Author Topic: Last time, there was a rat  (Read 4114 times)

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jmarvellous

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Last time, there was a rat
« on: February 01, 2012, 02:39:39 PM »
We have some wonderfully generous friends who invite us to their home for food a lot.
Usually it's a mixed hosting-potluck situation, often lots of people hanging outdoors or in the living room, and going in the kitchen to fill their plates.

Last time we were there, we were all in the main room, when someone glanced in the kitchen and stage-whispered (loud enough for me to hear it without eavesdropping, but not conversational volume), "Hostess, there's a rat in your kitchen."

She rolled her eyes, glanced through the doorway and did nothing when she didn't see the rat herself.

Now, we're invited to a cooking and dining event at their home again. They're charging a small fee for materials (which will probably come from their farm) and bringing in an instructor.

I am pretty tolerant of unkempt homes (most of their home is quite clean but also full of stuff; the kitchen is never spotless but doesn't scream "rodent den!"), but rats freak me out to an irrational degree. If I had actually seen the rat, I would have found an excuse to leave.

I will be returning to their house frequently in the future, as they host weekly events (with snacks) I'm 100 percent obligated to attend, but something about a cooking class a week after spotting a rat is pushing me toward the edge.

Fellow rats-make-us-squeamish types, would you go?

People who are used to rats, would you?

If I do go and do spot a rat (and wish to leave), how do I do so politely? Do I point out the rat at any point?

O'Dell

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 02:43:56 PM »
Are you sure it wasn't a joke?
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NyaChan

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 02:46:12 PM »
I don't think I would go unless it was a really close friend who I could ask about the rat. 

It isn't so much the health issue, though that is a big part of it.  It is more that I have this vision of me happily chopping vegetables, a rat running across the room, and then me shrieking while throwing the knife up into the air.  Yeah, if there was no reason to think the rat was gone, I would be reluctant to go. 

Though I kind of wonder if it was ever there in the first place.  Is it possible your other friend was kidding or mistaken? Because if I saw a rat I probably would have yelled out that there was a rat without even realizing I raised my voice, and I can't imagine a host just ignoring the fact that there was a rat in their kitchen during a party.

jmarvellous

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 02:51:22 PM »
No, I know it wasn't a joke.

WillyNilly

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 02:52:25 PM »
Are you sure they meant a rodent?  Perhaps they were calling another person a rat.

I live in NYC, rats are not an uncommon thing to come up in conversation, and certainly in certain contexts one always knows it means rodent, but I'd say the majority of the time, especially if it happened in the manner you describe in the OP I would assume it was in reference to a person.

A rat as person could mean a generally nasty person, someone who tattles or talks behind other people's backs, someone who did something cruel to another person, or heck in the context of the person it could even mean an especially greedy person.

Jones

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 02:53:29 PM »
If it was confirmed that there was a rat/if the person who saw it was sure they saw it, weren't joking...then I would have a very hard time eating, drinking, cooking in that home. My daughter has a pet mouse, so I'm not squeamish about rodents in general, but to have a free-running rodent usually means there are more, and the conditions where rodentia thrive are not conditions in which I prefer my food to be kept and prepared.

jmarvellous

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 02:56:07 PM »
I promise it was not a joke.

It was in the middle of a very serious weekly meeting, and the person who said it looked really, really embarrassed to be pointing it out. He is also their employee.

Her rolling her eyes seemed more "Not again!" than "what a silly joke."

And even if it were a joke (which it wasn't), can we presume I'm serious about thinking there are rats in this family's kitchen?

magicdomino

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012, 02:56:36 PM »
A rodent infestation would show some evidence sooner or later, and the hosts may have taken care of the interloper since the last occasion.  Granted, I'm not all that freaked out by rodents (I don't tolerate them in my home, and I really don't like rats even outside my home, but I don't scream and run in circles when I see one.), but I would probably go.  This is assuming that the hosts' home looks like it is cleaned regularly enough that contamination would be noticed.

exitzero

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2012, 02:59:51 PM »
I am a huge rodent fan, I have 3 pet rats, but even I would be reluctant to eat in someone's house who had wild rats running around and didn't care.

The rats themselves wouldn't squick me out, but the idea that they are probably going through her cabinets and eating and pooping in the food gives me the willies.


Judah

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2012, 03:07:24 PM »
There isn't a rat's chance in ehell that I'd eat out of that kitchen again.  Ever.  No way. 
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wolfie

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2012, 03:07:51 PM »
Depending on where you live having rodents invade your house is something that happens every once in a while. I live in upstate NY. Every fall at least one rodent thinks that my house will make a great place to spend the winter. My cats think its great because then they get to prove what wonderful hunters they are. I am sure the rodents wish they had chosen some place else to explore. As long as it doesn't seem like there is a full blown infestation and the hostess looks like they are doing something about it I wouldn't be too concerned. In the middle of a meeting there isn't much you can do. If she doesn't have cats she would have to go and buy traps and/or poisons and its not like she had a good chance to catching it right then.

jmarvellous

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2012, 03:11:17 PM »
Depending on where you live having rodents invade your house is something that happens every once in a while. I live in upstate NY. Every fall at least one rodent thinks that my house will make a great place to spend the winter. My cats think its great because then they get to prove what wonderful hunters they are. I am sure the rodents wish they had chosen some place else to explore. As long as it doesn't seem like there is a full blown infestation and the hostess looks like they are doing something about it I wouldn't be too concerned. In the middle of a meeting there isn't much you can do. If she doesn't have cats she would have to go and buy traps and/or poisons and its not like she had a good chance to catching it right then.

Excellent point. Unfortunately, there's no polite way to ask if it's been caught, is there?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2012, 03:14:49 PM »
I'd be direct and ask the host/ess whether or not they caught the rat and base my decision on his/her response.  I'd couch it in terms of being my issue (afraid, paranoid about contamination, whatever).

If told they caught the rat, I'd go.  If told they set traps but didn't have any luck, I'd probably still go.  If told they didn't even attempt to catch the rat, I'd never go back.

It isn't unusual to get infestations of rodents or insects.  As long as the homeowner does something to get rid of said infestation, I'm fine with continuing to go to their home.  My parents house got mice every fall.  Mom (and now Dad) set traps on the porch, in the basement and in all the food cupboards and cleaned up anytime she found mouse dirt.  Good enough.  You are never going to eradicate the little beggers, living in the country.
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Amara

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2012, 04:15:35 PM »
Rats that are not pets are filthy--F I L T H Y-- creatures. I agree with the poster who said "no way, no how, not at any time." I'd never go back regardless of the social or business cost.

And almost more than the sight of the rat--because where there is one there are plenty more--I am thoroughly squicked out that the hostess was calm about it; that means she's seen enough that the sight of one doesn't phase her.

Deetee

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Re: Last time, there was a rat
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 04:27:48 PM »
So they live on a farm, right?

In certain areas, any farm will have rats. And with an indoor/outdoor house, they get inside. It doesn't have anything  to do with the house's cleanliness. It just happens.

We lived in the country for 20 years. One year we had mice all through the house. It was really, really annoying. But it was only for that year.