Saturday afternoon I sat in the living room of my apartment, writing and watching the dogs scratch themselves. I heard a noise coming from somewhere else in the house, a scratching sound, but unlike the one made by the dogs ridding themselves of the nonexistent fleas. I walked down the hallway and the noise grew louder. It was coming from the bathroom. I opened the door and turned on the light, and to my horror, the scratching sounds were coming from the bathtub, accompanied by an eerie squeaking sound. I summoned my wife and brother-in-law to the scene, and they confirmed what I feared. We have rats in the bathtub. Fortunately they seemed to be inside the lining, with no apparent way to escape, but it’s still a very eerie feeling, living in such close proximity to the disgusting rodents.
I awoke in the middle of the night in the early hours of Sunday morning and in a sleepy haze, went to use the bathroom. I quickly woke up when I heard the scratching once again, this time louder than the previous day. It sounded like there were even more rats, and that they were closer than ever before. They had somehow escaped their prison in the lining of the bathtub and were now actually in the tub itself, was what I thought. I contemplated throwing the shower curtain aside to confirm my theory, but my fear that the rats might have climbed up the curtain and just be waiting to jump from it onto me, kept me from doing so, so I quickly used the bathroom then shut the door, a vain attempt to keep the rats from getting to me.
The next morning I woke up and the noise persisted. My wife had taken a shower, confirming that they weren’t actually in the bathtub, but knowing that I would have to spend more than a couple minutes in the bathroom and not wanting to be in such close quarters with the rodents for an extended period of time, I put on my shoes and drove down the street to Walgreens, and did my business there. It was probably a wise decision, given that rats eat trash they would have probably loved the smells I was producing and figured out a way to get closer to it. I didn’t want to, but societal rules dictate that normal human beings must shower on a regular basis, so later that morning I took a shower, washing quickly and glancing at the drain every few seconds, convinced that the rats would tunnel their way up through it and begin feasting on my toes. Clean and unbitten, I escaped, feeling pretty happy knowing that I wouldn’t have to put myself in such a risky situation until the next day. I am now terrified every time I go into the bathroom, and we have told our apartment’s management about the problem, but I’m not very confident that they will take care of it. They haven’t even fixed some of the electrical sockets that weren’t working when we moved in almost a year ago. We’re about to sign a new lease, because moving is so much more of a hassle than not, so I guess it’s time to accept my fate. I now live with rats, and will be doing so for the foreseeable future.