|Caught like a rat in a trap.|
pack rat, more officially known as the Eastern woodrat, Neotoma floridana. Lest you see the word "rat" and go "eww," these guys are actually quite cute. Their appearance is more mouse-like than rat-like, as their tails are covered in fur and they have large eyes.
Cuteness aside, their droppings make a mess and they are notorious for "collecting" things to build their nests (hence the name "pack" rat) and for chewing up rubbery stuff, like garden hoses and the insulation on automotive engines.
Apparently, they like onions, too. This summer, while my onions and garlic were curing on a rack in the garage, one of the critters snuck into said garage. One day as I opened the door between the house and garage I heard a "thump," such as our cat would make jumping down from a perch. But our kitty (named Juniper) was in the house at the time, so I became suspicious. Then I found an onion that had been partially eaten. I was certain that was not Juniper's doing. The pile of pack rat droppings confirmed all suspicions.
Those of you who also are not "cat people" would understand his position. Those of us who are cat people just roll our eyes and pity you for not understanding the value of cats.
So back to the rats...
Our live trap had been set up in the woodshed in anticipation of pack rats looking for winter digs. Yesterday my husband found the trap overturned and the bait stolen. So last night he set it up on the concrete floor of the porch next to the wood shed. It didn't take long for our intended victim to find itself trapped. We let it spend the night in its cage, so it could really think about its crime. This morning, I put the trap in the back of the pickup and drove to a pretty spot a couple of miles away and let it go.
|The backside of the packrat running into its new home.|
You never have just one.
|Pack rat's new home.|
|And, because it was pretty, the view across the road.|