The rat measured 39.5 centimetres. Here is is shortly after it was caught. Photo: Justus Bengtsson-Korsås
A family in Solna, north of Stockholm, had no idea what was in store when their pet cat was too scared to go into the kitchen.
"We thought it could be a little mouse, but after a while we figured it couldn't be because it was making too much noise," Signe Bengtsson told The Local.
Her worst fears were confirmed while emptying the trash a few days later when she saw a rat guzzling leftovers under the sink.
"It was right there in our rubbish bin, a mighty monster. I was petrified. I couldn't believe such a big rat could exist," she said.
"I couldn't help but do the old classic and jump on the kitchen table and scream."
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Her husband Erik Korsås who was away at the time was dubious that such an enormous rat could really be living in his kitchen.
"When my wife called I said 'Yeah, sure, take it easy, I'll be home on Sunday. But by then it had jumped into the waste bin and had a Swedish smörgåsbord with all the leftovers," he said.
As the rat made more appearances over the next day, the family took to stomping around as they passed the kitchen to ensure they wouldn't meet the rat from hell again.
"By the time I got home, the rat was so domesticated that it just sat under the kitchen table," Korsås explained, adding that it had chewed through the water pipes connected to the dishwater and started a small flood.
When the family saw the rat scurrying into a nook behind the dishwasher, they put the kitchen on lockdown and called the pest controllers, who arrived with three heavy-duty traps with hazel nuts as a bait.
The rat got caught by the neck soon after, but didn't die immediately and scurried away behind the dishwasher again. Bengtsson called her husband home to deal with the creature, which later died. He measured the rat to be 39.5 centimetres from nose to the start of its tail.
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"The kids were afraid it would come back to life as some sort of zombie rat. They didn't want to touch it," Korsås added.
It turned out that the rat had found its way into the apartment cellars by chewing through cement and wood, the pest controllers explained.
"It was quite a shocking experience," Bengtsson said in summary. "No one wanted to go into the kitchen after, and the cat was terrified for a week. The pest controllers said they'd never seen such a big rat before."
As for the other family members, they've taken to joking about their ex-house guest.
"One of my sons said it was a Putin rat at breakfast this morning. But my older son, who has a few more years of education under his belt, said it was much more like a Viking rat and I agree with him," Korsås told The Local.