Fortunately for him, (and us) we did opt for the "Catch & Release" turns out he is the cutest thing you've ever seen (as far as rodents go). The Rat/Squirrel is actually this weird large mousy thing. So the peanut butter worked and there he was yesterday morning not at all happy about being in our trap.
Here's what the little booger looked like post-trapping, and on his way to his "Release Site"
My camera was dead (gasp) or I would have a much better picture, and Im ashamed...
So we took him down the road to the Howdy's / Dairy Queen (Im sure they appreciated their new addition) to let him go. There is nothing but desert behind it, and we figured he would have plenty to eat (but his cholesterol will most likely suffer).
We sneakily crept down the arroyo and I hit the button to open the doors. Ok, here's what we didn't expect. He took two steps out of the trap and then JUMPED literally 10 feet. He hit the ground and lept again, another ten feet. Three more jumps and he was out of site. Amy and I sat there and stared in complete AWE. After a few seconds, I said something like "he jumped just like a Kangaroo"... that was about the time that lightbulb went on, an Aha! moment. In unison "KANGAROO RAT!!!!" This is what my Google search revealed. Sure enough we had ourselves a GIANT Kangaroo Rat. We set the trap again, so hopefully I can have better pictures AND a release video next time.
Mmmkay, so I promise I will stay on my intended topic...after tonight.
I HAVE to get a few funny things down that happened the last few days you know, for the record.
First of all, we went to Key West for labor day. It was FABULOUS, we split the hurricanes down the middle so it was calm and peaceful, the weather was perfect, and it wasn't too crowded. I am normally pretty "with it" when it comes to packing and unpacking (as Ive been doing it my whole life with parents in different states) but for some reason, even though I had only taken a tiny little suitcase, it was still sitting in my floor completely full(albeit tucked in the corner almost out of sight) until this week. I FINALLY unpacked and filed everything away where it went on Monday. So Monday night (really Tuesday morning) I get up in the night to nature's call (which I NEVER used to do). I'm sitting there in the dark with just the glow from the little nightlight, and I notice a "shadow" on the wall. Now you must realize that I live literally in the desert, and there are all sorts of creepy crawly things that I murder on a daily basis (see "Unwelcome Visitor" below). So I immediately assume the worst. Im sure it is a Nina de Tierra or a scorpion or something gross along those lines. I tepidly turned on the light, not really wanting to find out what it was, and lo and behold a GECKO. Now remember folks, desert. Lizards = yes, Snakes = yes but GECKOS?!!! = NEVER. He was bright orange, had those little suction cup feet, and was about an inch long.
All we can come up with is that he must have stowed away in my suitcase from Key West, and been chowing on dead bugs and mosquitos for the last month...who the heck knows, but how weird is that? Needless to say that my screaming for Amy to come see scared him behind the mirror and I haven't seen him since.
Amy has had a "huge rat" in her shed for years. He was the stuff legends were made of. He made intricate dog poop houses, moved huge-o rocks from the front yard into the shed, built ramps with paint stirrers, just an all around super rat. Well lately he has been hoarding the bunnies food. Like A LOT of it, and they are hungry dangit. He was also making a rather large mess in the shed, so we decided it was time for his reign to come to an end. Rat trap time. So in all these years, Amy (nor I ) had never actually seen Mr. Rat-King, but surely saw the mess he left behind. It just so happened on the day we went to set the big-ole trap, when we opened the door there he was. Only problem...he wasn't a rat. He was a big ass squirrel. Turns out squirrels are smarter than rats, still haven't caught him, and Miss Scarlett and Ruby are still hungry.
And for number three....
Kokkie likes to go under the clinic and hunt. Kokkie = 9 year old Samoyed. He came out last night with something's dead foot hanging out of his mouth. It evidently had been dead for quite sometime as it was super CRUNCHY, and it took him a long time to get it all down. Needless to say he slept outside last night...
Its funny, I always thought I knew compassion, but I can look back now and know I didn't. I was so busy trying to make way my through my own jungle, I couldn't see the pain around me(yes I resisted the "forrest for the trees cliche). Then an amazing thing happened, I woke up one day and realized I was happy...ridiculously, unequivocally, irreversibly (I hope) happy.
