Why we love the mummified rat in our wall

May 22 2013 | Guest post by Chelsea
Dougie, the naturally mummified rat, forever memorialized in the wall between the garage and laundry room.
"Dougie, the naturally mummified rat, forever memorialized in the wall between the garage and laundry room.

We just moved to an historic area of downtown Arlington, so there are plaques on the house and duplex next door. Since we're living above what used to be a barber shop, I can't help but be reminded of Sweeney Todd! There is something a little macabre about the space, that the previous tenants apparently didn't like very much.

Apparently, the contractor hired to renovate the property was a little kooky, and so is the landlady. We found out just HOW kooky they are when we started talking to our landlady about pets, and mentioned that we'd had two Dumbo rats before. That's when she got so excited to show us the mummified rat on display in our wall.

Dougie was found by the contractor and landlady, who decided he deserved to be on display. We are probably the only tenants so far who love him.Yup, that's a naturally mummified rat, named Dougie! They decided to give him a proper burial, so they installed a plexiglass window between the garage and laundry room, and put Dougie inside.

The garage below used to be a barber shop. Sweeney Todd, anyone?
Dougie's display box is to the right of the big window.

I know, I know, it's creepy, it's weird, it's bizarre, and that's why I love it. I also love that they respected this rat enough to give him an honored place on the property. Our landlady says we're probably the only tenants so far who love him. Best. Conversation. Piece. Ever.

  1. I have a friend who has a raccoon like this, with his little paws folded over his chest, in the window well of her basement (a deck has been built above it).

  2. That is a great conversation piece. We found a mummified rat in our wall while renovating, she had made her nest out of dolls clothes, that made it a little more sad to find her all tucked into a bright pink doll dress in the wall. We didn't keep her though, now way my husband would go for that. I did take a few pics before we sent her to her final resting place.
    Even though we didn't keep the rat she has come up in conversations from time to time.

  3. As a child one of my favourite things in a local museum was a mummified cat they had found under the floorboards.
    25 years later it's still there on display – my mum sent me a photo of it last month!

  4. As a rat mommy myself once upon a time, this is totally endearing. I just hope his window is sufficiently sealed and dry that he doesn't start to rot.

    • My friend and I were just discussing this the other day as I introduced her to Dougie. I think I'll mention it to the landlady. We're former rat-parents, ourselves, so we care about his well being.

  5. If I were living there, I think I'd decorate the outside of his window/box with holiday- or season-related things. Bunny gel clings for spring, little tape-on snowflakes for winter, Santa hats…yes. I'd have to combine macabre and cuteness. 🙂

  6. Yay! Thank you for sharing Dougie with everyone. Just a note – Dougie's window is next to, not another window, but the *original* mirror from what used to be the barber shop. 🙂 I love it!

  7. Bless Dougie and the little girl rat who passed in the pink doll dress…that bought a tear to my eye..bless her little ratty heart, i hope she runs around in her ratty heaven, wearing her little pink dress.

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