Monday, January 31, 2011

Damon and Pythias and all those other Greek chappies

The power returned to our house about 20 hours after it had gone out, so we only had to spend one night sleeping cold and one day at our friends' house. David made the very astute observation that once we knew we didn't have to be there, we could relax and enjoy ourselves, and decided to accept their invitation to stay to dinner. We drank mulled wine and ate soup and spaghetti and played Wii games and had a blast. But it was still so good to go home and sleep in our own beds, with the heat cranked up to reasonable levels. I fell asleep that night certain that we were back on the road to a normal life again.

Until Devon threw up all over me the next morning.

I am fully expecting a large boil to pop out on my ass any moment now, but for the moment, I have both kids pumped full of antibiotics, the streets are plowed and power is running. School and daycare are open, the spouse is at work and I AM IN THE HOUSE ALONE. I would invite you to join me in my tequila-fueled "Sew-n-Slash" party (where I work on various stitching projects while reading Jeeves and Wooster slash fiction and blasting Guns N'Roses), but you are not welcome. It's nothing personal; it's just that you are another human being and I have no desire to see another human being ever again for as long as I live.

In the midst of all the snow and ice and upchucking, I somehow managed to lose all the floss I purchased for my cross-stitch project. Just lost it! One day, it was sitting in a tidy little container on top of my cutting table, and the next it was gone. It was the damnedest thing and it had me stymied for days on end. It bothered me so much, that I would just burst out - in the middle of dinner, during a shower, driving to the pediatrician - WHERE THE HELL COULD IT BE?  And everyone knew what I meant, because I had made such a stink about it. I finally decided that I must have somehow inadvertently thrown it away when I had been cleaning out the closets in my sewing room. This, it seemed, was a message from God or the Fates or whoever that I was not meant to do cross-stitch - as though the massive knots that kept appearing every third stitch or so weren't enough of a hint.

Then yesterday, in a rare moment of clarity, I realized that the rest of my Aida fabric, the second, smaller hoop I had bought, and the pack of needles were also missing, and they had not been in the same box, but had been sitting out on the table. THEN I finally remembered placing everything neatly into a larger container and placing it in my closet along with all of my other containers of sewing supplies, scraps, and unfinished projects. It could not have been in a more obvious spot if I had placed it in a bag and hung it from a ring in my nose. I am also the person who freaks out and yells WHERE ARE MY DAMN CAR KEYS while holding the keys in my hand and flinging them around to demonstrate how frustrated I am that I cannot find them.

For those of you who did not catch the Facebook post by alert reader Debra about the rat poop, here is what she said:

I do a lot of importing for my "real" job. We get merchandise in by the container from overseas and often see evidence of . . . well . . . critters. They (usually rats) crawl around - touch all the shit regardless of packaging. So - WASH THAT FABRIC - regardless of whether you think it will shirink, bleed, fade, stretch - those fucking rats have touched it - I guarantee it. Even if it is domestic (which is rare) it gets shipped and trust me - we have rats too!

Which naturally freaked out several people, including me. Then someone else said that she orders bolts of fabric and they always come completely covered in plastic, so she doesn't think that the rat poop can get on it, but then that begs the question is the rat poop all over the plastic and do you get it on you when you are unwrapping it and then you forget for a second and touch your mouth and YOU HAVE JUST EATEN RAT POOP and anybody who comes in contact with the plastic is going to spread the poop all over everything unless they put the entire shrink-wrapped bundle into one of those Silkwood showers and then set it on fire?

So now we come to our third, and possibly final, question in the Great Quilting Debates Research Project. I am told by my QH overlords that this is a hot button issue, but it was news to me, so I'm curious to get your take on it. Do you only use an expensive, high-quality iron, or will any old iron work just as well? Related to this is the question, steam or no steam?

Have at it, my friends. And if anyone has a good story about irons and rat poop, bring it on.

50 comments:

NW Washington said...

cheap iron, with steam :)

Kat said...

Wait...we're supposed to be picky about our irons?? Oops. Guess I missed that memo. I'm using the same one my mom bought me when I left for college. It rocks. It's wireless, which makes my life simpler (it has a cradle to heat it, then I take it out and wave it at intruders for demonstrative effect...at, not on). It also smells a little like tropical coconut right now, since the melted-but-not-burning candle incident last week.

