Not with a bang, but with a broom in the ass.
The rat escapades have more or less come to an end. On Wednesday I came home from work around 9 p.m. to find Christopher sitting on the couch looking a little worn out and the house spelling like a hospital.
"The rat's gone."
Woo! Except, holy shit, I'm so glad I stayed late at work. This is how it all went down. When he got home from work, C wanted to start cleaning the house from top to bottom, but knowing the rat was injured and probably hadn't strayed too far, he poked and peeked under all the furniture to see if it was laying about. He didn't find anything, so he started sweeping and mopping.
In the kitchen we have an upright, skinny shelving unit in the corner because we have zero cabinet space. It sits on legs about three inches above the floor, and I happen to keep my garden tennis shoes underneath it because it's right by the back door.
So C gets to the kitchen and pushes the swiffer underneath the cabinet and - yeah, you know what I'm gonna say. The rat dashes out from underneath it, and cue Christopher screaming at the top of his lungs. The rat runs past him out the kitchen, follows the wall into the dining room and zips towards the entrance to the living room - where the dog is laying.
So whatever, that dog (inaptly named Chase) is a total waste, and Christopher is stuck alone with the rat. He followed it into the living room so he wouldn't lose it, and saw it run behind the radiator. C, being the logistical genius he is, started moving the tv stand and bookshelves so that the only path out from the radiator would be towards the front door, which he opened.
C then poked at it, while screaming "GET OUT! GET OUT! AHHH!" for all our neighbors to hear. The rat did run towards the door, but then, instead of seeking sweet freedom, veered back into the house and behind the couch. Poking at him here induced him to run further back into the house and all the way through the kitchen into the bathroom.
C, now rightly terrified that he was going to get stuck in a 3' x 3' bathroom with a rabid rat, followed him anyway. The rat, apparently seeking familiar ground, ran under the shelving unit in the bathroom that's identical to the one in the kitchen. Before attempting the bathroom smoke-out, C grabbed an endtable from the living room and used it to block the path through the kitchen and instead make one to the now open back door.
Standing on the three inch ledge of the shower, C poked at it some more with the broom. As gross as rats may be, this part is a little sad. The whole time, though the rodent was still speedy, was clearly injured and limping a bit. As C started poking at him here, he started squeaking like he was just begging to be left alone to nurse his wounds. Remember, C's a vegetarian, too, so he started to feel guilty about shoving a broomstick in this animals face while he begged for mercy.
Finally,the rat appeared and tried to run through the kitchen, then started climbing the endtable (C informs me that rats can climb up walls, ick), but C, with his bravery and fast thinking, ran after it and swatted it with the broom straight out the back door. Christopher slammed it shut with a shout of victory!
The exterminator came yesterday and checked out the house, and said he was pretty sure it was just the one little guy. He also looked in the backyard and found nothing, so it looks that I'm cleared to water my garden again, though clearly I have to toss my garden shoes (which is kind of sad, they're Nikes worn through from travel on three continents...). On Monday he's coming back to lay traps anyway, and also get rid of our millipede problem, which is AWESOME! We totally thought millipedes were just something we had to deal with living in a house (rather than an apartment), but we realize now we should have called him last summer.
So there you go. Let's all hope that's the end of THAT story.