So our refrigerator door has a dent. Here’s how it got there.

This post contains a little profanity. I know it seems silly to warn about it here when my books contain a little profanity, but I just didn’t want to offend anyone when I’m speaking as myself. I’m including profanity here so you get the full scope of the situation.

Last year, my husband and I had a mouse problem. It took weeks to solve, and scared the crap our of our babysitter, but we got rid of them using sticky traps, snap traps, and lots of alcohol. (The drinking kind.)

(Side note: mice are strongly attracted to sugar cookies. Our babysitter at the time wore “Warm Vanilla Sugar” body spray from Bath & Body Works. The mice were ALWAYS out when she was around.)

Since last year, we haven’t seen a trace of the mice. We thought we’d gotten rid of them forever.

Well, Monday night, I went to make a salad. I love avocados, so I typically buy a bag of them at the store every weekend. You can’t keep avocados in the refrigerator (they go wonky), so they were sitting on the counter. When I picked up an avocado, it had a few tiny chunks missing. So did the rest of them. And the bag was torn.

I said to my husband, “I think we have a mouse again.”

We had a few glue traps left from last year, the small, mouse-sized kind, which are about the size of a deck of cards. I put four of them on the counter, with an avocado in the middle of them.

That night, my husband, who wasn’t feeling well, took a dose of Nyquil and went to bed. I wrote a chapter and went to bed.

Around 10:30pm, I heard, “Scratch-scratch-scratch” from the kitchen. I whisper shouted, “MIKE!”

My poor, Nyquiled husband sat up all groggy. “What? What is it?”

I said, ” Listen.”

Scratch scratch scratch.

There was clearly something on our counter.

We both got up and headed out to the kitchen. I was behind Mike. He said, “Holy. Shit.”

Then I saw what he saw. I saw a big brown furry back. ON. MY. KITCHEN. COUNTER. Emphasis on big.

It wasn’t a mouse. It was a RAT.


Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m kind of a freak about my kitchen. (The rest of the house, not so much.) I regularly bleach my counters and my sink. I’m anal about food spoilage and unsanitary cooking conditions. I regularly throw out food that’s close to its date or even looks SLIGHTLY weird.

It’s a miracle I didn’t start screaming.

Honestly, it’s a miracle I didn’t start spraying IT with bleach. (That’s what I do to stinkbugs.)

So back to the rat on the counter. Not only is it on my counter, but those little glue traps aren’t trapping it, they’re just pissing it off. It’s also tangled up under the cord for my phone. Mike is trying to get some trash bags so he can get it into one, yelling, “GET ME A BOX. I NEED A BOX.”

Where the F am I going to get a box at 10:30 at night? There was a cooler in the corner of our dining room, one of those red plastic Playmate ones, so I open it and give it to him, thinking he can get the rat into it and slam the lid. So with one hand holding the cooler, and the other holding a plastic trash bag, my husband tries to get the thing into the cooler.

Remember the Nyquil? Not exactly conducive to sharp thinking skills or rapid movement.

The rat doesn’t end up in the cooler OR in the trash bag.

Instead, it bites my husband on the hand. ON. THE. HAND.

So now my husband is yelling, and I’m panicking, saying, “Ohmygod, did it bite you? Are you okay? Did it bite you?”

And he’s saying, “Yes. It bit me. It bit me.”

And there’s blood. All over the place.


So Mike starts yelling that he needs a box. I run upstairs to find one. Upstairs is our finished attic. There are no boxes up there. I know this because we just cleaned it out a few weeks ago. I have no idea why I ran that way, instead of down to the basement, where we have about fifty plastic boxes holding toys. I could have dumped one of those in about half a second.

While I’m upstairs, I start hearing all these crashing sounds. I think my husband is attacking it with a frying pan (which was sitting right on the stove, which also probably would have been a good idea), but no. He’s trying to keep it from getting off the counter.

And then it falls off the counter, and it bolts under the dishwasher.

Now my husband, who is generally a temperate man, yells, “FUCK!” and throws the cooler as hard as he could. He threw it so hard that it flew over the cooking island and hit the refrigerator.

He threw it so hard that a few days later, I noticed the dent and said, “What do you think the refrigerator door ran into?” And Mike said, deadpan, “A cooler.”

So now it’s like 10:40pm. My husband is bleeding from his hand. There’s a rat under our dishwasher. My five-year-old is crying, wanting to know what’s going on. I’m trying to call my mom, a night nurse, to ask her what to do. I then call the ER, and ask them what to do. (Side trivia: rats typically don’t carry rabies, a lot of bleeding is actually a good thing, because it helps flush bacteria from the wound, and while my husband didn’t have to go to the ER right then, a tetanus shot would be a good idea.)

Once we eliminated the immediate worry — the rat bite — we still had to figure out what to do about the rat under the dishwasher.

There was no way I was going back to sleep. My reasoning: if a rat could climb onto a counter, it could climb into a crib or a bed. (All of our bedrooms are on the ground floor.)

