It was supposed to be feminine and beautiful. Pink frosting was swirled onto the cupcake tops and pink ribbons adorned the “It’s a Girl!” banner. Pink balloons were hung and purple flowers brightened the kitchen. The house was spotless, despite a 3 year old running around, and there wasn’t even a dish in the sink. It had been a hectic morning, but as the clock approached ten I was somehow ready for the baby shower to begin.
The doorbell rang and the front door was flung open in excitement. In my book, the impending arrival of a new baby is always something to celebrate. I led the guests through the entryway and into the living room near the kitchen, answering questions along the way on how we had updated the house. As I neared the kitchen, out of the corner of my eye I saw something unusual through the sliding glass door. I took a second glance and gasped. Then and there my heart stopped.
Dexter, the neighborhood cat, was outside the sliding glass door, eating a GIANT RAT!
I would have shut the curtains, but it was too late. The guests had already taken it all in, and were thoroughly grossed out. “DEXTER!” I yelled at the cat, who barely noticed me through the closed door. He was too engrossed with his apparent breakfast for the day anyhow. I looked a little closer and realized the rat wasn’t even dead yet. He was having some sort of death tremors. Great. Just great. Seeing the rat’s long tail made my stomach turn. I didn’t even want to think about where this rat came from or how many more there were nearby. The old saying “For every one rat you see there are ten more close by” became trapped in my brain. And of course I couldn’t help but think about the creepy Hanta virus that rats can carry.
I closed the curtains, but the topic of conversation was obviously derailed. Someone mentioned that their dog had brought them a dead possum once, and that had made me feel a little better, even though possums seem practically delightful in my book compared to giant rats. Later on I peeked through the curtains, hoping desperately that Dexter had gotten bored and hauled the rat away. But no, of course he hadn’t. Apparently he was very hungry that day.
It was a little hard to transition from “Look at that nasty rat” to “Would you like some sausage and muffins to eat?” But despite the rat, brunch and cupcakes were eaten and gifts were opened. I think a good time was had by all. But that will definitely go down as the most horrifying and yet funniest baby shower that I have ever hosted. And to my friend whom this shower was hosted in honor of: I’m sorry. So, so sorry. And incredibly glad that you have a strong stomach. I can’t wait to meet your new baby girl.