Modern Mum by QT columnist Kat van Wyk.
Modern Mum by QT columnist Kat van Wyk. Contributed

Strange noises? I smell a rat

I WAS home alone last week when I woke to a strange noise in the middle of the night.

Thinking we were being robbed, I grabbed our cat Audrey (for protection), pulled the covers over my head and hid for a few minutes whilst trying to determine what the noise actually was.

Plucking up some courage, I ditched the cat in search of the nearest large object.

As always, a whole bunch of my children's belongings were left lying on my bedroom floor.

All of which would prove useless in an attempt to fend of a robber.

So instead I grabbed my phone (because of course the phone was going to help me) and crept out to the kitchen. There was no robber.

In fact the noise was coming from the ceiling and sounded as though a large animal was stuck inside.

Could it be a possum . . . or perhaps it was another cat? And how did it get in there in the first place?

The loud noises eventually stopped but soon after a horrible scratching sound started coming from inside the wall next to my bed.

Rats, yes it had to be rats. Last month a nasty toad tormented me and now it was rats!

Thinking the cat would eventually catch them I headed off to work the next day.

She didn't.

Audrey catches birds, lizards and grasshoppers all the time. Much to my disgust, she proudly brings them inside as tiny half eaten offerings.

The scratching continued and the midnight smack down wrestling competitions got louder and louder.

They sounded enormous!

When the kids returned home, all three of us were grossed out by the eerie sounds and took refuge in my bed.

The weekend finally came and with it the opportunity to get my rat problem sorted.

Armed with rat baits and a ladder I'd borrowed from a neighbour, I was going to head up into the ceiling and the rats were going to be history. Easy!

Or so I thought.

Manoeuvring the ladder inside proved to be a tough task as I practically remodelled the laundry getting it into place.

Then as my son held the ladder, all he could do was giggle as he looked up and saw my pink underwear.

He summoned his sister to come and have a look and the two of them laughed hysterically at me as I fumbled my way into the manhole.

The word "manhole" in itself suggests that only men are supposed to go up there and fix problems in the ceiling, but as the man of the house is only six years old I guess it was up to me.

Yuck! That's the feeling I had when I was up there.

Fortunately, all I found was a bunch of droppings and some half eaten boxes.

Banging my head on a beam, I threw the baits in every direction and got out of there as soon as I could. It took a couple of days for the noises to stop, but they eventually did.

With all the lice, toads and rats I have had to deal with this past year, I'm beginning to think some sort of religious plague is invading my home. What's next?

A swarm of locusts and seven years of famine? Let's hope not!

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