Last weekend, Beth woke me up about 3 in the morning. She was in near hysterics - "There's a rat in here!" 'Here' being in our bathroom. There's a sort of skylight at the edge of the room, but it has a screen instead of glass. The rat had fallen through the screen.
We have an adolescent cat which has only caught lizards so far, so I thought this was a good opportunity for a lesson. I ran to the garage and returned promptly with the cat. The rat didn't have much of anywhere to hide, so it climbed behind the hot water heater cover.
The cat tried to get it out, and we tried turning on the hot water (an in-line gas contraption; no tank). This wasn't too effective.
Don't be deceived by the picture. The cat didn't kill the rat. The cat got bitten and was subsequently scared of the rat. So, we cranked the flame on the hot water heater until he got singed and emerged. Then, I (David) smacked him with a broom. UGH!
Here is the injured rat. Nice, huh?
As you can imagine, that wasn't one of our better night's sleep recently! But, most importantly, the hot water heater wasn't damaged.