Rodents Of Unusual Size

I have rodents in my house. Big ones! They are all four-legged and furry. When the lights go out, they troll the counters looking for food. More than once I have had to come down in the middle of the night, flip on the lights and scatter the rodents. An exterminator is not an appropriate solution in this case since I’m talking about Sammy, Boots and Little Miss!

I think everyone is trying to put on their winter fat. Ten minutes after I feed the dogs and cats, they are milling around in the kitchen staring at me like they haven’t eaten in weeks. One thing that helps is to give them a little extra oil (olive oil) so they feel satiated. The other thing is to keep all food and dirty dishes off the counters. Last night I had to get up twice in the middle of the night (and I DO mean the middle) to stop Boots from eating cookies that were in a box on the counter (her claw was stuck in the cardboard box and she was trying to eat through the plastic window) and to get her out of the sink where she was attacking a bowl that hadn’t been put in the dishwasher.

I have caught Little Miss on the counter countless times attacking the butter dish when I forget to put it away. Sammy waits until we turn out the lights, then waits a few more hours to make sure we’re asleep, then he goes down and puts his front paws on the counters to see if he can reach anything. Now they’re working together in the daylight. Yesterday Boots knocked a spatula onto the floor and I caught Sammy picking it up in his mouth before trying to run outside with it.

I just never know what to expect. This past spring I began to find spoons outside in the thawing snow. Sammy had taken several metal spoons outside and chewed on them, then left them laying around. A month or so ago, after making sure the counters were food free, I went to bed, only to wake up later to hear Sammy doing his late-night patrol. I went downstairs and he had taken a bag of cornstarch off the counter and made off with it. He must have decided he didn’t like the taste because he left it by the dog door, only slightly chewed.

Molly is mostly innocent in this, although she will sometimes share Sammy’s booty if he’s successful. One day I saw them eating something in the backyard. I went out and found that Sammy had taken a bag of raw cacao powder off the counter and they were chowing down on it. I had to spray the powder into the ground to stop them from eating it. Once recently I turned my back for a moment and caught Molly trying to sneak a block of cheese off the counter. She doesn’t put her paws up there, but I found out that she’s not above a snatch-and-grab job!

I think Boots has got to be the worst of them, though. We had a guest a few weeks ago and we were all sitting in the living room having a casual dinner of some great stew that I made, and Boots walked right up to our guest and tried to steal the food out of her bowl. I was so embarrassed. She has stolen steak off my plate. She has run off with food wrappers. She tried to eat cornstarch packing peanuts!

I’m hoping the ROUS’s will get used to the cold weather soon and realize that they are not dying of starvation. I don’t hold out much hope for Boots though…



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