As I crept slowly down the passage way, the clunking got louder. I was getting a bit nervous by this stage, so I turned on the light and in a quavering voice said "Whooooo - who's there?"
Then I heard this: scurry, scurry, scurry, squeak, squeak, squeak. The rat heard this: GARRRRRGGGGGHGHHHH!
I raced back into the bedroom and assailed the Galumph with a frantic, panicky "There's something in the kitchen!" He sat bolt upright, and said "There's somebody in the kitchen?!" "Nooooo!", I replied. "It's even worse - something!"
I threw myself under the covers, and shook (yes, I was being a big fat girl about it all!), whilst the Galumph went down to investigate. I could hear odd thumping noises, but that was it. When he came back to bed, he was bearing bad, bad news: it was a rat that had been in, as evidenced by it's wee little bowel movements that it left behind.
When the morning come (the night had been spent with out bedroom door firmly locked - what if it tried to get in during the night, ewww), Galumph investigated properly and found that it had come in through a hole in the wall where the heating duct was, then nibbled through the cupboard in the kitchen, and squeezed it's way past the dishwasher so it could scamper all over my dish rack. I spend the entire day washing and disinfecting everything in sight. I even found myself peering paranoidly into cupboards to look at dishes that it couldn't possibly have found access to, wondering if maybe I should wash them, just to be on the safe side (truly, there can be no bounds where my rat paranoia is concerned).
So, we've plugged in the hole with steel wool, which apparently they hate and won't chew through, and are now debating what to do. I'm not very keen on poisoning it, but then again I don't want it anybloodywhere near me. Should we invest in one of those $100 hi frequency things you plug in that send them crazy, then send them away? The little devil is still out there - the last few nights we've been watching Pride and Pejuidice (hey, I needed comfort viewing), and I've seen the little @#$%er racing across our courtyard - shudder. He's probably gathering all his rodent friends so they can launch a mass vermin assault on the steel wool and make themselves completely and utterly at home (paranoia again).
So, any suggestions? I just want him gone! It's funny, I can handle spiders, leeches, maggots - heck, even dead bodies, but rats and mice give me the heebie jeebies.