Papa Razzi


A putrid odour has been emanating from a corner of the kitchen. I first became aware of it last night as I was making supper. On first whiff I was convinced that it was rats piss; Old Rolando has been seen hanging around quite a bit this week, not only in the flesh but evidenced by the black, lozenge shaped calling cards which he’s thoughtfully left dotted around the house. Apparently not in the least put out by my being in residence, he blithely continues to use the tops of the kitchen work surfaces and the hob as part of his daily commute to and from various parts of his manor.

Yesterday afternoon, while sat working at the kitchen table, I spotted his unmistakable form streaking across the floor and then shimmy up the side of the cupboards. Skillfully negotiating the gas hob, the microwave and various dishes on the side, he then flashed his beady rodenty eyes at me before pissing on my stack of drawings and leaping down behind the fridge. Previous daylight sightings of ratty have shown that he then swiftly negotiates the underbelly of the fridge before one last leap up and over the waist height wall and out into the garden.

rattyfridge

However it would appear that Ratty’s nocturnal raiding of the garbage bin (rather like mine of the fridge) has resulted in a somewhat corpulent, and fuller figure – what previously had been a smooth passage from under the fridge to the outside world is now something of tight squeeze judging from the squeaks and screams to extricate himself through the narrow passage of coolant pipes and anti-chambers that make up a fridges bottom.

Ratty, on finding himself wedged in a tight spot, let out a succession of high pitched shrieks and squeaks that sent me scrambling not to his aid, but rather to the top of the table. I am petrified of rats, and the sound of his scratching and squeaks had me howling like some banshee from my spot on the table.

myperch

After what seemed like hours but was in fact just a minute or so, Ratty at last managed to unwedge himself out from whatever tight spot he’d landed him self in and was up and away over the wall. My relief was two-fold. Firstly it meant that we were not inhabiting the same space together and secondly I could replenish my glass with the wine that was in the fridge. I may have to switch to red if this continues, at least that way I can keep the bottle on the table with no fear of it getting warm, or Ratty racing up my skirt when I go to replenish my glass.

This morning the smell had become unbearable. There was a cloying, sickliness to it – the smell of rotting flesh (rat, mouse?) Wayan and I pulled out the cooker, moved everything off the kitchen tops and eventually sniffed out the root of the problem. It’s not the first time that this has happened and I’m sure that it won’t be the last. Like a couple of hounds our noses eventually led us to the microwave. I’m the first to admit to my slattern tendencies but no, as it happened it wasn’t a bowl of decaying Bolognese left festering inside from 3 weeks ago, it was a dead lizard that had crept into the fan at the bottom and died. Exactly the same thing had happened with the toaster a few months back. It seems that the tiny geckos like to crawl into the appliances on the surfaces for cover and on said appliance being switched on, they sadly meet their maker. And by maker I do not mean Mr Electrolux.

3 long hours ago I was aware of Ratty blazing his trail across the garden and into the kitchen. I grabbed my phone and crept into the kitchen to wait for him to come out from behind the fridge. There was a bit of scuffling going on, the odd squeak or two but I was convinced that if I bided my time, I could get a good shot of him streaking back across the kitchen tops before doving down into wherever it is that he lives in the bowels of the house. I can be very single-minded if needs be, my desire for catching Ratty on camera at that stage was far greater than my desire for a glass of wine but as 2 long dry hours passed, I could not bear to wait any longer. ‘Damn you Ratty’ I cursed as I grabbed the wine box, a can of soda water and a bowlful of ice and sped swiftly back to my spot on the top of the kitchen table.

You’d imagine that in my quest for more wine and subsequent foray to the fridge, door opening and rattle of ice cubes that it would set both Ratty and myself back for a while to get over the shock but, it didn’t. I was barely halfway down the first glass when out he shot. Like lightening I grabbed my phone but, Ratty with his flashing beady eyes saw this and no sooner had I got it in focus than the dastardly rat had turned back and dived behind the refrigerator. It is now one hour later. Not only is my patience wearing thin, but the wine box is now looking decidedly flaccid. What seemed like a great idea 3 hours ago now seems like a crap one. Clearly I’m not cut out for life as a paparazzi. It’s time for bed, Good Night Folks!

mating-crickets---lottie-nevin

Having said that, I did get a picture of these two having it away in the garden. I shall be sending it over to Sunday Sport tomorrow.