As for steam, I still can't figure out how to make the steam work. I spray it (and the dog) with water when the fabric (or the dog) is too wrinkly to get out in one swipe. Sometimes I spray it just for the steaming and sizzling effect.

Norma Riehm said...

Steam!!!! I want my stuff to stay where I press it, and I get torked when a customer brings over a backing that is seamed and they proudly announce that they ironed the backing. Then the damn seam lays every which way cause they didn't use steam with their rediculously expensive iron. This makes me either re-iron the back or say hell with it and use it as is leaving a little hump where the seam lays. Steam it girls and make it behave. No rats have been ironed in this rant.

The Calico Cat said...

Any ole iron. (Black & Decker has done me well, but when my last one died, My husband bought me a Kenmore - that is supposed to be pretty good... I dunno & don't care.)

I use Mary Ellen's Best Press inlieu of steam.

Oh & I live with a toddler who is on the verge of potty training, so I am not afraid of pee or poop, whether it comes from a rat or otherwise. (& I clean cat boxes...)

Anonymous said...

Well, this is a can of worms.
Irons are kind of like toasters to me- the more money you pay the better the toast and the longer lived the toaster, right? Wrong. The expensive toaster did not last any longer than its cheaper couterparts, though the toast was sometimes marginally better. So my theory on irons is to avoid the cheap cheap types and go for whatever I can afford at the time. As long is it gets nice and hot and gets up a good head of steam I am happy.
Steam is for smoothing out yardage before I cut, then I use a dry iron for pressing seams- unless there is a troublesome seam that just won't do what I want then the steam comes on.
Philosophically, I have some trouble with all the more and more expensive toys we are being urged to buy buy, buy. Yes, sometimes they are better, but sometimes they are just hype and the ordinary old tool I already have will work just fine, thank you. I try to go for as good quality as I can afford, but this does not necessarily translate into newest and most expensive.
As for wash or not, the rat poop story is pretty convincing, though I already pre wash all my fabric. don't like the feel of unwashed fabric and think there are likely chemical residues present that I should get rid of. If I need to get a crisper feel for the project I am doing, I can always starch.

roberta said...

I exactly know how you feel. I love being alone in my house. However, due syncing my work hours to my school, it hardly ever happens. When it does, I'm in such shock I don't know what to do. Thanks for sharing the info about the rat shit. I knew there was a reason I prewashed. I just didn't know why. I have two crappy irons. I suspect that ironing would not suck as much if I had good one.

Susan Lynn said...

I bought a Black and Decker iron many years ago when $50 was lot of money for an iron. It still works, except to got dropped so many times the steam doesnt work. I used this one in the house. I got a couple of spray bottles from the dollar store, one for water and one for starch. I use the liquid starch from the store that you can dilute to the strength you want. I also have another iron that I got at a discout store for $20 that I use in my work room behind the garage. The steam workes in that one.
I live in the country and we have invasions of mice every winter. You just have to be aware and wash your hands often.

greelyrita said...

After careful consideration, I have decided to do my best to put all thoughts of rats and their poop as far out of my mind as possible. Since my mind is an ever-shrinking organ, this should take all of...what was I trying to forget? It's gone already.

Irons: any old but preferably the auto turn-off kind (see "shrinking", above)as long as it's not too soon.

Steam: Yes, seams should LIE DOWN after ironing!!

Joyce said...

I've seen this discussed several times and the consensus is to buy a cheap iron because the expensive ones don't last longer or work any better. Most of them are good for about a year. If you have an old iron that works well, hang on to it!

Baskets Of Quilts said...

Use an older iron from college. It works ok I just can't afford a new one when this one still is working. I don't use steam- but I do use a spray bottle with just water. I think that's the key to keeping an iron lasting longer.

Nancy said...

I've had both cheap and second mortgage expensive irons.. I prefer cheap and steam for regular clothes but not for quilting/embroidery projects... I shrunk a block once by steaming the crap out of it.. I just needed it to be flat..sheesh..

~Michelle~ said...

I use a $30 Rowenta from Costco, and lots of steam... sometimes I throw in some Best Press for kicks & giggles

Nana B said...

Cheap iron with steam and/or a handy dandy spray bottle

Ginny said...

Cheap iron all the way, I have heard to many horror stories of ladies who shell out hundred of dollars for an expensive iron only to have it go tits up months later, I figure for 20 buck I can by a hell of a lot of irons!

The steam or no steam really depends on what I am ironing, quilt fabric and block, steam usually... sadly I usually end up ironing at least one finger, for that I prefer no steam.

