outside with special ninja moves we practice on a Saturday night, to drive the thing into the pantry.


We shut the door to ponder our next move.

It was a holiday weekend and rat catching people don’t seem to work on holiday weekends.

Someone we knew who lives far away and does this kind of thing, told us to close all the doors, put towels against all of them and hang tight.

Double great.

The next day, after a fitful night of sleep, I was woken up by one boy wanting to know where his favorite cereal was.

‘Where were you looking?’

‘In the pantry?’

‘Did you shut the door?’ My voice was rising in panic.


Shooing my husband into action again, and with a lot of banging later, the pantry was pronounced a rat-free zone. More greatness.

Now we had a rat roaming the house.


My husband then declared the pantry fit for use. I responded by telling him I had no faith in his judgment.

I wasn’t going to be rifling among the tins only to come upon a rat.

The four of us got in a fireman’s ladder. My husband in the pantry, the two boys, and me, naturally, the furthest away.

We only got a few tins out when my husband cried (and thereby proving the justification of my earlier response,)

“The rat!” It was hopping over cans.

The boys crowded around, “Where? Where?”

Me, “Shut the door! Shut the bloody door!”

The door was shut.

And once again, we knew where the rat was.

We did the rolled up towel thing and put it under the pantry door.

And I ruminated on my bizarre life where I eat a family dinner knowing that just a few feet away, a field rat feasts on the contents of my pantry.

The next day, it was the day of the boys birthday party.

Thankfully taking place in a park.

As I left the house, I noticed the towel at the pantry door had been chewed and moved. I cringed.

We’d lost it again. It. could. be. anywhere.

I never wanted that party-in-the-park to end.

This time we had dinner not knowing where the blasted thing was.

We lived like this for FIVE days until a pest control person could fit us in.

It was like living with a terrorist.

I was on perpetual alert.

We never knew where or when it would show itself.  I never knew if it was going to jump out at me. Every time I put my hand in a cupboard or a drawer, I peered, I cringed, I peered again. I would examine everything for signs of rat.

And when I shut the kids bedroom doors at night, I didn’t know if I was keeping a rat out or shutting it in. With my child.

I certainly didn’t go in the pantry.

It was the longest few days of my life.

On the fifth day, the rat catcher man came. He was small and wiry. He had no teeth. I was in love. He was my hero.

I left the house and some time later, my husband called to tell me the rat catcher man also had twins.

‘What the hell! I don’t care if he’s Octomom’s sperm donor, just find the damn rat!’

I was at the end of my tether.

‘He thinks it’s gone.’

This is when I just about lost it.

Divorce. The first murder-suicide ever to strike our small city. These thoughts were running through my mind.

Thinks it’s gone?’

I refused to go back to the house until the man whose presence on this earth was looking increasingly fragile either saw, with his own eyes, the rat running outside.

Or a dead body.

Preferably the rats.

My cleaning lady found the rat cowering underneath the dishwasher. I forgave her her transgressions and left her a tip that day. Nobody should have to deal with someone else’s rat. Man, I didn’t want to deal with my own.

The rat was dealt with. Swiftly and cleanly.

I returned and cleaned the house from top to bottom. I was so relieved I called my mum who also hates rats. I told her the story from beginning to end, expecting some comfort and support for a battle well fought. Her response?

‘You know, Alison, rats usually travel in pairs…’ Arrgghh!

How do you feel about rats? Or spiders? Or other little creatures? Perhaps we can trade – I don’t mind spiders at all. Let me know in the comments!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Glynis Jolly
February 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Hilarious! I had a similar experience with a mouse. Why those little creature scare us is still a mystery to me.


Alison Golden February 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Yes, isn’t that the weirdest thing, Glynis? I’ve tried to analyze what exactly it is that bothers me. I have no idea. Totally irrational. Thanks for commenting. And hope you don’t have any mouse adventures anytime soon! 🙂


Homschlr4ever February 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm

That was pretty darn funny. I hate rodents, of any kind and my daughters have had pet rats. I don’t know what it is; I just keep seeing Ben running around and the song pops in my head (you’re probably behind me in years, M. Jackson sang it) and that’s it for me. I just know that little creature is figuring out how to eat me. It just makes me freak as I write it.
Thanks for making me laugh. On a rainy Tuesday, no small feat!


Alison Golden February 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Hey there. I’m glad you found it funny. It seems funny now but of course at the time…I once tried to read Stephen King’s ‘Rats’ it as some kind of aversion therapy. I didn’t make it beyond chapter one…Thanks for commenting!


Connie February 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

You crack me up! I hate rats too!


Alison Golden February 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Hey Connie, I’m glad it made you smile. You are not alone. Seems there’s a few of us who aren’t a rats best friend.


katie t February 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

i am an outie but the older i get and the more lbs that i gain, the more it becomes an outie 🙂
and i’m NOT A FAN. not because of the innie or outie deal but because that means that those lbs are coming. boo! so glad you found me and left a comment and i LOVE your writings…..


Alison Golden February 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I love your blog, Katie. You have an inspiring story to tell!


February 2, 2011 at 8:20 am

I am not so much afraid of them as I am grossed out by them. And I certainly don’t want them bringing their germs and diseases into my house. Blech.

True story…. in my younger, single days, I shared a house with another girl. We had a mouse and it was discovered because it ran across the living room floor and dove up on the couch and scurried over my room-mate’s shoulder. Eeeeeeeew! We were in our bedrooms with the doors locked (why we thought it could open the door, I don’t know) for days. Finally had a friend come and take care of it.

You are not alone, Alison.
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Alison Golden February 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Ugh, I’ve had some close encounters but never actually had one touch me! I would have been terrified too. Sometimes though you just have to show the mouse who’s boss, right? Riigghhtt…


Mary E. Ulrich
February 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Funny story Alison. It had a couple surprise twists which made it a classic. And oh, mothers–I think our problems must be revenge for our mothers.
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Alison Golden February 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Mary, this was just ONE of my rat and mouse stories. I have several. Maybe I’ll write the others someday 🙂


February 3, 2011 at 1:10 am

I once stepped into my shower and found a rat in there. Needless to say that when he jumped I did a bit too. it was so unexpected.
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Alison Golden February 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Oh my gosh, Jack! What did you do?


misty February 3, 2011 at 5:37 am

Five days is far too long…
I hate mice… We’ve had them. They are synonymous with unclean homes, of which mine is not. I think they chew away at my insecurities, in that way. Plus their dirty and gross. and like you, I fear them jumping out at me… Now spiders… we get these HoBo spiders… i don’t like them either. I fear them actually.
My best friend… in the spring, summer and fall, gets SNAKES in her house. Now that would be enough to cause me to drop dead of a heart attack…
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Alison Golden February 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm

LOL! I think I would have to move to a different part of the country if we got snakes in the house. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Misty! 🙂


Alexandria Campbell
February 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

Literally shaking the entire time I’m reading this. Those things which shall not be named are positively God’s worst creation! And yes this is over those jersey shore kids
Alexandria Campbell recently posted..somewhat a manMy Profile


Alison Golden February 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Hi Alex!

Yes, I wonder what the purpose of rats is, exactly. There must be one, apart from terrifying the bejeezus our of us. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


lakia November 22, 2011 at 1:05 am

I hate rats, i hate everything about them. They make my skin goes grazy EVERY time. BAh!
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