If you have known me for a while, you have probably concluded by now that wildlife and I should just agree to go our separate ways. After the hornet incident, the possum episode and the double bird attack, it’s clear that I should only deal with wild animals at the zoo. Tell that to The Thing.
I don’t know exactly what The Thing is, but it seems to be some small, burrowing critter that has set up house under my front porch. You can see the pile of dirt where It tunneled in. It is probably also a nocturnal creature since I have never seen it, unless it waits until I leave for work to come out and scurry around. So I think it’s mostly likely a mole, a small possum, perhaps a cute little chipmunk, or something much worse…a rat. As long as whatever it is stays outside under the porch, I can deal with that.
Apparently The Thing has gotten bolder and has violated our unspoken agreement that it would remain an outside Thing. Recently I saw tiny footprints in the laundry room, which is a separate, add-on room to the back of my house. There was something else too…drag marks. The Thing has a tail!
It’s been in my laundry room. It climbs. It has a tail. It has to go.
I got myself straight down to the local hardware store and rented a metal trap – the kind that traps but doesn’t kill the animal. The nice folks at the hardware store wanted to know what kind of creature I was trying to trap. “I don’t know,” I said. “It’s The Thing that lives under the porch. It burrows underground, comes in the laundry room, and it has a tail.”
“Sounds like a rat,” said the man. “Or it could be a small possum or even an in-diggy-ness wild weasel.” I didn’t care for any of those choices. Then they showed me how to set the trap, gave me some suggestions for bait and sent me on my way. I left there relieved that in a day or two, I would have The Thing, could identify it and then get rid of it.
The first night, I tried canned cat food as bait. No luck. Mr. Thing turned up his twitchy little nose at that. Then I tried the next item on my bait list: peanut butter. Nothing. After that I tried cheese, hot dogs, eggs, fruit, even left over pork loin. I left so much food out there, the fat, greedy Thing should have left me a tip. I imagine It was having catered rodent parties for his friends under my porch. Each morning I would peer eagerly out the window hoping to see The Thing. Each morning, all I saw was an empty trap.
Finally, after a week, I took back the trap. “What was it?” the people at the hardware store anxiously asked me. “I have no idea, “ I said. “I didn’t catch so much as a fly.” Next week, however, I’m calling in the troops. I’ll let the pro’s from Animal Control come get The Thing before it leaves little footprints across my kitchen counters.