If Muffin hadn't woken up hungry at three in the morning, I may have slept through all the noise. But she fell asleep unusually early so I wasn't surprised that she needed a mid-night snack.
I brought her into our bed and was feeding her when I heard a crash followed by squeaking and then another crash. "No!!!!!" I silently screamed. Our neighbors had a rat in their kitchen a few weeks ago and I knew it was only a matter of time before a rat found its way into ours. I grew up in old houses in the country, so I'm used to mice getting in the house. I'm also used to having many cats to help keep the mice away. But rats are a different story. Rats are big, dirty, city monsters. And we don't even have one cat with us right now; even if she were here, I'm not sure I'd want her tangling with a dirty city rat.
The noise stopped as suddenly as it started, so I didn't wake up Mike. Until I heard it again. I poked at him until he got up. As I was doing that, though, it occurred to me the rat might not be in our kitchen. Our master bedroom and bathroom butt up against the concierge's kitchen. During the day we constantly hear people in there. So if the rat noise is so loud in our bedroom, maybe it's not in our kitchen but in the concierge's. I made Mike get up and investigate our kitchen. He said everything looked fine. He hadn't heard any squeaking or crashing, but he closed the kitchen door just in case. He came back to bed and I continued feeding Muffin.
Then Mike heard the squeaking for himself. He went back into the kitchen and could hear the squeaking coming from someplace else. The rat was definitely not in our apartment. Phew. I'm not that happy that it's only on the other side of a wall, but for now we're safe.