Sask-Kat said...

I have a Rowenta iron that I love - not cause it was expensive (it was "bought" using Airmiles) but because it gets hot enough to scorch my cotton! (not that I have ever left my iron laying on my newly finished 1000+ piece masterpiece while I chased the rats out of my sewing cave) Have to have a hot iron - because it means it will STEAM STEAM STEAM - which kills all the nastys that may be still on my fabric after prewashing or not.

I am counting down to my day without people - 69 more to go

Lisa said...

Why is everyone so worried about rat poop? It's not like it's rat PUKE. (I am of the school which believes puke is always worse than poop.)

Here's another thought for all "squeamers": my dog- and most other dogs I've been around- eats cat poop, horse poop, anything rotten, you name it. If it's disgusting, the dog will eat it. And tons of people LET THEIR DOGS LICK THEIR FACES!!! You might as well just rub poop right on your face.

RE: the iron issue- On Sundays our Goodwill has one color tag for 99 cents. So I watch for irons and the last one- which is a mediocre Walmart one- has lasted well over a year. I have another stored up for when this one goes. Buck apiece.

I don't use water/steam in my iron, but I have a squirt bottle with a fine spray setting that I do use and I STARCH STARCH STARCH. Love that stuff.

Laurel said...

I have a $14 iron from WalMart and have been using it successfully for about 15 years. No steam (don't like rust stains on my fabric); I use a spray bottle (or on rare occasion, starch).

The only thing I don't like about my iron is that when I'm ironing (oh, EXCUSE ME, pressing), sometimes the pointy corners of my triangles get caught up in the steam holes. I've been looking (well, okay, not too hard) for an iron without steam holes at garage sales and thrift shops, with no luck. My mom had one when I was little and I wish I knew what happened to it.

Natalie said...

I heard that rats also poop and pee on soda cans....I always try and wash my cans first if I am going to drink right out of them.

I don't think that irons need to be fancy or expensive but it's better to hold out for a mid-range model if you can. I bought an inexpensive Shark from Target and the coils burned out on me twice. I upgraded to a Kenmore after than and haven't had a single problem. I like my iron to be a little on the heavy side and to get very hot. Both features make pressing so much easier! I also like safety functions like timed auto-shutoff and tipped over shutoff. It gives me peace of mind that I probably won't burn my house down.

I don't use steam very often but I do keep a spray water bottle handy for tough wrinkles.

Kitty said...

Two things -

First - I am left-handed - so my iron has the cord coming from the middle of the back. (I don't have to fight the cord getting in my way.)

Second - My iron is an older model without the automatic shut-off feature and I love it! When I need to press something, it is always ON! I had a newer one and didn't like it when I had been sewing for a while and tried to press something just to find that it had turned itself OFF! I'm a grown-up and am perfectly capable of remembering to shut off my iron when I'm done - I don't need it to do it for me. (Same goes for the damn coffee pot - I go to get another cup of coffee and it has turned itself OFF! But I guess that's what the microwave is for, huh?)

And - YES - I use steam - LOTS OF STEAM!! I want my fabric to be pre-washed and pre-shrunk before I sew it. I also want my seams to be as FLAT as I can get them.

Jean said...

Years ago I won a $100 gift certificate to some store that I never went to that's now out of business. I had a horrible experience with a man who didn't want to deal with the little lady... which REALLY pissed me off.

Anyway, I won the gift certificate and I new I didn't want to spend anymore than that at that horrendous place, so I went in and found a Maytag Titanium cordless iron. It retailed for 125 bucks (just had seen it on Oprah as one of her favorite things), but they had it on sale for 99... so all I paid was the tax....

I love that iron. Gets nice and hot, and stays hot enough to press large pieces of yardage. Does seams perfectly...

I never use the steam, because my mother never used steam, she sprayed and rolled shirts to dampen them and then ironed them, so I was used to that, and the times I've tried using steam, what ever iron I used seemed to blarp out water all over the garment, usually not clean water, either.

Cherie in St Louis said...

Cheap iron as they all last the same no matter what the price tag. As for steam, YES HAVE SOME. It's amazing. Dry irons DO NOT press your seams permanent and flat. As long as you aren't scrubbing the iron on your fabric like you're trying to do an art rubbing, it's all good.

Stormy Days said...

