On the loose ends list

By Mir
June 19, 2010

I keep a running list of random things in my brain that I mean to blog about “sometime” for whatever reason. On the one hand, I’d probably remember more of them (and actually get around to writing about them) if I wrote them down. On the other hand, I kind of figure I’m a big enough dork that if I don’t write them down, it saves me from an even deeper level of geekdom.

(On the third hand—who has a third hand?—think of all the wondrous world problems I may have had the brain power to solve, were it not for random blog topics, all the words to every song on Beauty and the Beat, and all of the other useless crap I have tucked up in there. Just sayin’.)

Anyway. I did mean to update you on a few things. Because I’m swell that way.

First, I know you’re waiting to hear an update on the rat situation. I mean, that nice young exterminator who would NEVER LIE TO A PERSON insisted that we had roof rats running rampant under our house, so surely they’ve since trapped tens and hundreds of the critters, right? Money well spent, legions of vermin vanquished?

GUESS how many rats they’ve caught. GO ON, GUESS.

Yep. That’s right, our horrible INFESTATION has yielded the trapping of exactly… zero rats.

When Otto reported this to me while I was still in Philadelphia, my bullshit meter began beeping LOUDLY. “They lied to us,” I said to him. “They totally made ALL of that up, knowing I was squicked out and would fork over the money for an extermination we DIDN’T EVEN NEED.” I was livid.

Otto insisted that we could still have had rats. Maybe they leave during the day, and weren’t there when they closed off all the access points, blah blah blah. I was skeptical. Maybe we’d had some rats under the house ten years ago, and Exterminator Dude was all “Look! Footprints! GIMME YOUR MONEY!” I don’t know.

But the biggest mystery: Right after Otto reported the empty traps, he also reported that he and Licorice were still hearing something under the house. To which my response was WHAT THE HECK??

Otto called the exterminators back, and they searched everywhere and swore up and down that not only was there nothing under the house, there was no way anything could possibly get in at this point. While they were all standing in my office arguing this point (I was still away), ALL of them heard… something.

The exterminators went back under the house. After what Otto described as an extended period of time, they discovered the source tucked up under some crossbeams in the crawlspace.

Kittens. No doubt courtesy of one of the neighborhood feral cats.

Only one of the kittens was still alive, and the exterminators took it to the humane society in the next county (ours doesn’t take cats anymore). Apparently our “rat infestation” was a litter of kittens, which we then paid an enormous amount of money to have separated from their mother. (GUILT. I HAS IT.)

Licorice is no longer stalking my office bathroom, at least….

On a lighter note, I know you’re also very concerned about my continued adventures with the TSA, so I thought it only right to come clean about the last bit of my adventure with them when coming home earlier this week.

It turned out that my departure gate had a SECOND security station set up by it; meaning that even though we’d already been through the standard security screening, they now had two TSA agents pulling people out of line to check them AGAIN.

Bear in mind, I had, by this time, spent hours at the airport the night before, then left after my flight was canceled. Now it was first thing in the morning, I was exhausted, I had a carry-on bag full of dirty laundry and THE CONTRABAND HAIR PRODUCT…

… so of course I was pulled out of line for screening.

I was patted down by the female agent while the male one opened my suitcase. He shoved my dirty laundry aside and went straight for my toiletry case. “This is it,” I thought, “this is where I’m finally arrested for smuggling hair gel. The long arm of the law has finally caught up with me.”

“Thank you very much, ma’am,” said the agent, zipping my bag back up. “Have a nice flight.”


Not sure what that was all about, but I took my bag and got on the plane.

Maybe they were just looking for kittens. (Oh. Too soon? Sorry.)


  1. Chuck

    Homeownership…the fun never ends. Glad you made it home with you good hair stuff, at any rate.

  2. jess

    Instead of saving me from “even deeper levels of geekdom,” your question, “who has a third hand?” has led me straight into geekdom. My only thought at that point was, “Zaphod Beeblebrox, of course.”

    Thanks, Mir, for not only leading me to the sin of posting off-topic, but also for reminding me that I’m a huge nerd anyway. ;~)

  3. hollygee

    And, and Licorice?
    She survived abandonment?
    I know she did, but I’d like to hear about the heartwarming joy and ecstasy Otto experienced when they were reunited because I’m a sap.

    I’m so sorry about the kittens.

  4. Megan

    Hmmmm… Boy that’s tough. Happy that they weren’t rats? Because AUGH RATS, but then, sweet hapless little kittens….

    How about – I’m really, really glad your noise-under-the-house problem is solved!

  5. Alice

    That *sucks* about the kittens. Of course, I blame the ridiculous attitude your county has towards ferals – if the adult cats were neutered, then this wouldn’t have been an issue. If it makes you feel any better, only 1 kitten per feral litter tends to survive to adulthood anyway. Cold comfort, but they might have ended up in the same situation even if they’d picked an entirely different place to nest.

  6. Crista

    At least you won’t have to worry about future rats? Or kittens…

    What are you going to do when you run out of this contraband hair product? Only one bottle can be this lucky…

  7. meghann

    Alice is right, and *this* way, that one kitten that lived will be neutered/spayed and placed into a loving home, instead of just being a feral kitty and making more feral kitties.

    Glad you and your illegal hair product made it home safely.

  8. Brigid

    I believe you just called me a geek. But I’m OK with that. If I don’t write down my blog ideas, I would randomly start talking about them to strangers in line at the grocery store. It’s better this way. Trust me.

  9. Jacqueline

    Man, you made it through security HOW many times with that hair product?? The ONE time I forgot a regular sized sunblock in my bag it was promptly confiscated. At least the young man was very polite and apologetic to me that he had to take it away and folded up the plastic baggie I had it in and offered it back to me. (Me: “I… um… I don’t think I need… oh, well, ok, thank you.”)

  10. Brigitte

    So your area doesn’t let you do trap/neuter/release OR bring ’em to the shelter? Gee whiz, and why is there a feral cat population problem? (huff, huff, huff)

    Glad you’re safely home (back to the usual problems! ;-)) and that the mystery was solved, anyway.

  11. Karate Mom

    We had kittens under our house this summer, too! (Well, WE didn’t have them, a mama cat had them…yuk, yuk, yuk! Or should I say “yuck”?) They were from the same feral mama cat that had kittens in our shed LAST summer! Woo hoo! I realized they were there because I heard them mewing under the floor.
    Only, last summer, I “rescued” the kittens and took most of them to a shelter. My mom took one and we now lovingly refer to that adorable, cute, gray kitty as Psycho Puff because she’s just not quite right in the head. She gets a crazy look in her eye and then attacks out of the blue. Methinks we didn’t make that “window of opportunity” for them to be used to humans.
    This year? I just left the kittens alone. I hope she doesn’t come back next year, because I don’t know what to do about it! Apparently we’re the “safe house” in the neighborhood.
    OK, sorry about the loooooong comment!

  12. elz

    Well, at least now you don’t have to move or burn the house down b/c kittens are liveable. Rats, notsomuch.

  13. Annette

    MAYBE…the cat/kittens chased the big rats away?????

  14. JennyM

    So, you haven’t been harboring a secret kitty factory under your house this whole time, have you?

    PS: Oh, jess — I’m glad I’m not the only one, re: the erstwhile President of the Galaxy.

  15. Tracy

    And Licorice? She survived, I knew she would but how was that feeling when you walked in and she knocked you down with glee? Come on…spill it. I want to hear the joy you both had when you saw each other after the first week of being separated.

  16. Katie in MA

    HAHAHAHAHA!!! The rats were kittens? Oh that is just…awesome. :) No other word for it!

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