Friday, 10 February 2017

When Fear Got Real


There was that time a while back, remember when Chad found a Parktown Prawn in the shower and went screaming like a banshee for me to come and rescue him. We had a spate of finding these ghastly creatures around the house and then nothing for a couple of weeks and now a spate of them again. It's like find one kill it and a whole army of them come back for revenge.


The other morning I was in the kitchen doing my morning routine and I had walked from the sink to the dishwasher then looked down and there was what I thought was a dead Parktown Prawn. I was tired and my tired flaps at the back of my eyes were closed so I never saw the thing lying there playing dead. For clarity - my tired flaps are this feeling I get when I am so tired it feels like even though my eyes are wide open and I am awake there are flaps at the back of my eyes that close and I don't see anything. Well here was a half dead thing lying on the floor that I managed to miss every time I walked in that area of the kitchen. Mark came in and got rid of it. (It was a Parktown Prawn). I went straight to Chad's shower and filled the drain hole with bicarb and vinegar and flushed it with boiling water in case its life partner was lurking in the shower.



Finding the scary gross thing took me back to the time when I told Chad that apparently, Parktown Prawns mate for life. He didn't quite take notice of what I was saying and it was one of those conversations of which I have many with him and his father where I talk and they don't listen. The night we came back from Durban, I climbed out of the bath and I was drying myself in our tiny bathroom and then there was a Parktown Prawn in the bathroom - just there. In the middle of the shower - don't know how it got there or when it got there. I disposed of it and sent Chad a WhatsApp message - saying guess what was in the shower. Then "guess Parktown Prawns do mate for life". I am sure s↺ic⇡de b⦽mbers also mate for life, but we don't have sympathy for them and they die for their cause. So these two shower terrorists took one for the team and diminished in a hail of shoe stomping.

A few days later I get a message from Chad - "I found another Parktown Prawn - who told you they mate for life" "Sula did - blogging buddy" "How does she know" " Dunno her husband said so" "Oh I wonder where the other one is" If you ever do read this Sula, it is written half in jest and tongue in cheek - not firmly in cheek but dangling somewhere in my cheek. A few more s↺ic⇡de b⦽mbers took one for the team and then they were no more and we lived in peace and harmony.

I am an animal lover - not a vermin lover or creep crawly lover. I am a selective animal lover. I love butterflies and lizards, ladybugs and birds, rabbits and squirrels and I have become quite fond of bees as long as they stay away from me. Chad read somewhere or saw a movie about bees becoming extinct and Mark's cousin's girlfriend also said she read that if bees become extinct it will affect the whole environment or something like that so if you see a bee dying, save it by giving it sugar water. A few weeks later Chad and I saw a bee dying and we tried reviving it with sugar water. I love honey and without bees what will I ever do.

I used to feed the wild birds and there was a stage that watching birds and feeding them lifted me from some very dark places after Clint died. Then I discovered that the neighbour's cats were coming into our garden and killing the birds. I was luring the birds to the cats - I stopped feeding them because no amount of chasing the cats kept them out of our garden. Years down the line, the neighbours moved and the cats went and I bought a new feeder and started feeding the birds.

Some days I would give then left over rice and they ate it. When we went away in December we stopped and had lunch at Nandos in Harrismith and the birds, Weavers and Olive Thrush included came and ate off the take out boxes left on the outside tables. It was spicy chicken, spicy rice, and bread, so when we got home, I started putting out crumbed bread and celery, I also made Suet with bone meal, that Sula from Skimming Stones told me she made. The birds were feasting on parsley, carrots, fruits and you name it they ate it. Even Wheatbix and Barley if I had no seed.

The doves started coming into our house frightening the dogs and cat. They would get confused and fly through an open door. I decided to hell with feeding them, there are far too many doves coming to eat, I am not feeding the birds anymore. Then I saw the little robin that is always in the garden and the weaver birds looking for food, so I fed them again. I took the water bowl to wash it and refill it, got distracted and remembered and went back to put the water bowl down and there was a massive rat up on the feeder eating away.

I absolutely hate rats and mice. I have unfollowed people on Instagram because of posting pictures of mice. They are the most disgusting creatures on this earth. I am scared of snakes but I will watch them on TV or in a glass cage, not rats and mice. Lately, my Instagram feed has been full of pictures of pests "pet" rats. The other day scrolling through my feed, I threw my phone across the room because there was a picture of two rats.

