Rats freak me out. It's their tails. They're so long and snake-like and CREEPY-LOOKING, and when the rat is dead the tail goes all stiff and the fact that it doesn't bend scares the shit out of me.
So I thought, I'll find a shovel, scoop it into a plastic bag...and then what? Can you throw a rat in the trash? I mean, people might throw away a pet goldfish, or flush it down the toilet, but a rat? People don't go chucking dogs and cats into rubbish bins that I'm aware of. (The lack of childhood pets has left me with a great ignorance when it comes to dealing with animals.) They bury them or cremate them or leave them at the vet so that he can deal with the corpse. But is that due to emotional release or are there laws about dead animal disposal?
I text my manager asking what I should do, because she has a procedure for everything. She usually responds to text messages quickly, but not immediately, so as I wait all I can think about is the dead rat on the path outside.
So I called Marcela, because she's a mom and she probably has had to do this sort of thing at home. Her phone's off.
I wonder if it would be less embarrassing to call the General Manager or the Maintenance Manager. I opt for the GM, because I managed to piss off one of the Maint. team members last weekend. The GM is probably rolling his eyes as he tells me to put it in a plastic bag and throw it in the dumpster. So I guess you can throw a rat in the garbage.
Bad news: no shovel.
Worse news: The locks for the Maint. shed have been changed and I don't know the combination.
Even worse: Thoughts of the rat are making my hands shake and my stomach churn.
No way am I touching that thing. It's probably riddled with disease.
I can't help but wonder what took it down. It's a fat rat, with silky, sleek fur. It was feeding well. It doesn't look like it was attacked. I see no blood. Maybe it fell off the roof and broke its neck?
I find a stick and a plastic bag. The first poke of the corpse sends a shudder through me. It's so stiff and heavy and IT'S STARING AT ME. That is by far the worst part, the wide-eyed stare of the rodent. I'm going to vomit.
I have to sit back for a moment and take deep breaths. I am a GROWN-UP now. Grown-ups have to deal with things like dead rats. Plus my Daddy's not home and my boyfriend's too far away, so really, I can't wuss out of this. Taking my stick I poke the rodent into the plastic bag, cringing each time I come in contact with its rock-like body. It's so fat it ought to be squishy. I'm not sure if it would be better or worse if it was.
I probably have the grimmest face as I carry the bag to the dumpster, hurl it in, and practically sprint back to the Clubhouse to wash my hands (which never actually came in contact with the rat, but rat-germs could have potentially crawled up the stick somehow, right?) again and again. So so so so gross.
When I get back to my desk, there's a text message from the office manager instructing me to ignore the rat and leave a note for Maint. to take care of it on Monday.