32 Comments

  1. How on earth can y ou sleep knowing that rat is in the house? When I was in grad school I used to lie in bed and listen to one trying to chew its way through the wall….I’ll never forget that sound. Made my skin crawl and kept me up many nights!

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    1. I have to confess that I’ve played down my terror in this and upped the bravado. I’m sure that Dutch courage played it’s part too!! I have the same ratty noises going in the night – they scamper across the ceiling above my bed – I’m pretty sure that one day one will fall through and land on my bed…..

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  2. I have to say, Lottie, that while I’m not all that psyched about having to get back to the grind after a getaway in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m glad to be back to consistent wifi service and access to your posts! LOVE this. I think my favorite part is seeing the tips of your toes on top of the table. Excellent. Cheers, my friend! xxx

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    1. Crikey!! you’ve got good eyesight Steph! I hadn’t even noticed the tips of my toes – Great to have you back and I hope that your trip was fabulous. I know exactly what you mean about the internet – inconsistency and rats is the name of the game here :DD xxx

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  3. Reading this I have to tell you it could be a LOT worse. When we bought our current home we asked all the usual questions. I specifically recall that rats were not mentioned as an issue. However after a while we moved in we started to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet from the ceiling. It transpired that we had a false ceiling and in the gap were wires, pipes, ducts etc. to keep the house running. No problem we thought. We have a pest control contract and we called our friends at Biocycle. They came several times and occasionally trapped a rat or two but still the problem persisted.

    In the fullness of time Mrs. Ha could stand it no longer. So she decided the false ceiling had to come down and the rats access points found and sealed. At this point I strangely decided I had to make an urgent business trip. Essentially I legged it. And whilst I was in hiding Ah Ming and his team came over, dustsheet-covered everything from the table to the dog and ripped down that which they had erected several years earlier. Of course this also involved ensuring that any rats still alive were caught and (ahem!) removed and that the search for RAPs (rat access points) was comprehensive. Don’t ask me how they did it. I was in Dubai. But I heard the squeals from there and those were just from Mrs. Ha.

    Since then we have not had rats in the ceiling. We did however have a second visitation. One day Mrs. Ha was watching the news or something on the goggle box when brazen as you like, and without so much as a by your leave, a rat walked along the skirting board. Chaos ensued. On enquiry the maid casually observed that the rat had been there the day before. She had caught it in a bucket and thrown it out. Not far enough, obviously. She hadn’t thought this was important enough to mention. In the next few days we saw several rats. Small ones but rats nonetheless. We worked out that there was just sufficient room for them to get in under the security door at the back of the garage, climb the stairs and find a way into the living room. Some security door. I managed to catch each of the rats using Biocycle’s sticky tiles. Not very humane I’m afraid but that was what they recommended. Then another Ah arrived. It may have been Ah Wong this time but he attached heavy metal plates to the base of the security door and sealed off access to the outside storage area. Since then rats have given us a miss. I suspect they have gone looking for easier accommodation.

    So the moral of the story is, if you only have rats behind the fridge you are not so badly off. When they get into your ceiling it’s a nightmare. Luckily I did nothing more painful than pay Ah Ming for his work. But Mrs. Ha had to endure the whole experience. And she didn’t have the comfort of a floppy wine box to keep her company being, like my good-self, teetotal. Had I been around I think I might just have disobeyed the doctor’s orders for once. Either that or I would have hit the rats with the wine bottle. Empty of course.

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    1. Mrs Ha well and truly deserves a medal of the highest order for Bravery. Andrew, you rat for leaving her to cope alone!!! I can’t believe that you scuppered off leaving her to fend off the rodent infestation alone!
      What you say alarms me somewhat as having been here for 2 weeks now, I don’t believe that a night has gone past when I haven’t heard
      the pitter patter of ratty feet in the ceiling above our bedroom. As you will have gathered from seeing the photos on Facebook, the house is typically Balinese in style – indoor/outdoor living and the roof above our bedrooms and sitting room downstairs have a beautiful alang alang roof. Geckos come and go and so do the other critters but the rats are having a field day up there. Like you said, they love to play in the pipes and the wires. I’m not sure if there is anything that we can do to stop them – at least for the moment they haven’t dived down through the ceiing and into bed with me.

      Yes, I would really draw the line at having rats in an enclosed space – it would be the stuff of nightmares for me. I had some bad experience as a child with rats and I still have recurring nightmares about them eating me!