My 30 year old GE finally died in it's sleep, I actually got it from collecting stamps at a grocery store, it was FREE. I still have the mixer I got the same way too. Anyway, I thought irons were just irons until I started reading reviews. I ended up with a Rowenta which is the best or the worst according to who you're reading. It steams fine (very important) and gets the wrinkles out and I bought it at BJ's so it didn't cost a fortune.

Katie said...

The cheap iron from Target has lasted me 2 years (the length of time I've owned my sewing machine) and it works just fine. I always use steam because I hate when seams don't lie flat.

Also I would be much more worried about the rat poop and pesticides on the tops of cans (soda, beans, tomatoes) than in the fabric. I'm putting my lips to the soda cans, not usually my fabric.

Nettie & Friends said...

Press or iron? Steam or dry? Chocolate or beer? Oh, wait, what was the question? Screw it. I'm going to get a beer.

Sarah Craig said...

I have two irons - a $30-ish steam iron with a large sole plate that used to be my main sewing iron until I moved upstairs. Nice iron, and I missed it when I shifted my sewing area, but I dragged out a $10 Walmart cheapie I had in the closed to go with my little portable ironing board. That little iron heats up like the fate of the free world depends on how fast it can get hot - within ten seconds after turning it on, it's pumping out high heat and steam. The only thing common to both irons is that they have auto shut-off - a must-have feature on any iron I buy!!

Teresa said...

Cheap. Just because I'm dutch. If I ever am tempted to spend my month's income on an iron, please, please, please take me out behind the shed and sh00t me for being stupid. My current iron cost me about $10 at Walmart a few years ago. (actually, a lot of years ago, my kid is 10 and I bought it when I was sewing stuff for his nursery.)It was working just fine until the last time I answered a poll on irons. The very next day, I tripped over the damn cord and it hit the floor. It broke a chunk of plastic off the point, but it still holds water. Now that the point of the sole plate sticks out without its little plastic hoodie, it actually works better for opening up a seam, to press it with STEAM. And lots of it.

Mary Kate said...

I'm sorry, I know your post is really about irons and rat poop, but I can't get past the fact that there's J&W slash fiction out there. I love me some Fry & Laurie, but I just can't envision... nuff said.

quiltzyx said...

My iron is the not-so-expensive-auto-shut-off kind. I don't use the steam in the iron, but I do have a spray bottle for those stubborn wrinkles & seams.

Works for me!

Dianne said...

I love my Rowenta. It's the second one I have had, gave my first away when I bought the new one and it is still going strong in it's new home. Steam? yes please and lots of it when I ask for it. No piddling about with little anemic bursts. When I turn the steam off I want it OFF. My iron does that quite nicely thankyouverymuch.
Rat poop....I will pass on the rats and the poop thanks! The bolts of fabric do come wrapped in plastic to the warehouse and because I buy my fabric after it has been beautifully displayed at my LQS I don't worry about contamination from the rascally rats. :0)

helen-mary said...

I cannot get over how much I learn from your blog. Ships have rats. Huh, who knew?
Cheap iron, no steam, occasionally a spritz with water. Always prewash to eliminate excess dye AND rat poop.

Anonymous said...

I'm an iron abuser. I've had expensive irons and cheap irons. After repeatedly knocking them to the ground and breaking something plastic that will not allow the iron to sit up properly, I'm sticking with cheap. Then I don't mind so much when I break it.

Adding water to an iron means you're going to have to clean that sucker one day. And even the most expensive iron will leak when filled with water. I use a water bottle to spritz now - no iron cleaning necessary and no leaking.

Anonymous said...

I've had several irons, usually the cheaper model, and they just didn't get hot enough. I found my mother's 60 year old dry iron that I now use. I might use spray starch, the kind you dilute, when pressing and this system works fine for me. BTW - the iron is a Dominion, the company that my mom worked at that many years ago.
cindy

Mary said...

I killed an expensive Rowenta…kind of proud of that. After that, I have kept to cheaper… um...value oriented irons but they must have a stainless steel sole plate. None of that non-stick crap sole plate. I subscribe to the Ricky Tim’s viewpoint that all irons become incontinent so best not to feed them water. In lieu of a steaming iron I use a spray bottle of water and an unhealthy love for starch…lots of starch.

Anonymous said...

