While still in California, the roomie and I exchange a series of frantic text messages something along the lines of:
I think there is a mouse or rat under the sink
What! Did u see poop?
I hear it, it sounds big
Saw the tail!
Landlord (who tends to forget that buying and renting out units in this building requires more than just luxuriating in their renovated top floor apartment) is contacted. His response is basically "what do you want me to do about it!?" After several minutes of snarky comments, he agrees to schedule the handyman to come and patch up any holes through which the mouse/rat is entering. When they show up, they laugh and roll their eyes, essentially accusing us of being silly girls who overreact.
For a few days, it seems the handyman's repairs have done the trick. But then the roomie hears some familiar scuffling and scrabbling, and upon investigation, discovers several chewed up bags and wrappers dragged from the trash to the back of sink. We purchase various types of traps and set them up. Within ten minutes of setting them, we hear the loudest sound ever coming from beneath the sink. I am not exaggerating when I say, it sounded like a cat was trapped under there. By the time we stopped screaming like silly girls and summoned up the courage to look, it was gone. Here is us investigating from the safety of kitchen chairs.
And here I am trying to convince Sprout that she should catch the mouse/rat (she's a rat terrier after all)So we never found the mouse/rat that night.
I spend a lot of money at the hardware store assembling what I thought would be a sure fire mouse/rat protection system: 3 more large traps, one of those sonar deterrents, and a new trash can with a lid. Again, within 10 minutes of installing my new system, it's back. And again, it manages to steal the bait and escape. I write a strongly worded email to the landlord, requesting immediate action on his part, and by immediate action, I mean calling a professional exterminator.
The next day, The Exterminator (my hero!) arrives. Landlord continues to deny the possibility of a rat until The Exterminator peers under our sink with a flashlight and proclaims, "Yup, rat shit." This made me feel both proud (for being right about the mouse/rat) and disgusted (for having a rat). In a jiff, The Exterminator set up a serious looking trap and spread poison around, promising that the offending rat would be dead within days. He assured me that the rat was not diseased (not sure how he knows, but great) and that Sprout would be safe, unless she happened to someone get a hold of and eat the poisoned rat. I have been checking her jowls for rat blood, but thankfully nothing.
No more sounds or sightings. I'm glad I never actually saw it firsthand. That way "the rat" can remain an abstract idea, and not an actually furry, warm-blooded reality. I'll continue to imagine this guy instead: