Associations and accessors...has to be something obvious I'm doing wrong

I'm quite the Rails beginner because I'm trying to do something pretty
fundamental with associations. I think I just need a good shove in the
right direction. TIA!

schema:
CREATE TABLE `ticket_statuses` (
  `id` int(11) NOT NULL,
  `status` varchar(255) default NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
);

CREATE TABLE `tickets` (
  `id` int(11) NOT NULL,
  `title` varchar(255) default NULL,
  `details` text,
  `status_id` int(11) default NULL,
  `opened_at` datetime default NULL,
  `closed_at` datetime default NULL,
  `last_activity_at` datetime default NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`id`),
  KEY `fk_ticket_status` (`status_id`),
  CONSTRAINT `fk_ticket_status` FOREIGN KEY (`status_id`) REFERENCES
`ticket_statuses` (`id`)
);

models:
Ticket belongs_to :ticket_status
TicketStatus has_many :tickets

ticket controller:
...
def list
    @ticket_pages, @tickets = paginate :tickets, :order => "id DESC",
:per_page => 10
end
...

ticket list view:
...
<% for ticket in @tickets %>
    <tr class="<%= cycle("list-line-odd", "list-line-even") %>">
        <td class="name"><%= link_to ticket.id, { :action => 'show',
:id => ticket }, :class => 'ticket-yellow' %></td>
        <td class="name"><%= h(ticket.title) %></td>
        <td><%= ticket.ticket_status.status %></td>
        <td><%= ticket.last_activity_at %></td>
    </tr>
<% end %>
...

error:
You have a nil object when you didn't expect it!
The error occured while evaluating nil.status

Extracted source (around line #16):

13: <tr class="<%= cycle("list-line-odd", "list-line-even") %>">
14: <td class="name"><%= link_to ticket.id, { :action =>
'show', :id => ticket }, :class => 'ticket-yellow' %></td>
15: <td class="name"><%= h(ticket.title) %></td>
16: <td><%= ticket.ticket_status.status %></td>
17: <td><%= ticket.last_activity_at %></td>
18: </tr>
19: <% end %>

I'm trying to display the ticket's actual status, not the status_id.
Do I have an association setup incorrectly? Am I breaking a naming
convention or something? Thanks for any help!

Hi --