Pack rats are common in old houses in Crestone and in shallow caves in the foothills near Crestone.
In town they live in the hollow spaces in the walls and are active at night. There is great deal of thumping as they fight, or play, or whatever.... There is a distinctive urine odor. They habitually carry whatever they have found in the way of food or shiny objects around with them and will drop what they have when they find something "better." Which is how pieces of prickly pear are "traded" for a bar of soap or a sock or a diamond ring.
In nature they build nests of twigs and other rubbish in shallow caves. If nothing better is available they seem to live on prickly pear.
Pack rats and other rodents carry bubonic plague which is spread though the bite of fleas. Instances are rare but do occur in the Crestone area; anyone with a very high fever with no apparent explanation should seek medical help. Mortality associated with treated cases of bubonic plague is about 1–15%, compared to a mortality of 40–60% in untreated cases.