Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I opened my garage door just as this critter was climbing across one of the cross pieces on the inside.  Technically, it's a bushy-tailed woodrat, but it will be forever known as the packrat.

It tried to use the old Jurassic Park trick--"He can't see me if I don't move."

According to one field guide, the bushy tail makes it more squirrel-like than ratlike, but I think that's just part of its PR campaign.  While squirrels and rats are both in the order Rodentia, the packrat is a member of the mouse family, and that's a dysfunctional family, especially when they leave the fields and try to come inside.

Still motionless as I started to close the door.

"He still can't see me, so he doesn't know I'm upside-down and look ridiculous."

At this point it was really stuck, so I pushed on the outer part of the door with a shovel handle to give it a little wiggle room, and it righted itself.  Then the FedEx man showed up and distracted me, and the rat made its escape while I was outside.


  1. i had a mouse try the 'i'll hide in his shoe in the garage so when he gets up early to go fishing he'll have a heart attack' trick and...it worked...right up until the time he dropped out of the shoe and i used my other shoe to put an end to the trick. good thing it was early so no one heard me yell like that...embarrassing.

  2. That would be tough going out there early, not fully awake yet, and finding something alive in your shoe. It could break down into a Three Stooges routine pretty quick.

  3. Some of us country girls know to ALWAYS shake out an outside shoe! Critters like shoes! I guess any person showing up in your neck of the woods would be a distraction!

  4. i don't disagree with that advice, ironically my normal routine is to pick them up, bang them together and go from there. that morning, maybe it was a bit too early, i just stepped into them, took a couple steps and my shoe squeaked. hmmm shoes not supposed to do that so i took it off and as i lifted it up...out he comes. i was fully awake from then on.

  5. Elmer Fudd: So, I'm a big, fat wat!
    Bugs Bunny: Yeah, have some cheese, rat! (shoves a wedge of cheese in Elmer's mouth)

    Think it could amicably play out something like that? So much gentler than chemicals.

  6. As always, wonderful photos, Cliff! I can't believe I am enjoying photos of a packrat! And you know, once you call him a bushy-tailed woodrat, he actually starts to look kind of cute. Then again, he's not in *my* house, so I can relax.