2006-01-11/12:09 a.m.

Before Christmas something scary happened. It was about 3am and Mike and I were snuggly sleeping in our bed. We had put up the tree/decorations earlier and sometimes the lights would come down and make a ripping sound- this becomes important.

So, we're sleeping and I start to have this nightmare that this animal is ripping the lights down in the living room. Then it becomes clear that I am hearing loud noises in real life and that I am no longer dreaming. I am still sort of asleep but I say to Mike "what's that?" and he sleepily says "nothing."

Then, it gets LOUD. Like a person is ramming its way into our apartment . I started to wake up more now because I was scared. Mike is still pretty sleepy and telling me, as though this is totally normal, "it's just some kind of animal." As though big animals are customary in our living room.

I was able to persuade him to look and whatever he saw must have been bad. Firstly, he wouldn't tell me how big it was, and secondly, he got scared and stopped being all "it's nothing" about the whole thing.

Mike then attacked with the broom and we attempted to sleep the rest of the night. The next day we called our super and told him what happened. It seemed like the ratbeast just wanted in from the cold, as it didn't even try to eat food but did try to break into our closets.

The super put out glue traps (that were probably not even strong enough for our beast) and poison. It was horrible. I was afraid to be in my own apartment. Going to the bathroom was especially bad (not to mention going in the middle of the night) because I'd have to walk across the apartment, right through the scene of the crime and then sit down. Not fun.*

The second night was worse and we were basically kept up all night, both by sounds in the living room, and terrifyingly, new sounds, coming right from the bedroom. Our bathroom was trashed in the morning, stuff was knocked over everywhere, rat poo in the tub, and the most horrible, rat poo all over the toilet seat. And there were a bunch of photos knocked over in the bedroom. NO.

It was at this point, fueled by lack of sleep, that Mike and I stopped being scared and started being more pissed. We're paying how much to live in a poo covered rat hole??? No way. I called the super again. He came over and filled all the holes with steelwool and put out a sonar thing. When Mike and I got home after work, there was a bad sign, part of one door had been eaten away and the bathroom cabinet had a bunch of shavings underneath it like something was really going to town. The super makes one last trip, fills up the bathroom holes and then notes that a lot of the poison has been bitten and moved. Good signs.

The night came. We waited. Mike actually brought a hammer to bed with him. (we have a shortage of weapons in the house... don't read this burglars) But we didn't hear anything. It was glorious.

The real test was going out of town for a week. We got back and... nothing.... just like a normal apartment. It was amazing.

And now I really hope that I didn't just jinx myself by writing about it.

*I just wanted to say that this beast was not a mouse. The poo was big, the destruction was big, the noise was big. I wouldn't be so casual about killing mice. But rats are a different story. They carry disease and are big and attack. Ick. God, just thinking about their thick tales may give me nightmares tonight.


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