Thursday, February 2, 2012

Party of one

Monday, after the Pescadero ride, after 3 days in a row of riding, I gave myself a break. Danny left for work around 9, while I was still in bed. He was probably opening his car in the driveway when an ancient, pointy gray face emerged from behind the record cabinet. An ugly face! I raised my head, it disappeared.

Bella, Resident Kitty, has tons of good points but she's the World's Worst Housemate. She's excellent at catching things that interest her, but tends to abandon them when they don't perform. Now it's my problem. Or rather, our problem (mine and the rodent's). Bella is nowhere to be found.

I get up and make little rodent canapes. Ak-mak crackers broken into pieces, layered with peanut butter then small chunks of cheddar cheese. Yum! 2 small ones and 1 larger one.

The first small one goes near the record cabinet. I make sure to waft the good canape smells in that direction before setting it down. Then, the other small one goes some distance away, in the direction of the front door. The big one goes on the threshold of the front door, which I've propped open permanently.

It's a warm morning and in general it's not acting like winter right now in California, so the plan is working well so far.

Then I make breakfast (for me), and wait.

Some time mid-morning, sounds of scrabbling come from the bathroom. A quick visual check - the rodent is climbing the blind covering the window, trying to get out. As I tell Danny later, I am completely stunned at times by the brilliance of humble beings. This rodent knows that the bathroom window is a way out, and is risking everything to be free. A case of superior instinct.

I shut the door, carefully. This buys me time.

Outside the house, I place one of the smaller cracker canapes directly under the window and the other at the ledge. Then I prop a rake, handle first, against the window. A long and wide piece of plywood left by the roofers rests on top of the rake. It's a perfect ramp from the window to the ground. Now, the rodent won't hurt herself when she makes her escape.

Then I break into the bathroom and carefully open the blind and screen to male a clear path to the outdoors.

Not too much later, the rodent escapes.

I take two things away from this episode:

  • The patience and problem-solving was provided by 3 consecutive days of bicycle riding.
  • What I'm doing with Route 66, a journey and TBI is not so different from luring a rat out of the house. It's all about motivation, and opportunity.

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