Buddy - The Amazing Pack Rat


How I Met “Buddy”

About ten years ago I moved several miles outside a small town in northeast Oregon and soon discovered that my property was home to a large colony of pack rats.

Although they carry disease, they smell really bad, and they chew up the expensive wires in your car engine, I just love them and have been live-trapping and releasing them for years. I believe we can communicate with animals so I always tell them to stay out in nature and away from humans – even though I know they sometimes almost beat me back home.

item1aThen one morning in June 2010, I caught what appeared to be a new pack rat - I’ll describe him as looking like most of them do, except he had a very small tick on the outside edge of his left ear. I told him he should try to scratch it off.

This time I drove twice as far in the opposite direction thinking further might discourage his return. I turned my car around facing home and then set the cage it at a 45% angle to the road with the trap door facing a green field.

Copyright 2010 by Bonnie Norton

After the door was open for a short time the pack rat finally stepped outside a few feet, then turned around and went back inside the cage. He then stood on his hind legs with his front paws on the open door inside, and with unbelievable eye contact stared into my eyes for a full minute or two. I was just getting over being sick and told him he needed to go because I was getting cold.

He finally left the cage and bounced down the road and toward my car. I thought, “Great, he’s going to beat me home again.” He went straight under my car, climbed up the right rear tire, and then disappeared somewhere underneath. Here I am trying to set him free and he’s hitching a ride back home!

I was concerned that he might get hurt when the car started or began moving so I told him to get somewhere safe. After several minutes I started the engine and then revved it to encourage him to leave before the car started to move. Still no pack rat. I drove slowing and saw no signs of him jumping out of the car. I kicked myself all the way home for not taking my video camera as I have sometimes done in the past - this could have won on America’s Funniest Videos!

I had a feeling he may well have made it home with me, so I set the live-trap again and two nights later thought I had my buddy - except this time the tick was on top of his head near his right ear. Either I had a different rat or he did as I suggested and scratched the tick who then moved over on his head. I told him, “If you’re the same rat, and you do exactly what you did last time, you’ll be famous!”

Copyright 2010 by Bonnie Norton

To watch Buddy’s entire story link to: Order Buddy’s DVD