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An Open & Shut “A to Z” Caper July 29, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Humor, Life Balance, Word Play.

Attic Rat sniffed around the corners of the trap.  Baited with banana and Snickers, the trap beckoned.  Cautious by nature, Rat sat, wondering why he smelled a rat.

Downstairs, Two-Legger got up to feed hungry Cat.

Enticed by fragrant banana and chocolate, Rat decided to follow Nike’s advice, “Just Do It.”  Front paws with leggy claws stepped from the foamy insulation onto the trap’s smooth hard surface.  Grinning at the aromatic prize, Rat leaned further forward.

Hunched over his food bowl in the kitchen, pampered Cat inhaled breakfast.


Inching forward, Rat reached for the baited breakfast with bated breath. Just a bit more and he’d take a big bite of banana.  “Kind of Two-Legger to think of Rat up here in my humble attic domain.”

Licking his paws and rubbing his face and ears, Cat gave himself a quick bath.

Motionless, Rat sniffed the redolent air.  No danger apparent.  Only a hint of something pricked the edge of Rat’s consciousness ~ an intuitive warning?

Paws curled under his chin, Cat readied for morning nap . . . number one.


Quiet as a mouse and quick as a flash, Rat craned his neck to snatch the bait with sharp pointed teeth.  Rats!  Steel jaws clamped down, trapping him with a SNAP!

Tense Cat, startled from slumber, ears alert, heard trap snap Rat’s neck.

Unseeing, Rat breathed his last.  Vaulting up the ladder, Two-Legger peered into the stuffy attic and spied Rat, dead in the trap.  “Well, that’s that.”

Xenophobia had attempted to save Rattus Rattus from the baited banana trap, but Rat failed to heed the whispers within.  Yawning, heavy head on soft paws, Cat returned to morning nap . . . number one, determined to stay on schedule.

Picture 002c

“Zip-lock bags,” thought Two-Legger, “are perfect for disposing of long-clawed Rats caught in steel traps with a resounding snap.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  WP Daily Prompt ~ A to Z (Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.)


1. SuziCate - July 29, 2013

Tigger leads quite the exciting life…and I see, he gets in a bit of reading time!

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Tigger’s life is full of excitement . . . but only after he’s done napping. 😀

2. Pix Under the Oaks - July 29, 2013

Love Tigger on the Entenmann’s box! Such a sweet face. We love our Entenmann’s bakery goodies.. 🙂

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

BFF loves his Entenmann’s donuts . . . if he can get past Tigger (the “keeper of the keys”).

3. Tammy - July 29, 2013

Just returned home and hardly got any sleep ’cause the cats were so happy to see us!

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Oh, that’s sweet. When BFF and I went out west for a month, leaving our 2 cats with my parents, Jazz and Cayenne gave us quite the welcome home party. They are affectionate little beasties. :mrgreen:

4. katecrimmins - July 29, 2013

You did it! Amazing. It made sense (except now I feel bad about the rat). I’ve seen some a to z posts that well…did not.

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Thanks, Kate. I felt bad for the rat too. “We” (i.e., Two-Legger) caught him yesterday morning. We don’t like killing things, we’d much rather relocate them, but we didn’t want a pet rat in the attic chewing up the wiring, etc.

katecrimmins - July 29, 2013

Rats are very intelligent creatures but they do chew.

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

And they multiply. Like rabbits! :mrgreen:

5. SidevieW - July 29, 2013

I feel so sorry for the unwanted,

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Ah, well. As vegetarians, we’re not responsible for the death of many animals . . . just the occasional rat. We even went out of our way to “catch and release” a mouse in the house a few years ago:


SidevieW - July 29, 2013

it is easier on the conscience

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Yes! Being vegetarian is easier on our conscience. It’s definitely a better fit for us.

6. shreejacob - July 29, 2013

Ooo…Loved it !
Well…loved how you weaved in A to Z in the story…not so much the poor Rat.

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Thanks, Shree. I figure that the rat had a good life with only one really bad moment at the end . . . much better than the inhumane way we treat animals day after day on factory farms to feed demand.

7. Eric Tonningsen - July 29, 2013

Well done! “…failed to heed the whispers within.” My favorite reference. Rats, is my view, are akin to squirrels. Off with their heads (in a humane way, if possible).

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Thanks, Eric. I’m persuaded that the trap dispatched him to “Rat Heaven” in the blink of a whisker.

