A friend, Vermont born and bred, came by today to help me figure out how to fix the dishwasher. During the last subzero snap, it did a little snapping of its own, pouring water down through the kitchen floorboards into the cellar. Not a pretty sight.
I figured it had something to do with the cold, frozen lines popping free of connections. Maybe even, I mused, it was my own fault for filling that big hole with spray foam. I learned years ago that insulating old houses can be tricky, sometimes blocking warm air flow that kept pipes cozy. Not this time.
“Dear,” intoned my friend, the only man I know who can address me in such a way without being remotely flirtatious, “You have a rat.”
Oh, ick. This is not the pastoral haven I dreamt of in Brooklyn. There were rats there, big, honking, muscled ones, but I thought Vermont had only cute little mice. Maybe a skunk or a porcupine now and then, unpleasant rodents all. But rats?
Behind the dishwasher, the intruder had a superhighway from outdoors, and tasty hoses to chew. He got them all, the water supply hose, the squiggly little connector, and the drain hose—big holes bitten out of them. Over fifty dollars worth of parts, before I pay my friend for his time.
All the holes are filled now, with that trusty expanding foam. I think I will stock a couple extra cans and go on a rampage filling holes in cellar and utility room. A mouse or two or even twenty—I never minded sharing my warm house with them as long as they stayed off the kitchen counters and out of the drawers—but rats? No, thank you.