The other day I experienced an almost-comical form of anxiety. I was in a frenzy of worry for a little while regarding a dead rat I found on the chair in my backyard, but it all ended happily (for me that is—not for the rodent). So in order to cope with the situation since no one else was around, I journaled about it as it was happening….
1 p.m. There’s a dead mouse or rat on the chair in the backyard! Is there any method I can use to throw it away without touching or looking at it, and while staying at least 6 feet away from it at all times?
I need one of those devices that the people use to pick up trash when they have court-mandated community service…like Rory had on Gilmore Girls. Oh, but it should have a claw (like in one of those arcade games where you win a toy) and not a point, because that could end up too messy…does this not exist? How about at Lowes? I was meaning to go there soon anyways.
1: 30 p.m. New plan: I have a long duster on a stick that retracts so I can reach the top of the bookshelves, and I could use that to push it into a bag…I’d just have to get close for a second to put the bag down. I could even carry the bag afterwards by looping the duster through the handles. Would probably have to throw the duster away afterwards…worth it though.
2:00 p.m. Maybe it will magically disintegrate? If I do what my instincts tell me to do and just ignore it, it will smell eventually or attract other animals, right? Still, I feel better that I have an action plan (duster plan mentioned earlier). Thankfully, I can avoid it a little while longer as I have lunch plans now, but in a couple hours, it is on!
4:00 p.m. The mouse or rat is gone, and my avoidance method of ignoring something for a couple of hours actually worked! I really think it was dead though, so probably the cat that left it here realized that I am not a worthy recipient of such a gift…which I am fine with. Those cats have been hanging around my yard lately, and now I know why. They probably took it next door since those people are kind enough to feed them.
5:00 p.m. Now there is the tiny bit of a tail in front of the laundry room door outside. From that I have determined that it was a rat after all. (Well that, and because it was larger in size than most mice.) I can’t believe I had a pet rat when I was a kid. What was I thinking?! So I am going to avoid the tail until my next trip back to the laundry room in an hour. But I probably can’t wait much longer then that, as ants have started surrounding the tail piece already. Maybe the ants will eat or carry it away? It feels like a zoo around here, and I do not appreciate the unwanted wildlife.
6:30 p.m. I was not as lucky with the tail as I was with the disappearing rat. But I toughened up and handled it. I grabbed a Trader Joes flyer, and I kept trying to scoop it up with that while keeping my distance. I almost buried it in the dirt accidentally, but finally I was able to retrieve it. I then threw the whole flyer and tail piece in a trash bag, and then into the trash bin outside. Mission accomplished!
So, now I’m going to conclude this with a little bit of wisdom as a TV character narrating the ending of an episode does (e.g., Ted, Carrie, J.D., Mindy, Doogie, etc.): Sometimes situations really do resolve themselves, and we worry for nothing. Or, it just becomes not as big a deal as we thought it would be. Also, cats can be really great sometimes.