I was quietly stirring in the mushrooms to my smothered chicken for lunch when a slight movement caught my eye to the left of the range. I snapped my attention to the line up of condiments and vegetables when one of these things didn't look like the others and ---Eeeeek! There's a muss in the shugah bowl! ('Cause I was raised in Virginia and that's how we say it up there...)
It just stared at me and nibbed the sugar, nonplussed by my presence. "Excuse me, Sugar Pie," I implored, "But I don't believe I invited you to lunch today."
Actually, Sugar Pie had caught me completely off guard and I squealed like a girl and screamed, "SHOOOOO DAMMIT!"
Sugar Pie has been here before. She has escaped every device put out by the exterminator. We discovered her cohabitation of the Hudarosa several months ago. I had laid some chocolate out on the counter one evening to remind myself to make some cashew clusters the next day. Sugar Pie thought it had been a treat I had left for her enjoyment and promptly munched a square. Or two.
We call her "Sugar Pie" because she has a serious sweet tooth. She only eats candy and sweets. Potato chips, pecans or other savories are safe on the counter top. We could have given her the moniker of "Cheeky Devil" with equal ease. She is absolutely not afraid of the cat, the dogs, Hud or the Furry Godmother. Upon being discovered, she will calmly stare at you until you usher her away.
Tatia sent me this link to a pretty good idea to evict Sugar Pie: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2009/03/building-better-mousetrap.html . It the most humane way of dealing with random randy rodents, but I'm not sure I really need another pet here. After all, we did just get the frogs a new fish friend.
I could have had a rat a couple of years ago. The Hudarosa had been invaded by a colony of roof rats. They took up residence in the bamboo on the north side of the den and ate our vegetables from the garden. We had been feeding the birds, which according to the city official who came out to rectify the problem, is a big NO NO. He said that in the city limits, you feed a few birds, but a TON of rats. He thought we had plenty of natural food for or flighty friends, so it was unnecessary as well.
Anyhoo... One day, the dogs have something cornered in the roots of the wisteria and I sauntered over to investigate. A frightened pointy face peered out from the coil of vine. And then he ran as fast as he could to the safety of my jeans, shinnied up my leg and trapped at the knee, rethought his plan, slid down my leg and ran under the shed.
I calmly went inside and took off my pants. Eventually, I threw them away. Every time I put them on, Hud would ask, "Oh, are those the rat jeans?" At which point, I would remove them and put them in the wash.
Live in fear, sugar bowl. Live in fear.