Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Outsmarted by a rat?

My childhood fascination with traps resurfaced recently, and had me wondering if I'm even as smart as a rat I had a recent run in with!
It's not like my interest in traps has led me to curate a trap museum or anything like that, but I've always admired the elegant simplicity of the ways people have found to catch things.
Especially if they involve trip wires, or teetering foot plates that send doors swinging shut and all that sort of thing.

Of course I'm not saying I like what a lot of traps do to things, it's just the ingeniousness of the designs and mechanisms which for some reason always caught my interest.

Well anyway, I caught a rat in the back yard with a Havahart live trap. It only catches one critter at a time (unlike the mouse trap we used to catch the fiendish paint-eating mouse in the car), but it has the whole footplate/doors snapping shut stuff going for it!

I don't know what kind it is, although I suspect it might be a pack rat, but as you can see it's very cute with its light belly and black beady eyes.

 Here it is next to Sprightly my hoodrat.

So after driving it a couple of miles away I let it out.

It ran straight under my car.
I peered underneath just in time to see it climbing up the inside of my front wheel.

I started the engine, hoping to scare it off. I didn't see it run away, so after a minute I started to drive home anyway.
I was expecting to see a furry face come poking out through an air vent, or magically appear by my foot pedals at any moment.

My driving was a bit nervous and quite slow, just in case I had to contend with a furry companion running up my trouser leg.

There was no sign of it under the hood when I got back, so did it hitch a ride home, or not?

A couple of days later I caught an identical rat and released it (a bit further from the car!) in the same place as before.
I figured if it was a buddy of the first one, they could hang out.
Or it could have been the same one.

It may just be viewing recent events as bit of an annoyance: 'Oh, not THIS again', sort of thing.

Well this time at least I made sure it went away from the road, so I could drive home relaxed!

Besides that, I'm excited to announce that my Sumo Wrestling Toads will be on display in San Diego as part of the Society of Animal Artists 50th annual show, called 'Art and the Animal'.
And who knows, maybe they'll be selected for the following museum tour?

Last up, see if you can spot the critter lurking in this picture (I'll show it close up in my next post!)

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille
Still no news since my post regarding ......of........ Galleries who still owes me for bronze sales made around the new year. (Edit-issue resolved after 1 yr thanks to Goldman, Evans and Trammell)


Deborah Paris said...

Yes, he is a pack rat and he's probably happily chewing up the wiring in your car or stuffing stuff in places that tend to make your engine want to blow up. Open the hood and do a thorough check. They can cost you thousands!

Steve sculpts critters said...

Ah, the seasoned voice of experience!
Meridee found more chewed up paint yesterday, and shredded paper towels in her car. They like the earth colors, and avoid acrylic paints.
I put the multi catch trap between our cars last night, time to pop and out and see the results...

beckielboo said...

I have to laugh that you are, so to say, a mouse artist and they must also find that a good laugh, too! Payback...

I know you like snakes (shhhhh!!), so maybe you'd better be careful there.

OK, I did a mag - but my lips are sealed!