A few weeks after the rat encounter, my landlord asked me if I'd seen any rodent activity around the trash area. I told him that I had, and that it probably would have been comical if he'd been home that day to see it. He seemed surprised at my lackadaisical attitude toward a Rodent of Unusual Size.
He then asked me if the rat was getting into my side of the house. I thought, have you heard any crazed shrieking lately? Then, no. But I simply replied in the negative. He told me that the rat was getting into his kitchen garbage and that he'd tried a few different things but had not managed to get rid of him. He was thinking about calling in the guys with chemical weapons.
At this point I started to feel sorry for the rat. After all, he is just trying to live his rat life and do his rat things. He had probably lost his regular habitat because of all the road and sewer work that has been going on in town. None of this was his fault.
The next time I took out the trash, I directed a little speech toward where the rat was suspected to be nesting. I said "Dude," (I call all animals whose actual names I don't know Dude. They seem to like it) "you need to find a new home before the Big Blue Bug Guys show up. Take my advice and move along. Also, I hope you've enjoyed my cooking."
I didn't see him - or any evidence of him - after that. Coincidence? I don't think so.