Steamboat Willie

Eastern Hollywood has what might be called a rodent problem.  I refer not to our duly elected officials or homeless persons (this time), but the local population of rats that inhabit the trees, brush piles, wooded areas, and dumpsters.

The other morning I wandered out to our car port and found the remains pictured here.  Next to my foot – size 13 – you see the ass end, tail included, of an ex-rodent.

Our neighborhood has lots of cats.  We have 5 these days – duMont, Cammy, Harlot, Rudy, and Chuckles – all of whom gleefully pursue creatures smaller than themselves when they’re not playing grab-ass with each other.  We’ve removed lizards, frogs, toads, mice, and small children from their jaws many times.  Obviously, one of them had a snack and left behind the inedible nether part.

Nice, eh?  Then they come inside and cuddle with us.  Awwww.  Cute.

For the last five winters or so, our aralia trees have been decimated by rats that climb to the top, chew off the bark of the tenderest parts, and kill them from that point up.  By spring, I’ve had to chop them back to save them – they do grow back, but they start at half their size.

This year that hasn’t happened (yet).  I have to figure the cats are controlling the population.  You can call it ethnic cleansing.  I call it preventative landscaping.

I grew up in a big northeastern city where rats live in under the streets and grow to the size of possums.  They’re reviled as disease-carrying vermin, parasites, scourges.  Rats here are different – they’re just another wildlife species like raccoons, possums, and birds, but to me, they’re every bit as undesirable as their sewer-dwelling cousins up north.

So thanks, cats.  Keep up the good work.  Just be sure to eat your breath mints before you climb into bed with us, okay?

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8 Responses to Steamboat Willie

  1. Missing Lincoln says:

    I’m not wearing my glasses, but from here it looks like three of your toes have run off and joined the carnival. That, or they’re reenacting the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh.

  2. Piles says:

    I had a pair of cats for a while which I let outdoors. The female was a hunter. She went after everything that moved and played with it to death. The only thing the male ever hunted for was a soft resting place.

  3. Anony-Mouse says:

    As president of the Eastern Hollywood Association of Rodents, I protest your characterization of us, who are natives to this area as opposed to an invasive species such as yourself and your murderous felines. Words have consequences. This insult will not be forgotten.

  4. ya'gotta'guessit says:

    The HELL ??!!??

    Well, Squathole, it appears that your transformation into a 3-toed sloth is nearly complete.

    Where’d you spend your vacation – on The Island of Doctor Moreau?

  5. Kim Chee says:

    My great uncle wore toe rings for religious reasons. He was a monk, and each ring meant something although I never knew what. (It was a long time ago.) My mother told me he suffered from all sorts of fungus and bacterial infections because of them, but he went barefoot all the time and worked with farm animals in his commune and was often ankle deep in excrement. Watch where you walk.

  6. Squathole says:

    Thanks for sharing, Kim. I’ll heed your advice.

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