The Rat’s Nest

I am not sure when this happened, but last week my cat was playing with what looked like a baby mouse or one of those yard moles. The head was pretty mangled by the time I saw it and the kitty was having a high old time playing “toss the dying rodent in the air” game. I was busy and lost track of what happened to the tiny carcass. I think Frida Kahtlo must have devoured it. However, a couple days later I started smelling the stench of dying animal inside my shop! I searched and cleaned and never found the source, until yesterday when I was preparing to print my 2nd color on the silkscreen I’m making. I looked through the top of the glass door on the washing machine and lo and behold a dead adult mouse was resting at the bottom of the washer! Well, of course I removed it carefully and ran the washer through one small hot cycle to clean it out and I thought my dead mouse worries were in the past.

This morning I awoke with a desire to do a little riding and get the bike good and hot to change out the engine oil. I opened up the shop and the kitty found her way to the faux gas tank area of my bike which is actually the battery compartment and air box. The gas tank is under the seat. Kitty has been sniffing around in that area off and on the last few days and I got suspicious. Once I had ventured out and bought my oil and returned, I proceeded to drain the hot oil and replace the filter. And once again I noticed that lingering dead odor. Not as strong as before I found the rat in the washer but still there.

After I got the oil filter replaced and the oil all drained and the plug back in I began putting new oil in and opening up the compartment where my air filter rests. I have never had this happen before, and I am lucky the critters didn’t use parts of my bike to build the nest, but apparently mama mouse made her nest, had her babies and under pressure from Frida she sought the safety of the washing machine. But she didn’t count on getting trapped inside. The babies died equally as horrible; Frida ate one and the other…well, I’m not sure if it starved, suffocated, or was just scared to death. But there it is, my Rat’s Nest Story.

Plus I also now need a new air filter. The critters chewed into the filter and messed it up good with their body fluids.

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