Pack Rat Troubles and A Summer Drink to Make Them All Go Away

Looks Cute, Keeps a Messy House, Eats Too Much

You may remember the time the mouse ate the wire to our cruise control?  Well, the mice seem to have enjoyed a lovely trip thus far, because they’re still aboard.  I hope they enjoyed Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and now Kansas.  I really hope they like Kansas, because this is as far as they’re going.  And they’re not mice.  They’re pack rats with a hankering for air-conditioning vacuum hoses.

Our mechanic actually thinks that instead of having the same rat along for 5,000 miles, we’re dropping off and picking up new rats whenever we park anywhere for long.  If he’s right, there’s a legion of rat hitchhikers out there just waiting to climb aboard and take up the domicile built by their predecessor rats.  Think of it as rodent time-shares.

Personally, I’d like to see all the shiny gewgaws they’ve used to decorate the place, which pack rats like to do.  It might explain all the missing paperclips.  The mechanic /one-man pack-rat eviction team is not so bemused, since he’s the one out there in the 105-degree heat doing demolition.

So  in the spirit of everyone who might need a drink, I offer the following recipe, delivered to me in person at Chapters Books in Seward, Nebraska, by the wonderful writer Joy Castro.  In honor of the season, it’s called “The Ruby Slipper.”  Thanks, Joy.


1/2 oz whiskey (or 1/2 OZ if you want to keep with the theme)

grenadine syrup


Fill a shot glass 3/4 full of whiskey and top off with grenadine.  Fill any large glass with 7-Up.  Drop the shot glass into the 7-Up and drink up.  Make another one and feed it to your pack rat.

Then think about this:

Ambiguity is a Lovely Thing


About Tracy Seeley

Author of MY RUBY SLIPPERS (U of Nebraska Press, 2011).
This entry was posted in book tour, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Pack Rat Troubles and A Summer Drink to Make Them All Go Away

  1. Tracy Seeley says:

    Rodent update. After 8 hours of taking apart the RV dash, the mechanic has located the chewed up vacuum hoses, pulled out 5 pounds of rodent nesting material, and put everything back together again. Captain Trips and I have escaped to Lawrence of the day in a rental car and will resume the RV portion of our tour–which is 99.9% of it–tomorrow morning.

  2. King Roger says:

    Haha I can relate. Living in arizona, pack rats are a curse. Any sitting vehicle is a home. And the damage they do,! all the while urinating and leaving their little rat poo calling cards. Somehow my screen over my exterior clothes dryer vent was torn away recently, alllowing King Ratticus to enter. I noticed my clothes were smelling funny… Anyway he chewed COMPLETELY through my flexibale exhaust tube to my dryer, leaving it hanging only by the accordion wire. And now he was iIN my house. He bolted under the laundry room door hen I moved the dryer!!! My hurried shot from a .22 pistol loaded with bird shot narrowly missing, leaving a 3 inch grey smudge on my travertine floor. Now he was in the house at large, no way to find him!!!. Later I heard him gnawing in the pantry, he bolted again!!!. Still later I saw him playing jungle gym in my dishwasher racks, and he bolted again, and pissed under my dishwasher, for disturbing him… Agggh the smell!!!! You have no idea how bad pack rat pee smells… Exasperated I set a live trap, baited with a grape, in front of my barricded pantry door, mere feet from the dishwasher. I had a beer and a large whiskey, while barricaded behind my couch, trusty telescopic sighted pellet gun at my side.. I fell asleep,… Upon waking, the house was still. I approached the trap armed with the .22 birdshot in case a snap shot presented itself… King Rat was inside the trap!!!, Frantically pacing,, peeing, and pooping, he paused watching my approach Pitiful remonstrations from his large black rat eyes met with my stony glaze, he had pissed inside my dishwasher, for God’s Sake!!! The fiend!!!. Rising on his hind feet in a last act of defiance, point blank he met his end, rolled over on his side and shuffled off his earthly coil….. Long live the King, The Rat is dead!!!! , .

  3. NotoriousAnonymity says:

    I thought your “drink” of choice for them was going to be something like antifreeze or a cocktail laced with cherry flavored arsenic. I didn’t realize that the drink was for you, so that after a few of these, you just wouldn’t care so much…

    Maybe you could just buy a junk car from the scrap yard, and leave it in your driveway. The pack rat may decide to move.

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  7. Cheri says:

    I had an experience with a pack rat at work. Our office was in an old building and I could hear scratching on the wall but thought it was the little dog that lived upstairs in an apartment. The office next door in the same building was a florist shop. The owner of the florist shop had been thinking someone was breaking in and taking little knickknacks and cutting her telephone and adding machine wires. She even called the local police to check her store out at night. One Friday, she sat some flowers out in a bucket of water to open more for a wedding she had the next day. When she came in the next morning, the flowers were gone. Just disappeared. I had noticed a rat sized hole in the wall I heard the scratching in so we thought we had a rodent in the building. The landlord found the nest in the wall of the furnace room and in it were all her knickknacks and her flowers. The rat did meet his end but unfortunately for us he died in the walls and we had to work with the smell.

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