‘Twas the night before our vacation, all packed and ready, when we heard some scratching noises from the laundry room.” We do not own a pet – yet. But this one sounded like a volunteer for which we do not want. Could it be a squirrel? We had those in our attic at our condo. It certainly makes the same type of scratching noises. I can deal with a squirrel. But what if it is a rat? If so, I’m not going near it, not going to be in the same room as it, most likely leaving the house all together. I envision my job as an observer from the driveway.

After much deliberation, Kas determined it (whatever “it” is) was in the the dryer in the exhaust tube. It must have crawled or fallen in from the roof. OK, now we know where it is. We think we know what it is – please don’t be a rat. Please!

Now comes the hard part. How do we get rid of it? We could run the dryer and bake it to medium-well. How many loads of “laundry” would it take to do that? And what about the smell? This idea was quickly nixed. We could call the fire department as they are just down the road. I don’t know if I can take the embarrassment of not being able to “man up” in front of the firemen. This idea was canned by me. Options exhausted, we decided to do it ourselves. Boy, do I hope it’s not a rat. Please do not be a rat. Please!

So how do we remove this rat from our dryer? I’m certainly not going near it. Luckily Kas and Rachel devised a plan. From the laundry room, we will block off access to the main part of the house by placing a towel at the base of the closed door, plugging the gap. We will block off the door to my office in the same way. We will open the door to the garage leaving the rat only one way out of the laundry room. We’ll then create a guided pathway through the garage and out to freedom. Rachel, our budding scientist, quickly sketched out our plan:

Only one way to go - Out.

Only one way to go – Out, the garage, right?   Note how side of garage is blocked with boxes and the door.

Door blocked off, guides in place.

Door to rest of house is blocked off, guides in place.

It’s one thing to have a plan. It’s entirely different to execute said plan. First problem – who will release the rat? Not me. Rachel was quick to say no. That leaves Kas with the short straw. Finally, someone in this family is manning up! We followed Rachel’s sketch and prepared the house for the big event. Rachel put her boots on and then cowered in the corner with a broom in hand for defense. I prepared for some very important work. It could be considered the most important part of the plan. I set up with my iPhone on the driveway, ready to videotape the event for posterity.

Now picture this. Kas wedges herself on top of and behind the dryer with screwdriver in hand. She reaches down to unscrew the clamp so the vermin could be released from the dryer vent. In hindsight she had the safest place – the rat wasn’t climbing up the side of the dryer. Rachel and I were in grave danger, exposed to the wild, potentially rabid, beast. If this really is a rat and it runs through the garage to freedom, who is left standing there? Maybe videotaping was not such a bright idea after all. A couple of bangs later and the clamp is released. The critter is free.

You will have to view the video for the rest of the story.