So, I take Stanley onto my back patio before bed...it is late and dark outside...just the moonlight. He loves the patio and normally darts to one corner or the other as soon as he runs out of the door. Whether it be birds, squirrels, hornets or bees, Stanley makes certain that all of the animals know he is king of the patio. On this particular night Stanley rushes over to the right side corner. While he is sniffing and doing whatever it is he does over there, I notice a small animal to my left. The animal is scurrying along the left wall in a sneaky manner as if I wouldn't notice. Well, I wouldn't have noticed if the animal had not been so large. He is dashing back and forth from one end to the other and I'm like "what in the world is it?!...and what in the world is it doing?" Then my mind goes to Stanley....uh oh. I cannot let this happen...after all this patio trip is supposed to be tranquil and easy going....the last "restroom break" and outdoor break before bed.
Stanley remains occupied on the right side, so I step closer to the left side to investigate. The animal is the size of a small bunny rabbit and I think, "oh, isn't that just the cutest thing!" You see, I live in the city but all around me is open space and waterways, so it is entirely possible for a cute bunny rabbit to be in my back patio (never mind how it would gain entrance since my patio is surrounded by a high, thick and huge cement wall). Since it was a bunny all reasonable thought of how it got onto my patio left me. Interesting how something cute causes your guard to drop....dum dadadum (that's the sound of Dragnet music from the TV show). Ha!
SINCE it is just a bunny, I am more concerned for the bunny than Stanley, so I want to make sure Stanley doesn't attack the rabbit. I notice, however, that the "bunny" keeps running back and forth and he does it so quickly. It's like he is 2 bunnies. "Darn!...I wish there were more light out here so I can see better," I think to myself. What happens next pretty much wiped me out. Simultaneously, here's how it plays out: (1) Stanley turns toward the left side of the patio because now he notices the movement going on and he is interested, (2) I get closer and realize that it is NOT a bunny rabbit but instead a LARGE rat!, and (3) it becomes clear to me that it is NOT only 1 rat but 2...and they each are one-third the size of Stanley! HELLO!!!
I immediately get into "save my dog" mode, because if those river rats (oh, by the way I have a little lake in my neighborhood which draws all kinds of wildlife, including river rats)....anyway, if those river rats are scrappers (in my mind all river rats are scrappers), they will fight my little Stanley and together they make up 60% of his size! I am NOT going to let this happen and further I am NOT up to this much action right before bed. I'm like...leave the rats alone and get inside, Carleen! So, I hasten Stanley up in my arms and we go inside. Whew! Is this crazy or what?
As it turns out, the stack of flagstone I had on my patio (in the left corner) was serving as a nice little hacienda for the river rats. Also as it turns out, I already had contracted to have my patio stoned the next day and the flagstone stack (and hacienda) were removed and leveled. Neener, neener, neener to those river rats! Now, there is no dark, hidden place on my patio for them to hide. They'll just have to take up residence on Carlo's patio (my neighbor). Oh, for those of you who know the story of Dr. Pot Smoker next door, he is gone and Carlo is back....yay! LOL. For those of you who do not know the story of Dr. Pot Smoker next door, stay tuned. I have all kinds of tales to tell right from my back patio!
As always, I hope you enjoyed this little snippet from my life with Stanley.