I was roused from my slumber at 5.35 this morning with the terrifying words: “I don’t want to alarm you but…” tripping off my husband’s tongue.
If you don’t want to alarm someone, don’t say those words! For of course the first thing I am going to be is alarmed because you told me not to be.
I am going to be alarmed especially as those are the words you are waking me with when I should still be asleep.
It is amazing though how quick one can wake up.
At 5.35.15 seconds I was dimly aware that my husband was standing over me trying to wake me up.
At 5.35.16 seconds I was bolt upright in my bed going: “You WHAT????!!!!!”
Him: “I said I saw a rat in the kitchen…”
I quickly fall into a well-worn set of actions…
Me: “Oh for God’s sake! No!”
Me: “Are you sure it wasn’t a mouse?”
Him: “It was a pretty big for a mouse and it was by the Alpha [a kind of Aga], I didn’t have any shoes on…
Finally acceptance….of a sort.
Me: “Oh…why does not having shoes on automatically mean that the creature you saw was a rat and not a mouse?”
Him exasperated: “It was a F******! BIG! RAT! OK!!?? And I need you to give me a lift to the station …”
I get rapidly up and cautiously descend to the kitchen pushing the dogs in front of me. There are no rats cavorting across the kitchen table, there are no dusty toe prints across the shelves, there are no apples stacked neatly one on top of the other in a corner [the last rat to venture into the house had a penchant for taking apples and stacking them in corners; OCD complex? Not sure, but while endearing in a sick sort of eughh way it was rather annoying]
I look distrustingly at the neatly laid table and decide that it all has to be cleared and everything put in the dishwasher.
Charlie yells at me to get a move on as he’s now running late and we only have three minutes to get to the station 3 miles away.
I reluctantly leave knowing that as soon as I am gone the little blighter is bound to come out and scribble scrabble all over the house poking its whiskery little nose into everything, running over the cushions in my sitting room, piddling and peeing on the floor pooing in corners, scratching and squirming all over my things .
I try unsuccessfully to suppress my revulsion at the thought.
I hate rats
I hate their scaly tails.
Dirty. Nasty. Vile creatures.
In my house.
In my kitchen.
Over my food.
It’s too early to call the rat Man.
I have to repress my revulsion.
But I put his number on speed dial ready to hit it as soon as reasonably possible.
At 9.000 precisely I call him.
He says he won’t be able to get here until Saturday.
I say the rat is in me kitchen and I don’t DO rats…
He says Ok 6 pm earliest.
I say lunch
He says 5pm
We agree 4.30pm
So the rat man cometh….