Thrift store or yard sale. Never use steam, I actually prefer an iron that isn't capable of steaming, but haven't found one in a long time.
Prewash everything, including presoaking the batting. Don't give me that "I don't prewash because I want it to crinkle up like Grandmas quilts when it's washed" crap either - every one of my quilts has crinkled up when it's washed.

Pamela in SOMd

Ima Baglady said...

Your stories really make me laugh! Hope the kids are feeling better, or at least well enough that you sent them to school so you could get a break...

On the iron issue - I cry every time i think of my favorite iron (not really, but this needed dramatic effect...) I had my grandmother's iron since she died in early 1989. Loved that damned heavy thing! It didn't spit or drip (like ornery pot roasts). And it got HOT!

Then my dog knocked over the ironing board (2009). She lived and the iron died.

Replaced it with an Oliso, that last 2 years and died of unknown natural causes - a couple days after returning from a quilting retreat and a week after the warrantee ran out. They gave me a credit foward the "better model," but made me buy the extended warrantee. I do like it - mostly that it sits flat instead of on its end - but I don't dare take it to another retreat! The family also knows to - NOT MESS WITH MY IRON!

Mary-Anne said...

Both. All. I have 3 irons: a cheap, old crappy one that leaks all over everything if I put water into it so I use it dry for ironing seams on larger blocks - no steam here as I learnt the hard way that steam bloody hurts with my fingers so close to the iron holding open the seams; an expensive one (which I got half price since I don't do expensive anything) with steam in abundance to iron all my fabric lovely and flat before cutting; and my mini clover iron (no steam) for ironing small seams on more complicated blocks and small fiddly applique bits. I don't usually have any problems with seams not laying flat if I don't use steam - maybe the residual rat poop (I don't prewash) helps here. And I don't starch anything. If I wanted my fabric to stand up stiff I'll put some hair gel on it.

Anonymous said...

Deborah says:

Well, the first iron I had lasted a good 20 years or so. Of course, I only used it once or twice a year, but still...

Now I have an iron that I guess I got at Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It gets hot and it steams without spitting or leaking. I'm hoping it lasts more than 2 years...I was thinking that those short lived irons were kind of wimpy, but I do use this iron a lot more than the other one...

So, yes, steam it is!

I, too, love Jeeves and Wooster (and Frye and Laurie). I clicked on the link because I have absolutely no idea what slash fiction is, but was freaked out at the "Are you over 18?" question. Rat poop? No problem. But answering a question that could result in my being sucked into the pits of HELL? I'm not sure about that.

Please enlighten me....I've led a pretty sheltered life. (I was one of the people who thought a blunt was a blunt object.)

Anonymous said...

Deborah says:

And what to Damon and Pythias have to do with irons?

Am I missing something else?

Jill said...

Cheap iron! In fact, I think it was $7 from Walmart. The expensive irons all seem to have automatic shut-offs and the most annoying thing imaginable is to get up from sewing to press your blocks and you have a cold iron!

Megan said...

Slash fiction is this internet phenomenon where people who are fans of a particular TV show or movie or novel write their own fiction about two (or maybe more, but usually two) of the characters. The thing is, it is traditionally two characters of the same sex and the fiction is naughty, naughty, naughty. I think it got its start, or at least its notoriety, when people started writing slash fiction about Kirk and Spock. Together.

The link is to a slash fic piece that someone wrote about Jeeves and Wooster, and the Damon and Pythias line comes from the end of that story. Because I have no shame or soul and actually read it.

You can read the Wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_fiction

Ann said...

Had an expensive iron and it was a piece of crap. I don't steam much, but anytime I tried to add water so I could steam, it leaked all over the ironing board. It never really got very hot either. Have a cheap iron now and I couldn't be happier. I've recently become a Mary Ellen's Best Press convert.

bernie said...

After reading every single comment before mine I forgot the question, but remembered the rats. yuuck. I buy old irons at yard sales and second hand stores. They get plenty hot, throw out lots of steam if they are steam irons and last forever. Bernie

Mariella said...

I have a pretty big iron grave yard....I've had cheap - so cheap that the thing didn't even get hot - then I've had the cheap but good....with no steam, but it was so light that I kept accidentally knocking it off my ironing board and it broke to peices...I bought another other exactly like it and it came to the same early end. I would have bought another one like it but I couldn't find that iron again I've had more pricey irons that had steam and after a while the steam left terrible stains on my work....Yuck...that was when I stopped using steam and started using a spray bottle with water. All my irons have died early deaths no matter the price/quality....now I have a really heavy iron that automatically switches off whenever I go over the the ironing board to iron something but it has lasted longer than any iron I've had yet. I have friend with a really really old beautifully chromed iron and it gets wicked hot and I lust for her iron. If I was a real criminal I'd sneak over to her house and kill her just to get my hands on her iron. But I really like this woman and she is a great friend so I guess I'll have to let her live, for now.....