So at 11:20pm, I got in my car and drove to the grocery store, and purchased every glue trap and snap trap that they had. I laid them out all over the kitchen to prevent that thing from escaping from the kitchen. Then we went to bed.

2am: we hear it again: scratch-scratch-scratch.

This time, it’s one of the glue traps by the refrigerator. It’s not the big rat.

It’s a baby rat.




My husband got rid of it. The next day, I was on the phone to Orkin so fast it would make your head spin. I didn’t care how much it cost, we wanted someone to come out to the house and fix the problem. A guy came that night. (Side note: I cannot say enough good things about Orkin’s service. This gentleman was at our house for three hours, and did a tremendous amount of work sealing holes and patching areas that could provide access.)

This morning, one of the snap traps from the back basement caught the big rat.

I’m not naive. I know there may be more. But I feel like we’re closer to solving the problem.

This is the most horrifying event since we’ve moved into this house. Merry Christmas, right?

What’s the most horrifying thing you’ve ever found in your house?

(By the way, the contest is still going on! Have you entered? Scroll down to the next post.)

16 thoughts on “So our refrigerator door has a dent. Here’s how it got there.

  1. Oh god! I think I would have screamed if I saw a fricking RAT in my house. In the house that I’m staying in while in college we’ve found 3 mice in the last two weeks. Not a fun time. Thank god i’m moving out of in two weeks is all I can say

  2. The fact that I know you and Mike made this story all that more hysterical. 🙂
    My uncle once tried catching a possum with a broom and a lacrosse stick in the middle of the night…and he was naked. My cousins were scarred for life!

  3. OMG. I live by the beach and last summer when it got really dry out, we had a cockroach scuttling through the living room. I stood on the couch and screamed for my husband. I can’t imagine what I would do if something like this ever happened.

  4. OMG! That is really, really scary. Rats are so gross. 2 years ago we had a weasel living in our walls. He was brazen and would steal trash right out of the can in the kitchen while we were in the living room. And they emit an odor like a ferret when they get cornered. We eventually caught him in a have-a-heart and my uncle took him out back and shot it.

  5. It seems like every year around Christmas (it’s Summer for us, since I live in Australia) we have a mouse problem, too. Last year it was a rat. So I fully appreciate the whole bedrooms on the first floor and the rat being able to climb up onto the kitchen counter.

    Let’s add in the fact that I don’t have a bedroom door.

    I woke up one morning at 5am. Groggy at first, since I couldn’t figure out why I was awake at such an ungodly hour. And then I saw it: a rat. On my pillow. Right in front of my face.

    I now have a loft bed and literally sleep five and a half feet above the ground.

  6. We don’t generally get rodents in the house–unless Pippin brings them in! Which he did one night–he brought a live rat into our bedroom. I could hear it scritching under the headboard.

    By morning it had made its way into the kitchen and under the sink where we keep the trash. There was a hole under the dishwasher there, and a trail of trash and poop led from the bin to the hidey hole. We managed to flush it out a few days later, where it promptly ran under the fridge.

    We pulled out the fridge, but no rat. I told my husband it was probably up in the guts of the fridge and we’d need to tip it. He started to walk around the other side of the fridge, and saw a scaley tail sticking out. Thinking fast, he stepped on the tail, but the rest of the rat was still underneath.

    So I got a bucket, he tipped the fridge, and I grabbed the rat by the tail (barehanded)and dropped it in, neat as can be. It ran around in the bucket some while I carried it out and dumped it in the meadow.

    It sat and looked at me for a minute, like “you expect me to give up that smorgasbord in the kitchen?” but then it wised up and ran off. It’s probably still telling stories to its great-great-grandrats about the glorious food palace.

  7. Oh my GOD. I would have DIED if i found a rat on my kitchen counter! EWW. I’ve had a giant spider on the top of a plastic container in the kitchen, and that was scary enough! Hows Mikes finger?

  8. When we added a basement to our house, we had a bat or two show up flying around the livingroom. My cousin lived with me at the time and we were so loud shouting about what to do to get it out that the neighbor who lives half a city block away came over with tennis rackets!
    When I lived with my parents, my cat brought up a “string” from their basement that started moving – it was a garden snake!! The cat thought it was a toy. Also, my mom had an old stove with spiral burners – she had one crawl up through there – apparently they are attracted to the heat. YUCK

  9. Oh my goodness. I know it’s not funny.
    I know it’s not.
    But… I mean, you’re telling it for laughs, so I’m laughing.

    And I nearly bought you something as a joke last night that probably wasn’t very funny… and I didn’t… but I’d had four cups of coffee and I was tired, and it was 9pm and… Uh… *runs away*

    P.S. Apparently my mum stalks your blog, just so you know. She read this, btu she is scared to comment 😛

  10. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  11. One morning in South Dakota I opened the kitchen door and there was a muskrat sitting on the basement landing, looking back at me. And I had never seen one before so I thought it WAS a huge mutated rat. I screamed. My husband got his shotgun and hunted it down. IN the concrete basement.

    This is why we don’t have nice things.

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