The Leavings

We are here for the Thanksgiving weekend. Renovating. The weather is beautiful.  The apple trees on our neighbour’s derelict property have released their bounty onto the ground and one or more bears have scent tracked our yard.  There are two distinctly different scats on our property.

The first is the blackberry scat – seedy, with the colour running from a deep purple to black.  Non-offensive.  The second, and one I’ve never seen before, is the apple scat.  We are hard-pressed to actually determine if it is scat or vomit.  It’s piled up in a scat way, but it’s so pure, so apple, that the scat/vomit vector swings to the right. In this age of gluten intolerance and primal diets, I’m sensitive to the idea that bears perhaps should not be eating a product of the agricultural revolution.  The state of the uneaten apple mash that is all over the ground is such that I am also suspicious of the bears’ ability to operate heavy equipment.  Our place smells like an apple jack hootch shack.  Throw in some smokes and some dancing girls and we’d be in business for the basest of alcoholics. What this has to do with renovations seems tenuous, I know.  But animal leavings is a through-line this weekend, with the biggest sacrifice being the leaving of their actual bodies in our creepy basement. I mean rats.

Ratty rat rat rats.

Let me write that word again to numb the tingling in my reluctant fingers.


Well, that didn’t work.

I hate rats. I honest to god fucking hate rats. I have a friend who, in an attempt to change me up, gave me a study that proves rats have feelings and that rat mothers bond with their rat babies (i.e.they are just like me).  This only tinges my abhorrence of rats with some tepid slurry of dirty guilt.

They need to go far away from me.


Turns out our basement was (note the hopeful use of past tense here) some sort of Riker’s for rats and their entire warmly loved families. The man suggested the acquiring of a rake to – and I quote him here –  rake up their desiccated bodies and skulls.

Visceral. Disgusting.

Rats have skulls.

Who knew?

Who even thinks to study rats close enough to notice that they have skulls.

I shudder.

So there is good news and bad news.  Rats return to the same warm, dry, cozy place year after year.  That’s the bad news.  The other bad news is that if there are holes in your house, and we’ve got those in spades, they will come in.  The other bad news is that this is a coastal city and as such, there are lots of rats. City rats, country rats. Who cares?

I was joking. There is no good news.


4 thoughts on “The Leavings

    1. I aim to please. Now git your ass down to The Rat and Bear – where we serve up apple jack whilst you sit on chairs that – oh my god – what is this bristly fur covering on this chair – oh my god – don’t – I can’t – I – I – I just –

  1. True Story:

    Many years ago, Dadi Janki, a much loved respected wise old women, who has been sought out by many the world over, once also provided a little guidance about rats in our midst. It was during a small satsang somewhere in California I believe. In the middle of deep and thought-provoking dispensing of spiritual knowledge and story making, a rat made it presence known. There was much commotion in the gathering and a little confusion as to what was an appropriate action to take, to which Dadi simply said; “Get the Rat!”
    Some thought this somewhat discordant with the teachings of a great master, “Is this not one of God’s creatures?”
    Dadi replied; “It’s a Kaliyuga Rat; Get the Rat!”

    Kaliyug is a reference to the current age in which we now live; one translation being “Age of Darkness”.

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