A rustling sound from the corner of my kitchen caught my attention, prompting me to pivot. A sizable gray rat was scurrying hurriedly into the shadows. What should I do? As a lifelong vegetarian and staunch opponent of animal cruelty, I had no desire to harm the creature, but I certainly wished to bid it farewell.
Approaching the stack of grain bins behind which the rat was hiding, I carefully displaced each one by one. As I moved the final bin, the rat seized the opportunity and darted away, this time vanishing beneath the kitchen sink.
“If I can just trap it,” I contemplated, “I can safely release it outdoors, which would suit each of us just fine.” A large plastic salad bowl became my makeshift trapping equipment. Opening the cabinet beneath the sink, anticipating success, I was surprised to discover it was empty.
Suddenly, I glimpsed a tail protruding from behind the sink—a sure sign the rat was now making its way to the countertop. I waited for the opportune moment, and as the creature scurried into sight, I swiftly clamped the bowl down over it. Victory! A long, gray tail poked out from beneath the bowl’s rim.
However, a new challenge emerged: how to transport the rodent from the bowl to the outside world? With caution, I grasped the empty kitchen trash can and nudged the bowl along the countertop toward it.
But as I attempted to dump the rat into the trash can, it acrobatically leaped over the rim, eluding capture, and bolted across the kitchen floor, seeking freedom.
Dropping to my knees, I tracked my prey’s trajectory. It had vanished through a minuscule hole in the baseboard beside a utility cabinet. Determined, I stepped outside, circling to the opposite side of the water heater. Sure enough, the exterior wall revealed a tiny aperture that would have normally escaped my notice, obviously the point of entry.
After sealing the hole, I am delighted to report I’ve been undisturbed by vermin since that day. I pondered the intricate workings of the world. If I had successfully captured the rat in the trash can and released it outside, I would have remained ignorant of the hole. Only because the rat eluded capture had the gateway it had exploited been revealed.