Tizzie said...

I think its a conspiracy.

The rat poop reason is the Fabric Washer Alliance's last arguments of arguments to get all us hold outs to finally agree with them.

I say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Oh, and I'd rather not think about poop in or on anything. If I did, I would never eat anything out or in my own home, drink anything, buy anything....

You get the picture.

Irons? The cheapest one. I routinely drop mine and abuse it in other ways. The expensive ones break just as easy. I used a $50 one for about a year before it stopped working. I replaced it with a $11 Walmart special. I'll keep you posted. The only annoying thing about this one is that it has this annoying red blinking light that is on all the time after it automatically shuts off. I would unplug it, but I'm too lazy to reach down so I just turn it around. If anything burns out soon, I hope it's that damn light.

Denise in said...

OMGosh!! HAHAHAHAHAHA this post had my laughing out loud twice. Totally belly laughing... and still giggling. I am that person looking for something with my right hand while holding said object in my left... and "organizing" but then forgetting I organized it *or rather finally put something away* (I'm a pile person).

The only iron I've truly been impressed by was some super duper iron on steroids that a friend has. It cost her something like $200 & is attached to some contraption that reminds me of a vacuum canister, but maybe it's the water tank? That thing can IRON. But I'm waaay too cheap to spend that kind of money on an iron. Besides it'd take up too much space, or because I'd have fabric & all kinds of crap piled all around it, I'd set the house on fire.... and since I Iive in a 200+ year old house, we'd all be burnt toast in about 2 minutes.

Beth P said...

I can't find any other area to post this, but thought you would love it. My husband was assigning names to the accounts that come in through paypal. He asked me about "The fat quarter shop"...was this for weight loss?

I almost peed myself laughing!

Dawn Hendrix said...

ooo Irons... well I USE to only buy Rowentas.. but after spending over 100 on 2 different irons in less than 2 years... hell if it heats up and has some steam.. it will work! So now I am an any iron wil do phase of my life... I could buy fabric with the left over money!

KateKwiltz said...

Hey, textile manufacturers have rats, too -- and nasty chemicals to kill them! There's a lot that goes on in those factories BEFORE the plastic goes on that we can't even imagine!

Rookie Bebe said...

I have just discovered this blog and I can't.stop.laughing! My husband's trying to sleep and we have a small house, so I'm trying not to laugh out loud.

The only thing I've prewashed is some fabric from the 50s and 60s cause I don't know where it's been for the last half century.

Irons. I'm still using a fairly cheap model from 17 years ago that my grandma got me when I went away to college. The steam quit working in it a long time ago and I'm finally using Mary Ellen's Best Press. When my bottle runs out I will make my own spray starch.

The next iron I get can be used or new, doesn't have to steam, needs to get HOT and I want it heavier than the one I've got now. But I'll probably wait till this one dies. No steam holes? Definitely want that. Didn't know they made solid plate irons.

Back to pre-washing. I did read recently that pre washing anything that is going to be used for applique makes it SOOOOOO much easier.

Leigh said...

re Rats. Well one day a few years ago I was going down stairs and I saw a rat walking into my sewing room! (Back door was open and it walked right in! We had some annoying messy neigbours at the time, left rubbish in their yard and it attracted rats) I ran upstairs and grabbed cat, threw cat into the sewing room, ran upstairs again and rang husband and told him he HAD to come home. (lucky is only 10 minutes away)He came and he and cat cornered it and it was finished off with a cricket bat! But not after a lot of running up and down stairs (as sewing room has no door and we couldn't contain it!) And a HELL of a lot of SCREAMING from me every time rat turned my way. The bastard Rat jumped into one of my fabric baskets to hide in the middle of this (of course it was the pre-cut 5 inch square basket, that was fun washing-NOT). After all this my husband returned to work in a new clean shirt (too sweaty after all that!) So I rang my nice neighbour to explain screaming etc and husband leaving in a clean shirt. I thought she might have thought he had murdered me, I was screaming sooo much. And you know what she never heard a thing???? SO I hate rats!