      Good on you all for being tea-total – massive respect. I managed 3 years on the wagon a few years back. I should probably give it ago again 😀

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      1. Lottie, do NOT go on the wagon. Reality is hideous. You’d hate it. I did so because I was given no choice. It’s not fun the real world, I promise you.

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      2. I have to confess that I did find it quite hard at times. The positive side was that I lost tons of weight effortlessly and never had a hangover to deal with!

        I do have HUGE admiration for you especially since it was not out of choice. Sobriety certainly doesn’t seem to have made you lose your wicked sense of humour or fun. Not a lot of people can boast that, even when under the influence. You are wonderful, keep it up. I’m in awe. Lottie

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  4. Can’t you trap him Lottie? I can handle spiders (actually had a job where I did that once), and I don’t mind snakes but rodents, no way, they freak the sh*t out of me. But we have two cats, one a very good and patient mouser, thankfully. This may sound silly but I found a hint on the net that suggest soaking cotton balls in peppermint essential oil and leaving them where the rodents venture, they hate the smell apparently. Last week, cockies, this week rats, what’s next? 🙂

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    1. I’m really liking your idea about the peppermint oil – what a great idea.
      Love the thought of you being a spider wrangler! How very cool .

      I can’t trap him Tricia, I haven’t got the guts, plus what the hell would I do with him afterwards??

      I’m pathetic when it comes to stuff like that. I need you and your cats over here now! 😀

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      1. Yeah I’m full of great ideas aren’t I? I couldn’t trap him either without a big strong man (or fearless teenager) here to dispose of it. Just packed cats in a feline jiffy bag, should be on your doorstep on the 12th. 😉

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  5. Oh the Perils of Pauline, I, mean Lottie. Y’all and the dang rats. This is very funny. I giggled about what you and then Andrew had written and continued laughing. This old house that I live in has not seen a rat visit since I moved in with cats. See they are good for something. I reckon a rat can smell my cats from a a few feet from the house.BUt there are rats in the boat port where I have hay stored for the goat. My cats are not allowed access to the outdoors. But if they did there would be no rats in the area either.

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    1. I like that, The Perils Of Pauline! It sounds like a chapter in one of those old books from the 40’s! Sweet.

      I think having cats would be the answer but the trouble is that I’m not here all the time. If I was it might be a different story all together. I’m so jealous of you having a goat. I loved keeping goats, they are such sweet creatures, so loving and such generous souls too.

      My internet has been shocking recently so I’m sorry if I haven’t been up to speed to replying to your lovely comments. I shall catch up soon 😀

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      1. Lottie not to worry. You have a pretty large fan base and with all that you are doing- I think you must have energy galore.

        There is/was a pic of Billy Bob in a post but that might have gotten deleted because it did not move over as it should have from my daughter’ website. He, unfortunately is not sweet. My son played a stupid game with him so since about the age of 3 years or so he has been and still is a goat from hell. He is a big goat too. I’ll have to write about my close call with him sometime.But I’m not sure that I could do justice to the the story.

        Anyhow, I still love that bad a– goat. I treat him with carrots and he gets my apple peeling each morning. He really is a spoiled goat.He’s not a kid anymore (pun intentional but needed. 🙂 Billy Bob is about 10 -11 years old now.

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    1. Thank you Marta! As long as Ratty and I can co-exist without having to ever meet then I’m sure all will be fine!
      They say that in London you are never further than 6ft from a rat (that’s about 2metres?) so I use that as a benchmark for how far I need to be from Ratty. If he crosses that boundary, there will be trouble! 🙂

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  6. Mum this made me feel ill! Poor you I hope the rat leaves soon! Brill post though 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Noo, sorry it made you feel ill. If it’s any consolation the smell is not quite as pungent this morning. Ratty hasn’t made an appearance yet, but it’s still early. He’s probably having a lie-in xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  7. Well that made for an entertaining read! I think I could tolerate a rat; mind you, it would probably be much more toe-curling in real life. What would definitely have me utterly terrified and running screeching out the door (unless the sodding thing was on the door, blocking my exit) is a big gnarly 8 legged beast.

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    1. This is the thing Hayley – I’m cool about spiders, even snakes which we get quite a lot here, but rats terrify me in the same way that the 8 legged beast terrifies you. It’s something about their tails and yellow teeth and eyes, Mice on the other hand, I’m very fond off 😀

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  8. Rats! At one point in my bachelorhood I lived in a farmhouse. There were rats in the walls that liked munching the inner structure at night right next to your bed. Once when cleaning the cabinet around the sink I picked up a bread bag from a lower drawer only to have a big fat sneaky beady eyed little bugger jump from the bag hissing at me. One of my roommates shot a rat and had his picture taken holding the deceased and the shotgun for holiday cards. Delightful chap.

