One evening back in the 80’s the whole gang was sitting at home watching TV when one of our ever so helpful cats brought in a gift for the family. A mostly dead rat.
The cat sat proudly in the hallway waiting for someone to notice it’s thoughtful gesture and perhaps give her a scratch on the head, and go lovingly prepare the rat for all of us to enjoy.
The first person to notice the gift was MILK, the rest of us were busy watching Blue Thunder the series. Well the males were all watching the show, our step mom was reading a book and telling us how dumb the show was. To this day I don’t believe most women have the ability to truly appreciate a helicopter as a lead character. But I digress.
So seven year old MILK saw a furry little friend that the cat had brought in, she was neck deep in the My Little Pony/Care Bear phase of her life, and rushed over to play with her new magical and possibly talking animal buddy. “A MOUSEY!” She squeaked with glee. The cat who was used to her high level of attention to animals ran the other way, the wounded rat just lay there.
“A mousey…? What?” Our dad said as he turned away briefly from Blue Thunder saving Los Angeles.
‘Wait, that’s not a mousey, THAT”S A F*CKING RAT!” He yelled leaping to his feet.
“Dad swore!” I yelled gleefully pointing at him excitedly, as he tried to clear the coffee table to prevent the vermin snuggle session.
It was too late, MILK was holding the rat and petting it like Lennie Small. She was cuddling it and rocking back and forth with little cartoon hearts popping over her head. This is apparently an effective way to resuscitate a mostly expired rat.
The rat came to and bit her, and then everybody freaked out.
MILK tossed the rat and screamed clutching her now bleeding hand to her chest, the rat hit the ground very much alive now and started scampering frantically on the hard wood floors.
“I bet it has rabies!” I suggested helpfully
“I’ll get my bb gun!” Smokey yelled running to his room.
MILK Just cried while our dad hugged her, and tried to look at the bite.
MILK’s new friend had turned on her and shattered her Rainbow Brite world, “he bit meeeeeeeeeeee…sob”
“Boys deal with the rat” Dad ordered as he tried to comfort MILK.
Our step mom ran to call animal control, while our dad took MILK to the car for the ride to our regular urgent care place. “I hope Phil’s there. He does the best stitches.” He said as they walked out.
Smokey and I were busy catching the rat. “Don’t kill it, we may need it alive!” Our step mom shouted over her shoulder while waiting for someone to answer the phone.
Eventually Smokey and I trapped the rat with a five gallon bucket and a rake. It sat at the bottom of the bucket breathing hard and staring at us with fear and loathing in it’s eyes.
“Animal control said there hasn’t been a case of rabies in our county in twenty years” Our step mom said, hanging up the phone. “I guess just kill it and get rid of it.”
We looked in the bucket, the rat tried to jump out, suddenly startling everyone. We began discussing the quickest most humane way to whack it.
Dad and MILK got back just in time. MILK, despite having had “The Mousey” turn on her pleaded for a stay of execution. We tossed him over the fence of our neighbors we didn’t like. After all it had tasted human blood and you can never fully quench that thirst.