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05 July 2009 @ 10:37 am
Oh Corpses are just disgusting  
There was a dead rat by the clubhouse this morning. One of the tennis players reported it. Normally if there's a dead animal (say, the dead skunk/cat that was found near a pool last weekend) it gets left for the Maintenance team to clean up, but the rat was right in the middle of the path, and hard to ignore.

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.

DANG IT!!!
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Kuruma Chidori: madchidorichan on July 5th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
I've had to throw out dying mice (still struggling to live, but not going to) before and it's not pretty. ;-; And mice are cuter than rats! I either throw them in the trash or leave them outside for stray cats...
Suzik00kaburra on July 5th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Dying mice? I think that would be much, much worse. At least if a cat eats them I guess they get...recycled, so to speak?
A wandering fellow on the long roadtsarina on July 5th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
Maybe it had a tiny rat coronary or something. Poor little guy.

Despite their image as black death vectors, little lab rats make awesome pets. (Wild rats probably not so much.)
~ * flurr sprite * ~nkicroft on July 5th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
hahahaha best. story. ever. XD

rats freak me out too. but mice are cute, and i had a dwarf hamster... so it must be the tail!
Suzik00kaburra on July 5th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
OMG THE TAIL IS TERRIFYING

It was totally your classic wharf rat eew ew ew ew
kerokerotab on July 6th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
you are one brave girl.
whimsicalbeauwhimsicalbeau on July 7th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
I totally would have just picked it up with the plastic bag as a glove, then turned the bag inside out.

I wonder what killed him, usually rat's have the good sense to die out of sight, in a less convenient place.

Like in a wall.