So ... last night, I found myself in the basement of an unnamed friend. This story isn't one that she'd want to be broadly publicized, but still it must be shared.
God bless Bob Costas for finally giving in and letting the skating happen. I conveniently bounced amongst the ping pong table which we had converted to a jewelry making station, the computer where I peered in advance at the judges scores, and the sofa where I actually watched a bit of skiing jumping and the ladies figure skating long program.
Tap, tap, tap. When we were sitting on the couch watching Kim Yu-Na, undoubtedly one of the greatest figure skaters of all time, we had been hearing and sort of mentally blocking out a tap-tap-tapping on the window for the better part of fifteen minutes, thinking erroneously that it was yet another dose of wintry mix coming our way. We'd had a day of snow/sunshine/snow/sunshine/hail/sunshine/rain as of 7 pm.
Just as Kim Yu-Na executed another flawless triple jump ... my unnamed friend said, "It must be storming pretty bad ..." as she turned around. Alas. No.
"It's a rat!" my friend cried. The rat had been tapping on the window trying to get in. All that time, we'd been hearing rat fingernails. Ewwwwwwwwwwww....!
Fire drill. I immediately stopped, dropped, and rolled. I learned that in the 4th grade. I know stop-drop-and roll is for fire, but it worked fine for getting me off the couch and that much further away from the rat. I have a fear of rodents that dates back to 1986, when I was attacked by a mother squirrel on my porch in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
While we awaited the judges' scores for Kim Yu-Na, we gingerly kneeled on the couch and looked out the window at the rat. I was assessing whether the rat could possibly enter the house through a window or wall. We were trying to figure out if it was just one rat or an entire community. Just the thought of it all was making us both very nervous and queasy. We decided to abandon the jewelry making altogether and we ended up watching the remaining skaters upstairs.
Today. My friend's husband was at home so I was not obliged to remain on rat patrol or anything like that. But I did ask for a rat update, which came today shortly after noon. The rat had succumbed. Perhaps he starved, died of thirst, or maybe froze to death as there really was no good place to burrow in the window well, into which he had apparently fallen. Sigh. It was one of those conflicting moments where you feel bad, yet relieved.
Saint Francis and the rats. I too have had rats want to come live at my place. It's a function of living in the desert, near the mountains, in an area with lots of low lying shrubbery where rodents can hang out and multiply. The rats never made it to my house, fortunately, but they overtook the yard shortly after I got a Saint Francis of Assisi bird feeder as a gift. It was horrifying and I considered asking my priest if God would be okay with me putting rat poison in my bird feeder. Instead I called my wonderful pest control company and got the situation under control. Saint Francis remains, with an outstretched but empty hand.
I'll ne'er forget that gold medal performance. Kim Yu-Na skated phenomenally, as did her competitors, at least the ones we saw. As those who watched already know, Bob Costas and NBC denied air time for all but serious contenders for a medal or top placement. I shall always remember the little rat who was so moved by her performance that he was tapping at the window trying to get in and watch with us. Somehow I'm glad that didn't happen.