Warning: Some readers may be terrified by one of the images
contained in this post. Viewer discretion is advised.
I was about to wrap things up for the day when I looked down while priming a window sash.
"Uh-oh," I said.
Charlie sighed. "What? Whenever you say 'uh-oh', it ain't good." He had stopped by before going home from work, so he was tired and filthy and not in the mood to deal with a problem.
"See that hole in the side of the house there? My drain hose thingy for the air conditioner's supposed to poke out through that hole. It's gone. I wonder how long it's been gone?" I said.
We went downstairs to the scary basement to check things out. This is Charlie's first trip to the scary basement, and it was memorable. He walked across the cement floor, pulled the chain for the light, stepped off the edge of the cement onto the dirt floor, and then yelled, "Cheese and rice!" (Well, that's not exactly what he yelled, but this is a family show.)
He yelled because he saw this: (This is the yucky picture, in case some of y'all don't want to look.)
Anyhow, after some CSI-style investigation, this is the chain of events as we believe it occurred:
Sometime between June 1st and, say, yesterday, the rat crawled through the hole in the side of the house that the hose pokes through, pushing the hose out of the hole and onto the basement floor as he did so. I established June 1st as the earliest possible date this could've happened because that's the last time I was in the basement, to put a 3-month air filter in my air conditioner. The rat was not dead in the middle of the floor on that date.
Shortly after entering the basement, the rat then set up housekeeping in this:
I, on the other hand, went to the store and bought a big box of SOS pads, which I stuffed into the hole around the hose, and also into the hole where the electrical for the air conditioner comes into the house. (Why SOS pads? Because rats and mice supposedly won't eat them.) This weekend Charlie will put spray insulation on the inside of those holes and something on the outside that looks nicer than scrunched-up SOS pads. We'll also look around the foundation and make sure there aren't any other rat access points. Yuck.