Sunday, May 11, 2008

Of Housework, Murphey, Rats, and Attics

Its been a busy weekend. Did some cleaning. Well thats an understatement. I have been so busy at work that coming home to a trashed house has been a little more than I could take. So rather than work in the lab this weekend, I decided it was time for major spring cleaning. This has really been going on for a few weeks, a little at a time, but this was the first weekend for MAJOR CLEANOUT. The kind where you are cleaning grout with a toothbrush and moving furniture to get at the space underneath with a vaccuum. Really it was a lot of work, but TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Which brings me to the laws of Murphey and the Rats. Our house has rats. This is not something we are pleased about, but we were giving the cat a chance to do her job. She used to be a great ratter. Not so much anymore (ok, credit where credit is due....she did kill one last week, but we have more than one.....). We actually periodically see the little buggers in the evenings. They appear as a dark shadow, scuttling through the dining room when the lights are off, headed to or from the florida room, where the pet food is kept. We know they get in from under the dishwasher, but hadn't seen much sign of them in the kitchen, so had delayed getting a trap (I dislike poisons, I have pets, and the theory that they will die outdoors is not one I am interested in testing...I've lived through what happens when they don't make it outside). While cleaning the kitchen we discovered they'd been in there after all. We have a large shelving unit on top of our refrigerator, we us it as a pantry. It is one of those wire crate dealies. In emptying it to clean it we discovered something had chewed into a bag of flour. We cleaned up the mess and finished. This morning I walk into my sparkling kitchen and start to notice something sticking to my feet. I see a track of flour...I walk over to the fridge and see this.

The little monsters have torn a vertical strip down the length of a brand new flour bag and dumped half the bag on the floor behind the fridge (you can kind of see it in the top of the photo). I totally saw this coming yesterday. Murphey's law, I put tons of hours into scouring my find a half bag of flour dumped on my clean floor during the night (I bet this is that scuttle I heard while getting ready for bed that set the cat off...).
This is war.

And rats lead to the attic. They have been living there. The landlord isn't doing anything about it, he does know they are there but isn't legally obligated to do anything about it. I had to go up into the attic twice this weekend. I bought a respirator after the first time, and I'm just praying I don't have to go up there again. Think about how bad you think it might be, take into account that it is 110 degrees (I am not exaggerating)...and know that rats have been living up there for probably 10 years. (I was successful at preventing my A/C from leaking into the ceiling which was starting to drip, so the trip was worth it. If the ceiling caves in then the attic becomes the indoors....).

So a productive if somewhat gross weekend. And despite all the work, having a clean house makes me feel so refreshed for the week, I can't explain it.

No comments: