About a month ago Jillian’s parents came down for a visit and were awoken by the scurrying of feet in our living room. They looked into Olie’s crate and found him soundly asleep, so they returned to bed, thinking they must have just been imagining things. But 10 minutes later they heard it again, and this time after a quick glance around the living room the culprit was clear…we had rats!
We carried their mattress upstairs in an effort to keep the rats from gnawing away our parent’s fingers, but were awoken AGAIN by tiny little footsteps walking up the stairs! The next morning we looked at each other with tired eyes, having gotten little to no sleep, and decided something needed to be done.
This actually didn’t come as a surprise to any of us, as our landlady had warned us to get a cat (or two) to protect us from the mice that may or may not be living in our ceiling. But after Jillian and I got Olie, we realized we already had our hands full (overflowing, actually), so we found a new home for the kitten that we were supposed to get from Ben and Alexis.
So because we were catless, and had a puppy that could care less if a rat was running around the house, we decided to approach our landlady. “We have rats in our house,” we explained, “what should we do?” “You should get a cat!” she looked unfazed, “I have a cat and I never have a problem with rats.” “Well, where do we get a cat?” we asked. “I don’t know, find someone that has a cat that had kittens,” she said, clearly thinking that was a stupid question. We looked around and saw a little white cat with black and tan spots. “What about that one…can we have that one?” we were really reaching here. “That’s my sister’s cat, so you can’t have her,” she said, and then walked away.
Well, needless to say, as American’s we have a relentless sense of entitlement, so we adopted her anyways…and named her Beatrice (or Bee). By luring her closer to our house day by day with kitty food and some friendly petting, we finally got Bee inside the house, and now she’s a regular visitor to Kay Thorp. What we didn’t anticipate was the relationship she would have (or not have) with Mr. Olie Fe Dezod.
At first Olie didn’t know what to do with this strange creature that had invaded his little puppy kingdom. He would approach her in an attempt to play, but when all she wanted to do is make strange groaning noises and violently bat at his face he quickly learned that Bee was his sworn adversary. “Did you have fun playing with your new friend, Olie?!” we would ask him. “She’s no friend of mine…” he would curtly respond, and then chew a toy in the corner by himself.
But the worst is that Bee has decided that the kitchen table is now her domain, protecting it with complete and utter disregard for anyone elses safety (or Jillian and my’s eardrums). You see, Olie doesn’t often bark, in fact he’s really good about not being obnoxiously loud, but when Bee is on the kitchen table you would think that someone had stolen all of his toys and decided to burn them right in front of him. The ear-piercing yelp is always a clear indicator that Bee has entered the building, and that a stand-off is underway.
These are usually short-lived, as Olie will typically get a few paws to the face, retreat, and then start chewing one of his toys, forgetting all-together that Bee is even in the house. And while sometimes it’s a little more trouble than it’s worth, it’s kind of fun to have another animal that we don’t really need to take care of. She comes and goes when she wants, and we feed her when we feel like it. It’s win-win for all the parties involved.
And the strategy has worked. Literally the next day after the first time we had Bee on our kitchen table the rats were no longer scurrying through the house trying to gnaw off our fingers. It’s pretty astounding that it just works like that, but we’re not complaining as we’ve gained a new friend, and Olie has finally learned that world doesn’t revolve around him.