“You dirty, double-crossing rat.”

This is one of those the house is colder than outside sort of morning. I put on my sweatshirt, roused Gracie, slipped my feet into warm slippers and came downstairs. The temperature is 58°, a lot cooler than the last few days. I’m glad I put in the storm door.

I’m watching 1933’s The Ghoul. It’s has all the wonderful characteristics those old horror movies always have. Two women have spent a great deal of the film screaming or swooning. The female star managed both, one after the other. I guess it was that dual combination ability which boosted her to stardom. She was, of course, carried away from danger by the tall, dark and handsome hero wearing a dark suit, complete with vest. The butler was eerie, the  house was dark and the Ghoul was Boris Karloff.

The paper today had an article about black cats and how people are reluctant to adopt them. All the other cats go first. A woman has started a black cat rescue group to change this and has managed to place several. Maddie, my great mouser, is a black cat. I never thought about superstition when I adopted her and Fern. Maddie is just my black cat.

My house is totally decorated for Halloween. Monsters sit on shelves and on the mantle. Creatures howl and scream when touched. A cemetery with stones, statues and a mausoleum is laid out on the table. A few rats and a vulture are also on that table. The rats are disgusting looking with their teeth and claws showing. I find them repulsive which is what makes them perfect for Halloween so out they come every year. A little mouse doesn’t bother me. It borders on cute, but there is nothing cute about a rat. I remember a few years ago when I was sitting in a well-known Boston bakery having coffee and pastry when a rat ran by my table. A chill went up my back, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if a pack had followed in a wave, then attacked in unison and eaten me and my pastry. Rats are like that.

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17 Comments on ““You dirty, double-crossing rat.””

  1. Bob Says:

    I didn’t realize that black cats are in the same predicament as black dogs. Several years ago we adopted a black lab mix who definitely has a demonic mind of her own. After she came to live with us I read that black dogs are the last to be adopted. I don’t think there is a superstition against black dogs, however they are easier to trip over than lighter colored dogs when you get out of bed to visit the bathroom. I keep my iPod Touch next to my bed to use as a flashlight to help prevent me from kicking the dog as I make my way in the darkness. Our other dog, a brown and black dachshund, sleeps under the covers at the foot of our bed so I don’t need any light to kick him.

    I think Halloween is perpetuated by the candy industry just like Mother’s and Father’s days are perpetuated by Hallmark and the florist business.

    The forecast for game time tonight at Ranger’s Stadium is partly cloudy and 81 degrees with a slight chance of a thunderstorm.

    • katry Says:

      I didn’t know black dogs were seen by some in the same way as black cats. My parents had a black dog who was about the sweetest dog who ever lived. She loved to fetch rcocks and go for car rrides, nothing demonic about Beebe.

      My dog is a brindle boxer but a really dark one. She sleeps on the bed so I’d never trip over here, but I worry about not seeing the cats.

      I know that Halloween originated as Samhain, a night when ghosts could return from the dead. people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes.To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter. Somehow over time the food became candy and voila the candy industry made a mint.

      I always give out stuff like Halloween pens or pencils. Last year it was crayons. Parents like them much better and kids actually do too.

      • Bob Says:

        Many families in our neighborhood go to their church on Halloween and have anti-halloween parties for the kids because they think the holiday has something to do with satanism. Some folks take the fun out of everything. I don’t think anyone today really believes in ghosts.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I don’t think it is that way over here, quite the contrary actually. In some countries black cats is seen as bringing luck to the home. And I have never heard of black dogs being the last to be adopted either, I have only had one dog that wasn’t black 🙂

    I used to think like that about rats until I had a tame one 🙂 But I do remeber when I was standing by a hotdog stand once in the middle of the night. We were several standing in que when we suddenly saw one rat walking around the bushes looking for left overs. Then we saw one more and most of us left when they were over eight walking around and in those bushes 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      Maddie is good luck for me. She has dispatched many mice.

      Rats, to me, are filthy. Think black plague and fleas. The big ones are even a bit frightening looking.

      Have a great Sunday!

