Thursday, May 4, 2017

Add a Rat to my List

I didn't aspire to reach this goal, but I can now add petting a kangaroo rat to my list of wild animals I've "tamed".  Tonight I was in the barn with the horses checking their vitals because Bombay is sick, and while I was bent over listening to Rock's gut sounds, I saw a kangaroo rat munching away on the bits of hay that fell onto the ground under the feed trough.  I was wearing a head lamp, and the rat was sitting in a spotlight.  I took a step toward it, and it didn't move.  I realized that it couldn't see me because I was outside of the light, so I reached behind it and stroked its body, and it didn't react at first.  I thought it was interesting that it didn't immediately jump and run away.  Its cheeks were bulging out as it continued to stuff its face.  I petted it a little more freely and then it saw my hand in the light and scurried a few feet away.

I don't know what is up with Bombay.  He was waiting for me at the gate this afternoon and "talking" to me with his eyes.  I knew something was up.  Then when I checked on him tonight, he hadn't eaten most of his hay.  He does have gut sounds, though.  Hopefully, this too shall pass.  I don't need anymore sick animals.  Because I'm so busy with the dogs, I considered pushing the horses' annual vaccinations and teeth floats off until the fall, but now I'm not so sure.  I cancelled Midge's blood panel, because I knew it would just be a waste of money with useless results after having no consistency in her diet and insulin levels over the past few weeks.  The vet said that was the right thing to do.  We need consistency for at least seven days to get the information we need.

I knew there was one other thing that happened this week that bummed me out when I wrote my last post, and now I've remembered it.  My neighbors got burglarized two more times in the past six months.  They were burglarized a couple of years ago and I felt guilty for not paying closer attention.  I had seen a man in a white pick up truck casing the neighborhood, and I heard someone using power tools, but I didn't investigate, and they ended up having a bunch of statues stolen out of their yard.  This time someone stole a wreath sculpture off their front door, and someone stole tools out of their garage.

When I was taking care of their place, I had noticed that they left their garage door openers in a kitchen drawer, and I was thinking of telling them that they should hide those because someone could snatch one during an open house or home viewing, and come back later to let themselves in.  I don't know if that's how someone stole the tools, but I plan to ask next time I see the owner if he can account for all the garage door openers.  I know they've also had a lot of home improvement service people come into their home and some of them were acting sketchy, so it's possible that one of those people stole the tools.  We think the guy who made an offer on the house and then backed out was the one who took the wreath.  He practically lived over there, because I saw him on the property just about every other day over the past few months.

The neighbors had cleaned out the house for the most part, but they kept a few things there for when they came into town.  I think a lot of people have this attitude that if a house is mostly empty and up for sale, then anything left behind is a free for all.  Not true.  If it doesn't belong to you, leave it.  Anyway, in light of these burglaries, the neighbors are putting up No Trespassing signs and putting locks on all their gates so that people can no longer even get to the front door to peer in the window, and they've given me permission to hassle anyone who lets themselves onto the property, and tell them they have to leave.  That will make my life much easier, because I was at my wits end with all the trespassers and squatters hanging out over there next to my riding arena.

I put up with a lot of nosy people because I knew that in order for the neighbors to sell their house, they have to let people look.  However, despite having strangers traipsing all around their place on a daily basis, and having weirdos doing surveillance on the neighborhood, there hasn't been one single serious offer on the house.  There was one offer, but it wasn't serious.  They guy just wanted to see how much he could get for nothing.  I also found out that of all those people who looked at the house this past year, only three of them went through the proper channels and were shown the house by a real estate agent.  All the rest were just nosy trespassers.

In fact, one neighbor who has a history of sticking his nose where it doesn't belong had been bicycling up to the house and peering in the windows, as well as chasing down prospective home buyers to question them, and I wanted to confront him and tell him to mind his own business if he doesn't plan on buying the house.  I was concerned that he might have been chasing off potential home buyers by telling them bad things about the neighborhood.  Most real estate agents discourage home shoppers from talking to neighbors for that reason.  They don't want a neighbor to blow a sale for them.  Anyway, I found out later that this man's wife is a real estate agent, and she had shown someone the house.  I thought, "Oh, I'm so glad that I didn't tell him to mind his own business since it turned out that his wife did have business with the home sellers."

Still later, the sellers found out that his wife didn't actually show the house to anyone.  She just took advantage of there being a lock box at the house, and toured it herself because she was curious.  She lives right down the street and isn't in the market to buy a house.  She's also not really a real estate agent.  She just has some kind of connections with people in the field.  I have no respect for people who misrepresent themselves.  At any rate, because I'm sensitive about my privacy, I don't appreciate people coming around that house who have no business being there.

One of the sellers has been staying in the house all month.  He showed up just about the time most of the snowbirds were leaving, so he didn't get the full impact of all the people flocking to his property, but one evening a couple of guys on a motorcycle showed up for the umpteenth time when he was in the garage.  He stopped them and asked if they wanted to buy the house.  They started giving all kinds of excuses, which surprised me, because that particular motorcyclist had been driving by the house every night over a period of a couple of weeks.  If he wasn't serious about buying the house, why did he keep coming back?  Maybe he was the one who broke in and stole the tools.  After the owner spoke with him, he never came back, which restored some peace, because his motorcycle engine was quite loud and getting on my nerves.

So, I'm going to have to be more vigilant about chasing off repeat offenders now that I know it is more likely that they are casing the neighborhood to commit a crime than it is that they are actually interested in buying the house.


TeresaA said...

You are like a disney princess with your local wildlife!

Crystal said...

This is getting a habit, petting wild animals ;)

Hope its nothing serious with Bombay, I hate when they are not feeling well.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Petting a rat is probably not high on my list of things to do. Hope Bombay feels better soon. I guess whenever people know a house is empty it attracts a lot of undesirables. Too bad it was burglarized though. Hope nothing else goes on there and some nice people buy the place soon.

Camryn said...

Hope Bombay is feeling better. I've never attempted to pet wild life. Well, not as an adult! After reading of your successes, I've now thought about it only to realize our animals don't allow wildlife! Lol