Thursday, July 12, 2007


We have a nighttime visitor. A couple days ago, J noticed a bite taken out of an apple that was on a plate in the kitchen. There's a gap about an inch high between the baseboard and the floor along one wall of the kitchen. It's an old house. Most of this gap is filled with some kind of extruded foam, a quick and ugly painted-over landlord repair, but there's a spot where the foam must have come out and it's stuffed with rags and Brillo pads. J noticed that part of the stuffing was missing and Timmy the cat was staring at the hole.

But this bite out of the apple didn't look like a mouse bite to me. And there were no mouse droppings anywhere. Mice always leave poop. So what could it be? J stuffed another rag on the hole.

This morning there was a big chunk missing from one of the avocados I bought last night and left on the table. The teeth marks were very clear this time, and they were much bigger than mouse teeth. And again no droppings. My first thought was Rats!, but rats leave droppings, too. (Another time, I'll tell the story of the rat that came up from the Brooklyn sewer through the toilet, terrorized me, trashed the bathroom, and left the way he came.)

I guess I'll have to buy some steel wool today. Whatever this creature is -- could a squirrel get through a 1-inch hole? a raccoon? -- he's eating Timmy's food.

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