Good news that I forgot to share previously:
The rat seen in our basement a week or so ago was, in reailty, not a rat. It was only a large mouse.
Last saturday morning the rather fat, cheeky fellow had the audacity to sit by the washing machine and hold a staring contest with my mother. The conclusion was reached that what we originally had thought to be a rat was actually a mouse, assuming of course that rats and mice do not coexist in the same basement, not even in the great state of harmony that is Kentucky. At any rate, the “rat” was never seen again, but the mouse was. I’m saying no rat.