Trespassers beware

Some couples text each other sexy photos or sweet words during the day, to keep that spark of romance alive. Yeah, good for them.

My spouse, the Carpenter, is not that guy, even though he married me, and I could totally be that woman. Instead of setting the scene for what could have been a flirtatious, fun long weekend together, his idea of charm was to text me a photo of the dead rat in our yard. Hot, right?

To be fair, the corpse was that of the rat I told you about in this column last week. The rat that the Carpenter chased out of his dugout with water from the garden hose, flooding the rat’s den beneath the Carpenter’s garage. The same spot where the Carpenter would later remove all his perfectly placed patio stones, deciding to now fill the area with dirt and sprinkle with grass seed. No more outdoor furniture there. Too many hiding spots for the vermin. The Carpenter declared a turf war.

It’s not that I doubted my spouse would win, and it’s not that I was happy to share my backyard with rats (because gross), but this rat was big. Huge. Ginormous. He didn’t have time to pack, but I kid you not, if he did, he’d have a trailer and full luggage. He was that big. And now, he was mad. The Carpenter had not only evicted him, he had destroyed the rat’s home. Embarrassed him in broad daylight. Sent him out into the streets. I was positive that rat would be back, driving a tank, loaded with artillery, with twelve of his buddies sharing an unfettered hostility.

I was right, sort of. That rat did come back a few days later, but foolishly, he came alone – or at least, he died alone. His large, limp corpse was dropped on the perfectly placed patio stones beneath our outdoor dining table, lain right at feet of my dining chair. It was a gift that needed no wrapping, but a photograph, apparently.

Our two cats, Mon Chat and Heidi (we should have given them much meaner names), were the successful bounty hunters. Neither claimed individual credit, but given the size of that rat, I believe it was a team effort. My lovely, fierce, feline enforcers. They were proud of themselves and their trophy hunt, for sure. I respect my cats on a whole new level now.

Unbeknownst to me, the rat’s corpse was left out overnight on purpose, so the Carpenter could send a message to the rest of the rat pack. I am surprised he didn’t take a piece of sidewalk chalk and draw an outline of the rat’s body, to ensure the message was clear. He may have though it effective, but this is how I believe the vermin would interpret it: “Trespassers beware: Homeowner freakishly obsessed with patio stones. Cats have deceptively friendly names. Wife is okay with all of it.”

Saturday morning, the Carpenter disposed of the carnage and washed down his perfectly placed patio stones with a grin on his face that was pure victory.

You may be wondering if I scolded the Carpenter for sending me an image of the dead rat to my phone. Absolutely not. Whenever I question his sanity, I also have to question my own. I chose him. As long as he handles the vermin, I’ll feed the cats.

We’re happy homesteaders. Love is open to interpretation.

WriteOut of Her Mind