We've got a rat. Not a pet rat - well, yes, technicallya pet rat, but not really -
OK, let's try this again, in narrative form.
Earlier this evening (see how nice that starts out? yes, narrative was definitely the way to go. oh, sorry, please continue). As I was saying, earlier this evening, TheGirl was sent to empty the kitchen recycling bin into the garage recycling bin. (wow, that sounds kind of inefficient. why don't you - oh. sorry. heh, heh. sorry) After a moment, we heard a squeak, a slamming door, and the sound of TheGirl running through the house at full speed. Questioning led us to learn that she had seen"a rat" in the garage. Heh, heh. So cute. a rat, indeed. "How big was it?" Hands were held a foot apart in reply. "What?! What color was it?" White with a pink tail. What the? TheFishmonger heads out into the garage.
"Well, I don't see anything..." scritch scritch... "HOLY
After removing the cars from the garage and pulling a few items off of the wall, I managed to herd the varmint out the garage door and into the flower bed. (what did that accomplish?) Right, so now it's outside. Better get it off the property. A broom handle probes the flowers then, a flash of white, loping along the flower beds. one side, then another, then... oh shit.. under the deck. The deck that's 1 foot off of the ground, so you can't see under it, and it's always dark down there. Dark like the night. And rats are nocturnal.
Since we lost sight of the rat beneath the deck, we've called an exterminator. He recommends we not hire him. "It's a waste of money for one rat", he opines. OK, but tonight, I'll be thinking of rats chewing their way in, nibbling the crumbs out of my beard, licking the milk from the corners of TheBoy's mouth. The exterminator says to wait a few days, and it'll likely wander off. Just keep the garage door closed.
Current theories tag this guy as a lost pet. Which doesn't mean that it's safe to handle - don't worry about TheFishmonger trying that one, I gar-on-tee! Tommorrow, we're gonna get a live trap... and pray that the rat doesn't get into the mouse poison under the deck. A rotting mouse is bad enough. A rotting rat? Well, it just might be the only thing worse than a live rat.
(Thanks to rattyroo for the use of the picture above.)