follow upLast month, a visitor made an unwelcome appearance in our kitchen, eating oranges on the counter. He was first caught virtually by my laptop’s iSight camera, then later physically by a classic spring-lever trap.

It was loud; it was unsettling; it was over.

I actually like rodents as pets. I grew up with gerbils and hamsters, and enjoy watching rats in the cages at Petco. If my daughter wanted one at some point, I’d be game. But my qualms about nixing this specific rat were minimal. Roof rats like this one are not California-native, so trap-and-release would just be dooming some bird or other indigenous creature.

He was apparently a loner. Since his demise, we’ve sealed up a few possible entry points. He likely came inside to escape an unusual cold snap earlier this year.