A Rat’s Tale II

“You should have hit the rat over the head with your shovel to kill it and tossed it in your garbage. What if a cat ate the rat in the night? It is possible that you could have killed the cat, also. Take some responsibility for the wildlife in your area!”

An anonymous reader left this comment in response to my posting yesterday about my encounter with a (now-deceased) Chicago rat. The comment raises an interesting point.

Actually, it did occur to me to give the rat a whack on the head with my shovel. But frankly, the incident happened at the beginning of what was shaping up to be a glorious spring weekend. And when I thought of whacking the rat, I remember asking myself, “Do I really want to start a nice weekend with a dose of violence?” I just didn’t have it in me and simply wanted the rat to go away.

I will say that the very first thing I did the next morning was to check on the rat. And when I found it (intact), I promptly gave it a decent Chicago burial in my garbage can–so no cats had an unfortunate meal. (Wilson and Macy, that’s why we keep you indoors.)

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  • William von Rentzell

    We had a problem with rats a number of years ago. They were rebuilding the Maple Ave bridge on Salt Creek just a few blocks north of us. That drove the rats from the Forest Preserve into the neighborhood. Anyway, the restaurants in the next block south drew them. They also fed on my veggie garden. I set some snap traps. Once I barely got back to the house from setting a trap when I heard the "Snap" of the trap. All in all I think I caught and killed only 4 before the village-hired exterminator eliminated them all.

  • Anonymous

    Has the city's rat extermination program been one of the budget cuts? Most of the rat extermination signs in my neighborhood are way out of date.