Monday, 19 November 2012

There's a rat in me kitchen what am I gonna do?

Fleetingly, I thought it might be a warning.
It was a quiet Friday night, home alone (apart from 3 small children and my dad). In the utility room, fetching the all important ice and tonic for our early G&Ts, I heard a sudden rattle from the cupboard. "That's funny" I thought. "The cat was run over in March. Why would the cupboard that stores his Go-Cat be shaking?" And then I saw it, a snakelike tail, whipping frantically from side to side through the gap between the cupboard door. In a flash it was gone and so was my tonic as I dropped it on the floor and legged it back to the relative safety of the kitchen.

Photo: Now that's what I call a Saturday night........
A gin whizz works wonders on
your sewing technique
Was that a superior being's way of telling me that a gin and tonic was going to cause further damage to my liver? If so it didn't work. The lack of tonic meant I had to improvise and turn the G&T into a Gin Whizz which is basically Gin & Blue Curacao with 2 millilitres of tonic. The 2 ml of tonic lulls you into a false sense of security because it turns it a pretty turquoise colour but it still acts as liver-stripper. Actually it proved a nice blast from the past because as soon as I'd made it I remembered it was mum's favourite cocktail and she was a fairly abstemious and very elegant lady and that made me much calmer.

Needless to say, this morning I called the rat-catcher extraordinaire. At least, I called Barry's number to find that he had bought a canal boat and gone "sailing" for 3 years with his wife. Rat Catcher Mark II (his name was actually Mark and he had bought Barry's pest control business off him) promptly dropped what he was doing (wasps nest in Hindon? squirrel in Tisbury?) and hot-footed it over here. How glad was I. He indeed confirmed that we have a mutant rat. I know he's mutant - I saw his tail. It turns out he had tunneled from outside, under the house, into the cupboard in the utility room and eaten all our poor deceased cat's Go-Cat ( I suppose you're asking why it was still in the cupboard 8 months after Euston died but I've always been quite poor at letting go and you should also know by now that I am the original manana girl - "Why do today what you can possibly put off until tomorrow?"). Where's your bloody cat when you need him? Buried under the apple tree. So, I felt quite reassured that once in the cupboard, the rat couldn't get out, especially when we had taped it up with "fragile" tape. Until I realised that once in the cavity he basically has the run of the entire house. So I spent all afternoon in my office listening to a dead body being dragged across the floorboards between my office ceiling and the loft conversion. At least that's what it sounded like. I know Go-Cat is supposed to endow the recipient with strength and agility but I bet that rat has a beautiful glossy coat aswell.

Roland Rat - I stress I DID NOT listen
to his hit "Rat Rapping" in my bedroom
I am rather torn now as far as my affections and beliefs are concerned. I grew up (figuratively, not literally) with Roland Rat, a  lovable rogue of a stuffed rat whose best friend and number one fan was a gerbil called Kevin. They brightened up my Saturday and Sunday mornings in the early 80s when I was too young to hang around on street corners and had to stay in my room listening to Kool & The Gang and Billy Joel (I still do). Then when The Monkey was learning to talk and couldn't say "grandad" he used to (and still does) call my dad "Rat Rat" and thence there came "Ratty", my mum. As she's now no longer with us I can't say a bad thing about rats but the one running over my ceiling as we speak is making me question the warm, furry connotations that rats always held for me. Now I just want to dangle some chocolate in front of it and bring a make-shift guillotine down on it's furry little neck.

Weirdly I googled "evil ninja rat"
and it came up with my wonky-nosed
hero Owen Wilson
I have only had one experience of a rat before (apart from drawing one wearing wellies when I was about 9) and that was in the utility room of our house in Wimbledon. Home alone again, and pretty clueless, I leaned over the garden fence and called to my Polish neighbour "There's a rat in my kitchen , what am I gonna do?". I have to say it was lost on him though he did come up trumps and come round and beat it senseless before handing it to me in a Sainsbury's carrier bag for disposal in the outside bin.

UB40 were a great band but I never found any useful advice in any of their songs.


No comments:

Post a Comment