“Rat-proof” works better if you close the door, Joel.

Off in a corner of my yard, between the back of the chicken yard and the chicken “processing” station, there’s a crappy little metal shed.
I hauled it in two years ago. Can you believe somebody wanted to throw it away?

Really? You can? Well I could too, but I still reacted with alacrity and greed: I not only took money to haul it off, but rather than tear it down I laboriously took it home intact, leveled a spot for it, and went to work making it light-tight and rat-proof. I use it for long term seasonal, flour and dog food storage, and until yesterday it worked quite well.

Yesterday, in the midst of an epochal windstorm, I transferred 30 pounds of flour out of its tub in the shed. In my hurry to get the hell done before a visit to Oz, I neglected to close the door.

A few hours later the boys and I went out for a walky. Ghost, who has provisionally forgiven me for being me without at all changing his plans to move out, became very interested in the shed’s open door. Good boy, Ghost. I went inside, shook a 50-pound sack of dog food, and was rewarded with the high-pitched panicked squeak of a packrat that just moments before had thought it had found the promised land. Dammit!

Well, it could have happened at a worse time. I had Little Bear right there on his long lead, so I encouraged him to come into the shed and explain some hard cold white pointy facts of life. He couldn’t get at the rat, of course, but the squeaking became truly heartfelt.

We went for our walky, that the rat might think it over and hopefully make the right choice. Then I got the boys squared away, went back out in the wind and pulled every little thing out of the shed. The rat had vacated, but I’d been planning to do that anyway.

“Long term seasonal storage” tends to include things it turns out you shouldn’t have been storing in the first place. Like, my fire-starting methods have changed in the past couple of winters so there’s really no need to take up space with a stack of paper and cardboard. And if I haven’t worn those five ragged sweatshirts in two years I’m not ever likely to. And do I really truly need four bags of cleaning rags? Anymore, I barely own that many guns. I even cast a skeptical eye on my old ALICE ruck and Camelback, but in the end they went back into the shed.

I was going to do it anyway and not in a windstorm, because I’ve been sorting through my winter stuff for storage. But the rat helped get me busy. So live long and prosper, Mr. Rat, just not on my dog food.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to “Rat-proof” works better if you close the door, Joel.

  1. MJR says:

    Damn things get in everywhere. Just the other day I was changing the cabin air filter on my 09 Toyota when two things happened. I pulled out the old filter to find all sorts of mice nest paraphernalia then a field mouse launched himself from behind where the filter was, landed on my lap then took off. Damn you can’t get that kind of excitement in the city.

  2. Joel says:

    MJR, my Former Neighbor J did mighty battle trying to keep mice out of the cabin filter of his new-model Toyota SUV. Finally had to find the intake, which was carefully hidden and not mentioned in any manual, it was like a state secret or something, and retrofit hardware cloth across it. That worked.

  3. MJR says:

    Hey Joel after this round of mouse hide and go seek, I saw a friend who is a lot more knowledgeable than I am and we retro fitted the intake with some wire mesh. All is good.

To the stake with the heretic!