I almost didn't post about this because I don't want you all to get the wrong idea about my living conditions, but here goes anyway...
I've posted a bit about my house here and there over the years, not enough to clue in any stalkers of course, but little tid bits. It's a tiny cottage, the sort that was inexpensive worker housing when it was originally built, in an inner city suburb of Sydney. Think the classic Sydney terrace house, but only a single story (if that helps). In the past 30 or so years my suburb has gone through the classic inner-city renewal, and like mine most of the homes in my street have been renovated and added to over the years. A living room and bathroom extension which was done by my landlords prior to my moving in has meant that it is still a fairly small house, but it's nice and comfortable. Some original features, polished floorboards etc, but modernised.
So, my point is that yes it's an old house but it ain't no filthy pit.
Anyhoo, I think I've set the scene. So last night I was watching tv,
Jamie's Kitchen to be exact (about the lead up to the opening of Fifteen in Melbourne) when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. A sort of scuttle. Two seconds later I was squealing like a virgin at a prison rodeo, as a rat quickly turned tail and shot back out of my living room into the kitchen. A rat. In my kitchen
My house has a few draughty gaps here and there where the old house meets the newer extension, ones that have been plugged as they've been discovered. Little hidden places where the creature might have found a tiny hole to squeeze through. I have had very little problem with any kind of pest, so it's not a regular occurance by any stretch of the imagination. The rat just got lucky, or unlucky perhaps.
So anyway, cue freak-out. I used to have a pet rat many years ago, and I think they are prefectly lovely creatures, but the idea of a wild one running through my house does freak me out. To make matters worse, post freak-out he (or she) must have managed to squeeze themselves somehow under the baseboards of my kitchen cupboards. Yup, I could hear it scrabbling around in there - but a cautious opening of all the cupboards revealed nothing. It was like underneath the dishwasher or something.
After an hour of so I then noticed silence. In one respect this is even more daunting, because when I could hear it I at east knew where it was. Best case scenario: it found it's way back out of my house the same way it came in, and it has gone off to live on a nice farm in the country. Worst case scenario: it was elsewhere in the house. Actually, the other bad, bad scenario would be if it had a massive coronary brought on by the shreaking of one very small, but very loud, queen and turned up it's toes - somewhere unreachable. ::shudder::
I inspected the rest of the house and couldn't find it, so eventually I went to bed... but not before I sealed up the gap under my bedroom door with one of those long sausage shaped draught excluders. Now I'm faced with the daunting moral dilemma of whether to buy baits or a trap, just in case it's still alive somewhere. I really don't want to kill it, it has a right to live as much as I do, but I don't like the idea of having it running around in my house. The hygiene of it especially. As it is, my kitchen is about to get the spring clean of a lifetime this weekend.
Anyone got any advice?