So this morning I took off early and went and sat in Starbucks and read textbooks (like reading for enjoyment, except not enjoyable in any way whatsoever) and after a bit I checked my phone -- saw someone called from home -- called back and talked to my brother-in-law who is kinda camping out with us for a bit, and he told me HE CAUGHT THE RAT! He'd fashioned some kind of humane trap from a paint stir-stick, a kitty-litter bucket, a big chunk of 2x8 lumber, and some tasty peanut butter. Evidently the idea was that the rat would climb into the bucket to get at the peanut butter which was smeared on the stick and somehow that would release the big board which would then come down on top of the bucket and cover it up. And it worked! With no harm to Scritchy!
Sure enough, I got home and we trooped out to the garage and there was Scritchy, very unhappily ensconced in a kitty-litter bucket. We tried to get a picture but he kept randomly leaping upward at us and going "SQUEEK!" which freaked me out so I gave it up. I'd rather we got him the heck outta my garage safely without a picture than keep trying to get the pic and end up accidentally letting him go free. Although maybe he would have been so traumatized that he would have left for good... At any rate, it's all academic now as at the very moment he is being released at a big swampy park a few blocks away, hopefully never to return.
Naturally, it started raining like mad as soon as Doug left to release the rat, so I'm sure they are both dampened. What price freedom, even for a rat!