Rats In The Belfry.

Posted by admin on January 15, 2018 in Family |

The noises are still going on in my house, but I have given up the idea that Willard 2 is being filmed secretly in my walls.

It all started when winter set upon us. I had read somewhere that almost a third of all American homes experience a rodent problem at some point. Given that my house is bordered by a creek, I knew that it had had a history of river rats.

I even think I might have seen one outside once, sitting in a tree. Kat told me that it was just a rare hairless squirrel. Though I had never heard of hairless squirrels, Kat seems to know a lot of stuff, so who was I to question her on this particular issue.

The creek was only part of the problem, however. We knew when we bought the house that it had been abandoned for several years after the owner died. My neighbor told me that it had been just left open at one point and some critters had made it their temporary home.

I’m sure the sellers didn’t find much pleasure in sealing the house up when we made our offer, which required them to redo the entire crawl space and clean everything up. It was not a cheap request, about five grand total.

It wasn’t until I heard the noise in my bedroom wall that thoughts returned to the river rats. O.K., technically they are Norwegian Rats. I only know this because Kat told me they were. As I said, she knows stuff.

The weather had turned rainy and cold. I was awoken in the night by a sound in the wall. It was around 2 a.m. Another, almost identical sound at 3 a.m.

“Damn!” I thought, as I tried to go back to sleep. “There’s something in the wall.”

This had happened to me before. When living in the haunted house in Port Orchard, there was a similar noise. It went on for days, or should I say, days and nights. It was a horrible sound, something that I came to assume was a bird who had found its way through that small hole under the eaves and lodged itself in the wall. It made a flapping sound, one that I can still hear to this day. Eventually, the flapping stopped and we went on with our nights of sleepful bliss, knowing that something dead was now lodged forever in that wall.

There was no luxury in this house. For several days this went on. Different sounds at different times, all in the same wall.

It was then that my obsessive-compulsive nature took over. I began to research the problem. I had read that they didn’t like noises, so I took to rapping on the wall every time I went up and down the stairs. Then I yelled a strand of curse words into the wall. I listened to the wall like someone would listen to their the next door neighbors making out – even going so far as to use a glass.

This went on for a couple weeks. Eventually, my rational self returned to normal (well, as close as it can be being normal). I inspected the exterior of the home and found it well sealed. I didn’t see any new evidence of the hairless squirrels around the house. The rat traps by the creek had done their job; there were some takers since I refreshed the poison.

There was only one place left to look. I had put off the idea of opening the access panel to the space under the stairwell. I had watched The People Under the Stairs. I knew what could lurk there.

But the panel was a weak spot in the home. It had been since we moved in. The house flippers were content with a piece of broken wallboard as a panel. I really wanted something a little sturdier.

So off I go to Lowe’s. I know my way around wood and I have a saber saw, so all sorts of wonderful things can happen when I am properly armed. I measured thrice, not twice and made a beautiful panel for the access point. Now all I had to do was remove the old one and install the new one.

That’s when my hands started shaking. I was sweating by the time I had removed the last screw as the thoughts of rats pouring out of the opening and attacking me ran rampant in my head. I fought the panic, finally pulling the old panel off.

No rats. No people under the stairs. All I found was the main shutoff valve to the house’s water supply, a handy piece of information, I thought.

As an added precaution, I threw a rat trap into the space.

Weeks later, Kat wanted to clean out the pantry and reorganize it so we used that time to clean up some of the scary space under the stairs.

I wasn’t shaking this time. Kat was there. She is the Brave Little Toaster and did all the dirty work this time, vacuuming and sweeping.

The rat trap? Not a single nibble.

It turns out that we don’t have a rat in the walls. Oh sure, I still hear the noises and have learned to separate the ones where the house is breathing in and out to the rhythms of the furnace in the garage.

And there is a rat. A six-foot-long one with hair to be exact. It’s my son, who is a nocturnal little beast. It turns out that the wall big box of space above the stairwell that connects to our wall is like a big boom box in the still of the night. As my son games away in the night, some of the sounds from his room make their way into the box, mix with street sounds and voila! – that damned rat I was obsessing about.

Someday I’ll get back at Rat Boy for these days and weeks of little to no sleep. As they say, paybacks are hell, especially when I have a French Horn in the garage. I hear they don’t like loud noises. And the way I play these days, it’s definitely a sound no one wants to hear.

In the Emerald City, rats in my belfry, plotting revenge,

  • Robb

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