    After being in our present home for a few years we began to hear little noises and find deposits on the counters. The house is pretty tight and it turned out the little mice were climbing the cinder blocks that make up the chimney for our wood stove into a hole in the ceiling within the garage and spread out from there. A small rodent sized Havaheart trap and a ride a few miles into the wilds eventually removed the population to more suitable grounds.

    I hope your little furry buddy knows to skirt clear of you for your peace of mind.

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  9. Oh dear, I”ve just written a really long reply to your comment and it vanished! WP is being a bit of a rat at the moment… not sure why but it’s very glitchy and keeps crashing. I wonder if anyone else is having these problems?

    I’m going to save this reply to you in case it happens again

    I know that all my fear with rats stems from my childhood. I lived in a very old house and we were over run with rats. One summer in particular there was swarming with them. My duties included collecting the eggs – it was a joy until the rats took over the coup! You could bet your bottom dollar that when I put my hand into the nesting boxes to retrieve the warm eggs, a rat would shoot out at me! Petrifying!
    I’d go to the feed bins in the barn and rats would fly out of the bins, straight across my feet or snarl in corners – these were big rats, and aggressive. They were not in the least scared of humans.

    To this day I still have recurring nightmares about them eating me alive!

    Our house in London suffers from mice. It’s a typical terraced house and they move from kitchen to kitchen along the street through the old victorian partition walls. I don’t love the mess they leave but I’m not in the least bit scared of them. I actually quite like mice. I used to keep them as pets at school and they slept in my knicker drawer!!

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    1. I wonder why it is we dislike rats yet find other rodents to be adorable, cute or, at least, not disgusting. 🙂 Fortunately we do not have rats here, but mice, rabbits, chipmunks, voles and the most irritating moles. But we don’t hate even the burrowing little blind Talpa europaea that currently has our front yard looking like a Leakey dig.No one likes a rat outside of a lab.

      You certainly have good reason for your fear. Living with rats must have been terrifying. For a brief second it sounded like you were collecting rat eggs. 🙂

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      1. It’s something to do with the tail and the teeth. The tail particularly gives me the creeps. I know what you mean Steve, it’s a bit unfair that rats get singled out when fellow rodents and critters are considered quite appealing!

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  10. You’ve managed to evoke the full gamut of emotions, again, dear Lottie. “…black, lozenge shaped calling cards…” Hilarious! And what a freaking awesome title for a post!! For some reason I’m picturing Ratty wearing a beat up fedora, several cameras with appropriately ridiculous sized telephoto lenses slung around his furry neck, his press pass tucked neatly in a mysterious pocket. Maybe he was there to take photos of YOU. As I write this, an image of you dancing on a table could be splashed onto Rattimes! How exciting!! Oh the glamorous adventures you get up to!

    I love that you turned a terrifying episode into a fabulously enjoyable post! Well done you. xoxo

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    1. You are wonderful Sis! you always say the nicest things, I appreciate your words 😀

      Your description of Papa Razzi had me in stitches! I’d love you to do a drawing of him that I could post on here? If you have a moment send me one and I shall put it in pride of place on the post – the mystery pocket, the appropriately ridiculous sized telephoto lens…PLEASE do a drawing!

      xoxo

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  11. I can hire out my ratcatcher. He is rather good but not remotely modest, as on catching them he prances around and shakes them by the tail in front of our face to show what a good dog he is. Yes, a dog not a cat. A large slow sleepy Siberian Husky/GSD that can speed up when necessary. I would hire him out if you could afford his fees and his airfare.

    Otherwise I suggest a large rat-trap box contraption, can’t remember what we used as bait. Entice large rat into box. Discover large snarling rat the following morning baring his vicious teeth about to bite your to death.

    At this point, do not open box. Instead, fill a large bucket ie horse bucket or builders bucket but def not a household bucket with water. Drop box – again without letting Ratty out – into water. Rat drowns.

    Ensuring carefully that Ratty is definitely dead, tie him up in plastic bag and ensure disposal in bin.

    I write as a concerned animal rights supporter, vegetarian, blah blah and death by drowning is quite speedy and not as painful as death by drowning. Although my ratty never actually told me what he thought. Neither did the other one killed by the dog.

    I liked the voyeurism.

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