Sharing my life and love of cross stitch. Thoughts about this and that.

Friday, August 8, 2014

There Must be a Lesson in All This

The last 24 hours:

1:15 this morning. I  thought there might be an intruder in the house - rapid swinging of clothing on hangers at the FAR end of the hallway hanging on the frame of my bedroom door as if someone had just rushed past them  - between me and the phone and my purse. Which abruptly stopped, as if someone had stopped them. Only weapon in sight: pair of Fiskar's scissors with 4" blade. Maybe not. Went out the front door and headed to neighbors for flashlight so I could do a perimeter sweep to see if it looked like someone had broken in. No flashlight, and my neighbor, who happened to be on his patio for a smoke in the dark first suggested then all but insisted I call the police. Actually HE did that as I walked up the street to see if I could spot anyone coming OUT a window. KUDOS to the officers, 2 of which arrived within a couple of minutes. The third while we were inside. Nothing. They were here and gone within 10 or 12 minutes. Of course I was awake the  rest of the night trying to figure out what had happened. I looked every where again, even for a bird that might have gotten trapped inside - a BIG trapped bird. And trying to replicate the movement of my clothes, with no real success. For a while I even considered a ghost REALLY trying to get my attention. It made as much sense as anything else. I finally got to sleep about noon.

I was on the computer about 5:30p when I heard my office and closet doors bump. I got up to check it out expecting to finally see where Oscar, the feral who sometimes comes inside to eat Henna's food, was hiding. I'd heard noises from the closet and around the boxes next to my filing cabinet for some time and actually thought it might be him.  Thus, I moved a door to look behind it and out of the corner of my eye spotted a movement just in time to jump back and avoid being struck by ... a SNAKE!  First thing first. Did it have a triangular-shaped head? Hmmm. Maybe not. Not sure. I stayed out of strike range and tried to drop first a cardboard box on top, then a bigger plastic box. It tired to bite me a second time then turned tail and quickly slithered off. I called 911 AGAIN. Two more officers arrived, this time in about 10 minutes and several minutes later Animal Control. Once they saw my cluttered office I leaned I had no idea where it currently was, I was told that it wasn't their duty to move stuff and HUNT for the snake, but if I could catch it and/or knew exactly where it was, to call t hem back. If I caught it, I could call animal control at 6 a.m. They were nice.I admit I was depressed. Then I realized what I thought had been the rat moving around was PROBABLY that snake trying to catch the rat for dinner. The A/C lady named several snakes it might be, but she'd guess a rat snake. I was confused because the LAST rat snake I had to have removed from the house was much MUCH bigger and fatter, and looked more like a rattle snake than a color dark color. I did recall as she was leaving that this much "smaller" one was just as aggressive and didn't have a rattle.

Now I was depressed. I just had to have a hole in my roof caused by raccoons fixed. I called my raccoon guy. When he called back he quoted their snake trapping price. Ok, anything *I* can do? Yes. Rat-size glue traps. The snake tries to slither across, gets stuck and in trying to get unstuck gets more and more stuck.

As soon as he hung up I went to Walmart and got glue traps. I listened carefully when I came back in my office to see if I could tell where Ricardo was (yes, at the suggestion of Officer Perez (#6) and Officer Snow (#7) I named it. As I was laying the glue traps where I thought it might pass I heard movement at the end of the closet. I backed away. I saw the end of a tail disappearing over the top shelf of that closet. Call #3 to 911. I wasn't about to lose sight of it and stood there. After about 25 minutes I thought I head it moving somewhere else and called 911 again to cancel the call. But the officers were on their way. So I had to again explain about 2 previous visits same day, and said I wasn't sure the snake was still in the same place. One shined his flashlight at the far corner or the top shelf. Two eyes reflected back. And so proceeded their attempt to find out if anyone from A/C would come out. After waiting quite a while for a return call, they called back. Apparently not. As it turned out, one of them liked to attend the Rattlesnake Round-Up in West Texas. His only issue was how to catch it without getting bit in the face. He was really wishing he had one of this snake-catcher neck grabbing things in his Patrol Car (he's said he's going to start carrying one). I suggested maybe use the glue traps in some way. So between the 2 of them and my suggestions of what I on had, it was decided he'd attach one of those Rat-Size glue traps to a yard stake they spotted outside behind my bench, or better yet the  of a broom WITH the stake, lower it gently on top of the snake or whatever part he could contact as it tried to get away, then decide what to do next. Glue trap attached to bristles on broom with a ball of handy duct tape, all of which stuck nicely to snake, along with some Christmas ornaments Ricardo came in contact with as he tried to escape. Ricardo wrapped himself around the closet rod, ornaments dangling along with him. I'd set a nice-size plastic bin with another glue trap in the bottom. Instead Office Perez managed to losent it's grip on the rod, drape it over the end of the broom and rushed outside with it's head and tail dangling free. He stepped on the head (thinking he was going to kill it I took my big iron T-bar out so it could be dispatched quickly. Instead he managed to get the glue traps unstuck from snake, then kicked it with his boot into the ground cover at the edge of my garage, where it immediately disappeared.  He'd already told me that the tail-end of the snake had been injured at some point in the past.. They'd quickly determined it was a long but skinny (HUNGRY) rat snake, so I was greatly relieved it was out of my house and very happy it would live to eat another rat another day. I finally thought to take a picture of it being "rescued" and released. And of the officers, who were so kind and had a call where life and property, for once, were not at stake. KUDOS and a Big THANK YOU to each officer who has been here in the past 24 hours!

Now, since it didn't look like the snake had eaten the rat, I still have to trap the dern thing. So far it's Rat 2 / Empty Sprung Trap 0.

And I really should eat that Jumbo Jack I stopped for on the way home from Walmart about 4 hours ago.

-- A couple of pictures to follow - maybe.

Sorry for repeated words and typos. I'm a zombie by now.


UPDATE THIS VERY SECOND. I thought I was hearing something, stopped listened, nothing. I just heard a soft bump and something gnawing around my dresser!  ANOTHER RAT??? NOOOOOO!! How are they getting in???  Now I have to go buy ANOTHER rat trap - or two.


Kate said...

As I was reading this all I was thinking was 'I'm glad it was you and not me'! What an adventure and here's hoping you catch that rat really soon.

LindaMc said...

Apparently only one of them. I thought there WAS only one of them. Apparently NOT. @!#!@# !!! Can't believe any one actually took the time to read all my post. So thank you. I'll definitely need to visit your blog!

Kay said...

OMG!! I would be freaking out! Can't stand rats or snakes. We recently rented a house in TX for a week and caught 4 mice in the sticky traps, along with tons of scorpions, and that was enough for me, lol!

Heather said...

My first thought would have been ghost, but then again we don't have many snakes around. Yikes! You are super brave!

Shebafudge said...

You are a heck of a lot braver than me, there is no way I would be in that house with rats and a snake!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

What an adventure! Not one I would want to share either.

We had a rat a couple of years back and they used the sticky boards to trap it. What they didn't mention was that rats scream when trapped. I knew but hubby didn't! Not very nice at all.