After my Mile High Lab Rat book launch, we wheeled the scientist photo props back toward the van. Unfortunately, one of the cart wheels hung up on a sidewalk crack and upset the load. The crash was gentle, thank goodness. Nothing broke, but one of the live rats in the terrarium bailed. The rats were breeders on loan from a raptor center and highly replaceable—I’d guess, but I didn’t want to find out. Also, the college staff had been so accommodating in hosting my book launch party. Introducing a rat infestation to their campus seemed seriously shabby.
I’d tried not to stress the young rats, but the tumble had to have been scary. Our escapee was off like a shot. My husband Steve was dollying a load of books. How he managed to get to the cart crash and nab that rat in the nick of time, I can’t say. On the other hand, I’m not surprised. To quote Mile High Lab Rat’s dedication, Steve’s “been with me through it all and somehow makes everything work.” Bless you, Sweetheart!
The rat had never had to fend for herself and may not have fared well on her own. Still, she gave it her all and clamped her teeth into Steve’s knuckle. What percentage of the human population could force their hand to maintain a firm grip while being bitten by a rat…like .027%? Steve, of course, delivered that toothy rat to her up-righted terrarium before releasing her with just enough force to break her grip.
At the raptor center, he asked if he should be concerned about the bite. The director said that Steve should be fine if he used some disinfectant on the wound. But…the rat would have to be quarantined to make sure that Steve hadn’t given it rabies.
When I told my friend this story, she wondered, “If the rat dies, does that mean that Steve is pregnant?”