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Last week, while I was at Fox's house, I was alone in the house one afternoon while he went to pick up some materials. So, I decided to grab a shower while he was gone. For those unfamiliar with his house, it's in a state of mid-renovation, so the only working shower is in the basement, which is primarily occupied by his woodworking shop (it's a big shop). I headed downstairs, and before I could start my shower, I heard noises coming from the shop. Highly unusual, since it's a fairly quiet house, and I was the only one in it. I quietly walked toward the sound, and spotted the source: a large rat. I could only see its tail, but it was enough to identify it.
Now, I'm utterly petrified of insects and spiders, but I really have nothing against rodents, nor am I bothered by their presence. The last time I saw a mouse in Fox's house was back in November, when I was quietly working on my laptop in his bedroom. It wandered across the floor, I snapped my fingers to get its attention, and it promptly ran out of the house (the door had some issues at the time). So, while I would normally be inclined to just live and let live, I knew Fox didn't want a rat in his house, so I tried my default strategy, trying to scare it into leaving. I clapped my hands, and all it did was hide behind the box it was already sort-of hiding behind. It didn't really go anywhere after that. Umm, ok.
Plan B was to trap it and release it on the wooded hill a block behind the house. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any suitable containers to get it with. So much for that idea. If I couldn't scare it, and I couldn't trap it, and I couldn't just let it stay, I had to kill it. I'm still not sure exactly why that was the conclusion I came to, because I would've been perfectly content to just ignore it, but for some reason, I felt compelled to do something. I'd never directly killed an animal before (bugs and pre-killed food don't count), but the thing was the size of my shoe, it couldn't be that hard.
Fox's shop, being an active work area, is chock-full of potential rodent-killing implements, but unfortunately, they're all expensive, or raw material. Since I didn't really want to risk damaging tools, most of which I'm not entirely sure what they even do, and I didn't want to use a piece of wood that's potentially earmarked for something awesome, I started looking for other things. Rifle? Too noisy. Air-powered nailgun? Too dangerous, and probably messy. Finally, I saw a workable weapon, a 4-foot length of copper pipe that had one end sharply clamped closed from cutting it.
I readied my spear, and quietly approached it from behind. It was fairly well-hidden, but I had an angle of attack. Slowly, I positioned the spear within about two feet of it, and with a deep breath, I struck with as much force as I could muster, expecting to sever its spine.
Except, it didn't die. I didn't even render it immobile. I had it trapped under the pipe, but it was really struggling. And, in the process, it let out the most bone-chilling screams I've ever heard in my life. I nearly got sick from it. I pulled aside one of the boxes to see the poor creature, trapped under the end of the pipe. It was even looking at me, still screaming. Oh god, what have I done?
I wanted to let it go at that point, but a voice in the back of my head said "Dammit, you started this, now finish it and put it out of its misery". Its movements had slowed a bit at that point, and I quickly repositioned the end of the pipe to just behind its head. With a sharp jab to the end of the pipe, it was over.
I grabbed a trashbag to wrap up the body, and when I picked it up, I saw the most horrified look on the rat's face. I couldn't take it anymore, I collapsed into tears over the atrocity I committed. I'd never felt like such a horrible person in my life, and I begged the rat to forgive me for taking its life.
I was pretty much in a daze while I showered, mostly feeling numb. I continued to feel really disconnected until Fox came home, when I told him what happened. He was impressed, and told me I did a good job, but it didn't help, and I collapsed into tears in his arms. I felt so horrible, I murdered an innocent wild animal for no reason other than it being in the wrong place.
I felt a little better when he told me how much rat poison he had put out in the shop, since the rats were a recent development and he knew where they came from. So, there's a very high likelihood that it was already poisoned. But, I've still felt rather out of sorts because of it. Definitely not something I intend to do again. Why am I posting about this? Mostly trying to settle my mind, and make peace with what I did.