And, if he’s lucky (or has good karma), he’ll be reincarnated as a spoiled and pampered Cat in his next life. :mrgreen:

8. Perfecting Motherhood - July 29, 2013

Hmm, maybe I should get traps for the squirrels that keep raiding my garden… I just wouldn’t want to have to pick up the remains. And I bet it’d take a big trap to kill one of those suckers.

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

I expect you’d be fighting a losing battle (unless it’s just one or two squirrels causing the damage).

And, given your post today, I anticipate that waging war on animals outside will not give you the warm fuzzy feelings you got today from saving that red coachwhip snake’s life.


Hope you manage to salvage most of the harvest for you and the boys. When we had a garden, I don’t remember the squirrels being much of an issue . . . but that might be because they were too busy raiding the bird feeder for seed. 😉

Perfecting Motherhood - July 29, 2013

Well, I thought of feeding the squirrels something else so they would leave my crops alone, but that only allows them to reproduce even more and my production costs would be very high. I caught a gang of 3 squirrels stealing my cherry tomatoes recently, even though I used planters this year and placed them right by the house. I can’t stand squirrels. And lizards. They’re such thieves!

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Bone meal is used to discourage some garden raiders (but heard that it attracts others). Also, human hair clippings discourage deer, but I’m guessing squirrels would just step around it.

My dad used to hang tin pie plates to a pole in the middle of his garden to discourage raccoons, deer, and other critters. I’m not sure that squirrels would be scared by the noise.

nrhatch - July 29, 2013
9. Patricia - July 29, 2013

Very clever. Tigger is looking so good. Rat could have had a long life if he would have stayed where he belonged…someplace other than in the house.

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Thanks, Patricia. These photos of Tigger are a bit dated . . . the ones at the top and bottom are 4-5 years old. The one in the middle was 2-3 years ago. But I did take some photos of him “helping” BFF to paint a wall today. I’ll share them soon.

And, yup, about Mr. Rat. We sealed up the only opening we could find about 3 years ago and have no idea how he got in.

10. diannegray - July 29, 2013

I love this – so clever to get that A-Z on a role!

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Thanks, Dianne. I’d never tried something like this before, but the idea intrigued me. And Mr. Rat seemed the obvious subject.

11. sufilight - July 30, 2013

Tigger is a good looking cat. He looks pampered and this makes me smile. As for the rat it was his time to crossover into the other world. 😀

nrhatch - July 30, 2013

Tigger is pampered with a capital “P.” He’s a happy little house mate (and help mate ~ yesterday, he helped BFF paint the wall).

In contrast, shacking up with a rodent holds no appeal. Hence the quickly executed eviction.

12. Booksphotographsandartwork - July 30, 2013

You can even make killing a rat sound interesting. I still feel slightly guilty for having accidentally sqaushed a mouse in the backdoor one night in the dark!

nrhatch - July 30, 2013

My preference is to “catch and release” (rather than playing the part of The Terminator) . . . but there was little chance of that since our attic isn’t tall enough to move about. We just set the traps by the crawl through and crossed our fingers.

I ran over a snake on my bike one night and felt horrible . . . but he slithered away and up a palm tree to safety. For weeks, I couldn’t walk under palm trees without looking up for snakes.

Booksphotographsandartwork - July 31, 2013

Oh heavens! I don’t think of snakes as being up in the trees. Oh that is so scary. Now I won’t want to be near any trees.

nrhatch - July 31, 2013

Most trees aren’t populated by snakes . . . but they do climb to get at birds’ nests for the eggs and to get away from erratic bicycle riders. 😛

13. kateshrewsday - July 30, 2013

Fantastic response to the prompt, Nancy. But I cannot help but feel a little sorry for poor ratty…

nrhatch - July 30, 2013

I did feel a bit sorry for him. But not enough to lose sleep at night. Our first choice is always a “catch and release” policy. But sometimes execution is more expeditious.

14. bluebee - August 3, 2013

It’s a jungle out there 🙂
We’ve got one of those friendly mouse catchers, which lets you catch it and then release outside (I have to admit, though, this is purely to prevent having to dispose of some dead thing)

nrhatch - August 3, 2013

If we continue to have problems, I’ll look in to a friendlier mouse catcher . . . although I’d have a tough time releasing a big fat rat into the wild knowing he’s apt to find his way back in to the attic.

15. Tokeloshe - August 8, 2013

Well done!

nrhatch - August 8, 2013

Thanks, Tok!

I don’t follow blogging prompts with any regularity . . . but when one appeals I love to play along.

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