Well, this uninvited rat did not even run when it saw me coming. I ran inside, called Chad and he took his time coming and I said he needs to kill it. Long stories, he got his pellet gun, after finishing his chat with J and came and shot it. It died instantly, nice and full - no suffering!!!. It was given its last meal and arrogantly stuffed its putrid belly without fear nor favour. Chad hates that I made him shoot the rat, but it had to be done.

First Chad said I must not tell J we killed it, we must tell her we relocated it safely. Yea to rat hell, boxed and packaged up. After that out gardener told us that the people behind us, who also have chickens have rats running all over their garden because they do not throw away their garden rubble. These are the same people who drove around to our house to complain when we were building our entertainment area and the tiler could only do the tiling on a Sunday. I was at the shops and Mark forgot about the chickens that wake us up every morning when the stupid idiot was going on about bylaws. He is worried about bylaws when he has garden refuse and rats all over the place.

Chad was convinced there was an even bigger rat and we put bird food out but no rats came. On Friday when our gardener came I was showing him where to cut down the overgrowth and this little rat came running out. I ran inside and it was gone. This thing was fracking with my mind. Every time I went round to the bird feeder it came out then ran away. Chad bashed in the plants but it didn't move, until we discovered it ran into a bush and then up a tree.

Potential buyers came to look at the house and when they were inside I went to put the pool chlorine away that Mark left out and there was the rat going to eat the food. The thought crossed my mind that they knew I was the supplier of food and were probably watching me the whole time, waiting for me to put down food. You know the feeling you get after your house has been broken in and you imagine the robbers watching your every move before they robbed you - well I have that fear every day.

We had a show house day and my biggest fear was rats would come running out. We spent the day at the workshop and took all the dogs and cat to the workshop as it was easiest. We watched on the cameras from work to see who was coming to the house and I kept checking on the camera by the bird feeder to see if there were rats but birds and rats are difficult to distinguish on a camera. I kept saying to Mark and Chad what will you do if Kim, the estate agent says you have rats in your house, Mark's answer every time was there are rats all over Joburg. Chad piped up and said, "hey who you calling a rat that is Timmy, my pet". We just packed up laughing. Then we saw some people looking at the house with about four kids or five kids running all over the place - then I said where are Timmy and Dorothy now when we need them.

Chad had enough of the elusive rat fracking with us and bought a trap - he bought two and the little rat was dead in a matter of hours. This is after getting the gardener to put rattex where our shed is near the back wall. Finally, I had my garden back - or so I thought. I went to take a photo of trees for my photo a day the other day and the pigeons flew up and away and a rat ran up the tree. Mark went and bought stuff that they nailed in the trees where they keep hiding and they devoured the stuff in a day.

Chad said the other day, funny pigeons, (he calls doves pigeons, we have both) also carry diseases but we feed them but kill rats. "No Chad, they are not the same. Pigeons and Doves DO NOT go eat a baby's limbs or face just because they are destructive. There is nothing humane about rats and mice. They are destructive filthy disease riddled vermin.

I absolutely hate those vermin. The fear is real, they have taken away the serenity of my home. It has made selling the house easier but at the same time, it has filled me with hatred not only for the rats but for the people behind us that do not care about their home and living with rats. I mean surely they must see the rats running around. I can no longer feed the birds and only feed them a tiny bit of seed when Chad is home.
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I took it as a sign that it is time to sell the house and the house was sold today on Tuesday and the first letter of notification to transfer came today, 2 days after I started this post.  The fears and anxiety and feelings of moving out this house is a post for another day.

The funny thing is that I kept getting weird'ed out by the thought of rats eating the bird food and Mark would say, Nah never from where - there are no rats here. A few weeks later - Joburg is full off rats 😲.

Needless to say, I couldn't sleep on the days that I saw the rat, every time I closed my eyes I could see the rat and other nights I wake up paralyzed with fear because of the nightmares of rats crawling on me. Our cat does not hunt prey and our Jack Russell is no longer as sharp as she used to be but I am glad they don't try to catch them because I cannot bear to have them near such disgusting filth.

Anyway that is just the tip of my drama filled 2017


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