I smell a rat

I literally do smell a rat. Two, actually.

Rats wee A LOT. Rat wee is not my favourite aroma.

Fortunately, the eldest has been fairly diligent about cleaning their cages out.

I don’t like keeping animals in cages, so I ordered them a new Taj Mahal four-level one on ebay last week … as I don’t like rats roaming free either.

The cage finally arrived on Monday, which is the one day that no-one has been home in weeks. So I had to schlep over to the not-very-local mail centre during my lunch hour yesterday to get the bloody thing, because it’s only open between 9 and 5. And they wonder why mail order and Australia Post are struggling in Oz.

The youngest only lasted one day back at school – the Monday when Australia Post tried to deliver the cage – and has since returned to bed defeated. I’m getting slightly worried about her attendance record.

She was bored by yesterday afternoon, so I dropped the cage home, helped her do another freaking nasal wash and left her to assemble it after I left.

Took an hour apparently. I dodged a bullet on that one.

The youngest also organised for one of the skipping mums to drive her to a practice session so she could support her team mates from the sidelines.

After she’d left the house, she sent me a photo of the assembled cage and said she’d put the rats inside it but was worried they might escape because the bars were too far apart.

Argh! What is it with commonsense and teenagers? Why would she pop off to skipping practice and leave two rats to possibly escape in my house?

She said she was pretty sure they were too fat to escape … but I fretted for the next hour that I’d be frantically searching for two missing rats after I got home … in the desperate hoping of find them before the eldest discovered they were gone and totally freaked out.

It didn’t help that I’m still a little rattled by finding a dead rat in my kitchen last week. I think it must have been dragged in by the dogs after being assassinated by the Ratsac I threw into the roof cavity.

But there was a moment of sheer panic when I thought – oh god, please let that not be one of the pet rats, because it looks awfully like one of the pet rats …

I wasn’t sure my mental health could survive the drama of a dead pet rat.

Fortunately, both pet rats were still safely in their cage.

So then I had to squeal and retch my way out to the bin, carry a dead rat by its tail with a piece of paper towel wrapped around it.

Shudder.

I will practice unusual self restraint and not include the photo of the rat corpse lying on my kitchen floor.

Anyways, the pet rats haven’t managed to escape their new cage yet, though they do like teasing me by sticking their heads out between the bars.

In other exciting news, the rats are being boarded next week with one of the eldest’s friends while the kids are away on hols with their dad. Best $5 a day I’ve ever spent. Way cheaper than dogs.

Song of the day: Bruce Springsteen “Born to run”

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