  3. I have nothing against black cats, I am just pro-calico/torti. 😀


    • katry Says:

      Fern is the cat for you. She is a torti with Cleopatra eyes, ones which look like they are circled in black mascara. She is beautiful though a bit on the feisty side. She has the poor dog flummoxed.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    Ten-four on the rat pastry story. It would have made me never go back no matter how good or tasty the pastry was. The scariest I’ve been was basic training in Ft Benning, GA. The basement housing the ammunitions was loaded with big rats. The Armory Guard would step on them with his combat boots to break their necks and use his ceremony sword to stick em and toss into a garbage can. I couldn’t wait to end the clean up chore and get the hell out of there.

    • katry Says:

      The funny end of that story is the guy who was behind the counter tried to tell me it was the big dig’s fault. I told him the rat had to have taken a taxi as this part of the city was about as far away from the big dig as you could get and still be in Boston. He did offer me free coffee for the whole day(I was working a water station for the marathon around the corner from the bakery).I never went back there.

  5. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hiya Kat!

    One of my longtime girlfriends is an animal lover of the highest order. She’s had all sorts of pets – – several birds, cats and dogs, and even a snake or two.

    And one rat.


    She used to say it was one of the best pets she ever had. She said it was well-behaved, clean, and never gave her any sort of trouble. He was kept in a fishtank that had a bed of those cedar shavings that are used for hamsters or gerbils.I do not remember what it ate. I seem to remember it devoured insects, along with some meat. I think it ate some special kind of food to compensate for the fact it was’nt out in the wild.

    If I hadn’t have seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it.

    Anyway, it didn’t live for very long. But boy, you never forget something like that.

    WHen I get home tonight I must pet the dog… 🙂

    Waving from Jersey!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Colleen,
      I’m the cat, dog and maybe a bird sort of pet lover. A snake just doesn’t fit the pet definition for me, and I’d never ever include a rat as one. How often did she pet it? I have to think not all that much. It sounds more like an exhibit. Maybe she was related to Williard!

      Yup, give me a cat or a dog or in my case both.

      Waving back from old Cape Cod!

    • olof1 Says:

      Hi Coleen!
      I have to agree with Your friend 🙂 I have had one too and it was the kindest animal I’ve ever had and most probably the cleanest as well. I didn’t even have to lock the cage he lived in, he just waited for me to come and get him 🙂


  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My dog is tan. He matches the carpet, the ground, the leaves and dead grass in autumn. And he’s small. Well below eye-level. When I first got him I had to be very sure not to trip over him.
    My cats have almost always been black and white tuxedo cats or mackeral cats. Liantha was the only all black cat. She was a Siamese type and very loving. She was also the best hunter in the neighborhood and kept her humans and kittens well provided with dead (sometimes merely stunned) things.
    We had a pet white rat named Nicodemus. My father named him. I think it was just after he had been audited by the IRS. 🙂 Nicodemus was the smartest critter. He would let himself out of his cage, go walkabout for a few days and then return. One day he didn’t return. I think he managed to hook up with some native lady rats. For years after his disappearance, Liantha would sometimes bring home dead rats that were a dirty whitish-yellow color.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I am always afraid I’ll trip on one of the cats as they are so close to the floor. A couple of times I thought I had, but I hadn’t and I nearly fell in the avoiding.

      My cats never eat their victims. I suspect they’d like them mounted as trophies. One summer my Siamese cats dispatched 14 of them, mostly in the cellar. Another died of drowning in the dehumidifier. I called that one death by misadventure.

      Smart rat! I’m not sure whether Liantha was returning him home or letting nature take her natural path.

  7. katry Says:

    I don’t think there are any ghosts either, but I love the idea of spirits. I totally disagree that Halloween is akin to Satanism. The Druids started it and we really know very little about them, but devils they weren’t.

  8. sprite Says:

    Not too long after I moved to D.C., I remember sitting on the patio of a local restaurant, watching this weird cat skulk around the dumpsters next door. It was with great dismay that I realized the cat-sized animal was, in fact, a rat. Honestly. Probably weighed ten pounds. Ugh.

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