Monday, August 31, 2009

"Not a creature was stirring..."

not even a mouse" (but what about a rat?).

Saturday night was just plain noisy. Dogs were carrying on over in another colonia - they sounded like they were fighting, or chasing someone, or waiting their turn to reproduce - maybe it's the season? Maybe they were ganging up on a cat or some other animal. There has been a smelly corpse floating around down at the corner - it's just part of the skin and skeleton but the dogs drag it around. Loco rolled in it last weekend and came home smelling awful. Miguel says that it is a porcupine - an animal not normally here on the island. I have seen two clumps of quills lying on the road, so I think he's correct - I haven't gotten close enough myself to know for sure.

Despite the background noise, we booted Minina off the bed and drifted off to sleep. (Minina snuggles a little too close to our bodies, and we don't need a little cat furnace tucked in beside us, especially at this time of year).

Minina ended up in the chair by the window, which overlooks the pool on the terrace. Around midnight both Minina and I heard the noise at the same time - like a plastic bowl being moved. Seeing Minina pop her head up I decided to get up and check it out. I didn't see anything, so turned on the outside light. I still didn't see anything but we both saw the plants move over on the other side of the pool. Something got scared by the light and took off. Minina's eyes were fixed on the spot in the plants, but there was nothing to see and so I climbed back into bed.

Miguel keeps a bar of soap and a bottle of shampoo out by the pool, as he likes to clean up before getting in the water. He has been telling me that something has been taking his soap, and I finally believed him when he showed me a bar with teeth marks; it looked like something had scraped its teeth along the bar in order to eat it. Miguel swears it was a rat. One day he found the bar of soap in the pool - it was a full bar and probably too heavy to carry off. Other days the soap is simply gone.

Loco sleeps out on the pool terrace and has never given a hint that there are night visitors. Either he sleeps deeply or he just isn't interested in what might be visiting the soap bar.

I was no sooner back in bed when I heard a strange noise in the street and then a dog making a fuss. Loco immediately sprang off his lounge and climbed up along the pool wall to check the street. I flipped on the light and tried to see, but there wasn't anything to see - it sounded like an animal had been bitten or something, but I really couldn't tell what had happened. I coaxed Loco back off the wall (always afraid he will slip and fall), and we all settled down again for the night.

In the morning Miguel reported that his bar of soap was missing again. I noticed the shampoo bottle lying on its side, and when I moved it, it made the exact same sound Minina and I had heard. Yup, something had been over at the soap bar, and either it took the soap at that time or it came back later and we were all sleeping so soundly we simply didn't hear it.

Just to see if Miguel's theory was correct, I googled "rat eat soap", and sure enough, it's true - they do! Here is a link to someone's blog describing exactly the same situation - Rats eat soap.

What I want to know is this: why are the only creatures that are stirring at night the undesirables? Why isn't Loco doing something about it since he's sleeping right there? I hope the outdoor cats are doing their job and catching these varmints. And Miguel? He'll have to start bringing in his soap, so there is nothing out there to attract night visitors. Who would have thought a bar of soap would be bait?


Life's a Beach! said...

I can't imagine anything wanting to eat soap. I know I was force fed it as a child and it wasn't a pleasant experience! (And it really didn't clean up my mouth any!)

Nancy said...

I hope your Sunday was calmer!

IslaZina said...

Lora eats soap. She prefers finely milled guest soaps, but will take a couple bits out of any soap. Made with rendered fat, right?

Sue said...

Beck - I'm not sure I actually ever got my mouth washed out with soap, but I do recall the threats.

Nancy - Sunday was an absolute do-NOTHING day. We did nothing, we didn't even cook A great day!

Zina - not sure what is in the soap, Miguel mentioned fat. It's Palmolive and Camay.

Bennie said...

I didn't know rats ate soap. I guess they at least have a clean mouth that way. I'd say it's time to bring the soap inside.

And Loco protect you? Haven't you written blogs about that before?

Cathy said...

Yup, we were force fed the bar of soap too! Mother's trying to clean from the inside out....go figure! And Loco could care less about the varmit eating the soap, it's not food to him, so he sleeps right through it.

jeanie said...

Who would have thought in our lifetime that you could just Google 'rats eat soap'?LOL

Sue said...

Bennie - have I?

Cathy - I don't think I ever got the treatment, just the threat.

Jeanie - amazing, isn't it?!