I don’t do pets…

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Part of my morning routine has always been stepping outside to check the weather in order to make sure I’m dressed properly. I’m not really sure why I bother carrying on this tradition in Dhaka since every day is the same: hot and humid! This morning I was just about to step out when Janis came in from the balcony and quickly slammed the door behind him. Feeling puzzled, I headed for the door. “Ummm, there’s a mouse out there, so…” was Janis’ brief explanation. I ran around to the sliding glass door where I spotted a small rodent hiding in the corner and clawing against the frame. I thought it was actually kind of cute. We let it be and went to school.

By the time we got home, I figured the rodent would have been on its way back to where it came from- though that was curious enough since we live on the second floor and it seems to have dropped onto the balcony from nowhere (no, I will NOT choose to believe it came from INSIDE the apartment!) Lo and behold, the rodent was right where we’d left it, so we decided we should take some action before it thought about moving in with us. Janis was concocting a plan and I was having a hard time understanding why this little thing should be such a big deal. Janis’ first idea was that he would drop it off the balcony. I quickly scratched that plan as there are always people walking the streets and I could just imagine someone getting hit with a rat. Ew! His second plan was to catch the rat, but we didn’t know what we’d do with it after that. My vote was for catching it in the garbage bin and closing the lid, but Janis returned with a beer box and a wide grin on his face, so beer box it would be! We each donned a broom and Janis held the open beer box. I slowly opened the door and Janis whispered to be careful. I couldn’t understand why he was so uptight since the thing was really rather small. However, when the rodent saw me approaching, it actually reared up on his hind legs and started to jump into the air!

Janis joined me on the balcony and the rat began to jump and squeak while bearing its front teeth like dogs do. Janis swatted at it with his broom and the rat made its way across the balcony in between us.  I was immediately struck with the giggles at how ridiculous we must look fighting such a small intruder with such rigor. We then proceeded to attempt to corral the feisty rat into the box, but it was having none of that! Janis took on a new tactic in which he would wait for the rat to jump and try to catch it on its way down. Once or twice the rat landed ON the box and Janis’ reactions sent me into fits of laughter. He tossed the rat back onto the ground and each time it was angrier that its peace had been disturbed. I poked one last time at the furious rodent and it leapt into the air for the last time. Janis caught the rat in the air, closed up the box and made his way downstairs. Victory was ours…though not without a good battle.

Janis and his new friend were gone for a while and I had to wonder what in the world he decided to do with the nasty little thing. When he finally returned home, he told me he let it loose in the park near the lake. Hm, why do I have a feeling we might be seeing our furry friend some day soon? If rats have got any sort of memory for traumatic events in their life, we might be taken down in the park by an angry mob of Bangladeshi rats on a dark night!

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