A few years ago I saw signs of a rat in my garage in Florida. It was the first time and I didn’t hesitate to call my pest control buddies, who I pay handsomely to keep all insects, etc. out of my house.
They responded promptly with several large rat traps. Like a small “snapping” mouse trap, but doubled in size. I was told that when I saw the dead rat I should call and they would collect the rat and the traps, since they had done investigative work and determined there was likely only one rat.
A day later, a lovely black and white rat was crushed to death in the trap. The exterminator agreed he was likely a pet rat that had escaped or been turned loose. I felt horrible. I considered a small rat funeral but resisted.
I felt sad and guilty about the first few rats that died at my hands in Samoa. Heck, they were living creatures, too, just trying to get by in this world.
I’ve gotten over that. If the Hindus are correct about the consequences for killing any living thing, I’m in deep doo doo. I see a bug and he’s likely to be a dead bug, very soon. Giant spiders? I like to shoot ‘em with Mortein to watch them shrivel. I know, it’s not very Peace Corps like, but they have the entire outdoors to roam in and I just ask to not have to share a bed or shower with things that poop, bite or entrap me in webs. Except lizards. They make a mess but watching them hunt bugs at night is one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Life is tough with no television.
I reset the rat trap yesterday and used coconut as bait. Samoans swear that rats can’t resist it. They are correct. I heard a noise in the bathroom and when I checked, there was Clint – my large, movie star imitating rat. Trapped, like a rat.
I got one of my brothers to remove the rat, cage and all. I told him it was a gift for his cat. He was happy. I’ve been very disappointed in the hunting prowess of the cats but given that this rat was about 1/3 its size, I can’t blame it. And perhaps it will remind the kitty of how tasty those rats are so the hunting will escalate.
I really am not happy that an animal is dead. I also know that he was not living alone. The war continues.
By the way, how would you like to have the job title of “Exterminator”? Imagine the reactions you’d get when telling people your job in places where they weren’t familiar with our usage of the term. Bet you’d get a lot of respect.
I had a boss once who suggested my title in a new job be “Change Agent”. I asked if I got to carry a badge, like an FBI agent. He chose a different title and I didn’t get a badge.