Suddenly I had nothing worry about, nothing to fret over, nothing to be absolutely consumed with except the fact that I was happy. (Not that being happy isn't hard and sometimes scary when your aren't used to it.) But I digress (get used to it)
It was like a blindfold was dropped from my eyes. Now I can see...
Granted, I am in an environment that is much less privileged now, and there is so much need all around me, but I feel like I have much more appreciation for the struggles of others. I literally lay in bed at night scrolling through the people I come in contact with on a daily basis, and try to think what I can do to impact their lives in a positive way.
So I want to spend the next few posts and try to paint a picture of what I see. Some of it will be sweet, some incredibly sad, (a few gross things I can think of) but mostly, how blessed I am to have the people in my life that I do.
I love the Golden Girls, and Sophia's stories. So in her honor, I'll start mine like this...
Picture it. Today, 4:45 pm. Amy and I driving in our little ole green Landrover "Willow", with our "Life Is Good" spare tire cover happy as two little larks. Me in sweatpants, flipflops, and a sports bra (I had spilled some Sugarfree Redbull all down my tank top, and since we were going "straight home" had taken it off, and Amy in scrub pants and a t-shirt.
We were literally 5 blocks from home, just down the street, and "Willow" as we affectionately call her, got a little tired...really tired in fact. Ok fine, she quit. Just like that.
So once again, Picture It...me in sweatpants, flip-flops and a sports bra, hair ALL over the place PUSHING "Willow" by the "Life is Good" spare tire cover, down our entire street past ALL our neighbors to our house....with Amy steering and "cheering" me on...
My little-est bun bun Poe (As in Edgar Allen) finally escaped last weekend. He has always been rather determined, and a "digger" so the day finally came on Saturday. He was wooed by some "real" desert floozy bunny and is now (hopefully) frolicking out there with his new chick. Miss Scarlett (the one he left behind) has been so depressed and will hardly come out of her house.
So last night Amy took me to get a new bunny friend for Miss Scarlett. She is a baby, and small, but not a dwarf like Poe was, completely white with red eyes. I named her Ruby Red...
Evidently I was a bit over-optimistic about how fast Scarlett would take to little Ruby. I gave them a little "sniff and smell" time last night, and then let the baby sleep in the bathtub. This morning I let them play some more outside in the big bunny pen. Playtime ended when Scarlett bit off a little piece of her nose. Like the fact that she is 14 lbs bigger wasnt enough to "prove" her dominance. Anyway, so my solution was to put the baby in a smaller cage inside Scarlett's area so they could still smell and check each other out, without Scarlett being able to mount the little one. I came over to check on them this afternoon, and as I made the corner into the kennel I saw a HUGE ASS FREAKING SNAKE slithering his way in. He was already half way in and I was completely panicked. All I could think to do was to run back into the street and scream for Amy, so that's what I did....and boy did she come-a-running. Picture it...screaming...top of my little lungs..."Amy come quick, there's a snake in with the bunnies and it's big as me!!!" Anyway, I got the shovel and met her at the kennel. By that time the snake was completely inside, but off to one side trying to charm the bunnies. Amy distracted him (with a broom no less) while I scooped up Scarlett and Ruby and got them the heck outta there. Multiple large rocks, shovels, sledge hammers and a pick ax later(seriously), it was finally ALMOST dead, but still opening its mouth anytime we got close. So we left it pinned under several LARGE rocks and left it's big-o snake head conveniently between the wall and the sledge hammer, put the bun bun's in the house and headed back to work. 3 hours later it was finally dead enough to bag up (talk about double bagging) and throw in the dumpster.
Needless to say by the time I was finished hysterically hacking at the damn thing I was bawling and Amy had to take over from there. It was literally as long as me (we're talking 6 feet here) and a good 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Scary scary shit. However, Amy saved the day and we got it all cleaned up...Scarlett is back outside, and the baby is back in the bathtub.
NEXT DAY UPDATE: I am so completely and totally sore I can hardly life my arms...I look a little like John McCain....