Sunday, June 27, 2010


Today's picture is less than lovely. Yep, it's a dead rat in a jar. Put it there myself after Sachi brought it in last night. Alive, of course. The three of us chased it until it was cornered, then I caught it in a towel. I hate the way they squeal when they're scared. I worry about the cats or myself getting bitten.

I'm really ambivalent about the rat catching. On one hand, I'm glad they're killing any rats that have ventured into the vicinity. On the other, I hate that they bring their prey, still alive and kicking, into the house.

When we first moved into this house, the neighborhood was infested with rats. The second thing my crazy next door neighbor said to me (after asking if we would cut down all the trees in our yard) was that she hated the rats. She saw them scampering across her back yard (an easy thing as the only thing growing there is short-cut grass) and was afraid they'd bite her little boys.

Back then, one of the two cats who owned us was Handsome. He had supported himself before he convinced me that he owned me, so he was a deadly hunter. Fortunately he caught prey regularly enough that he soon understood this basic equation:
bring prey into house = human steals prey
He very quickly stopped bringing his catches in.

For the first summer we lived here, he laid a dead rat or three on the back door step every day. Next summer crazy neighbor lady commented that, gee, she hadn't seen any rats this year. I told her to thank Handsome.

We haven't, or should I say hadn't, had a problem with the vermin since.

A couple of years ago I discovered that a friend a few blocks away had an infestation. I was at her house and asked about the baby gate she had up in her open back door -- she has no baby. She told me it was to let the air in and keep the rats out. I decided it was kinder not to tell her that a baby gate is no barrier to a rat; they can squeeze through an opening the size of a quarter. I figure rats are too smart to come into a room already occupied by a number of humans and a basset hound.

I think the rats have marched up the hill to my neighborhood. I wish Handsome was still around to deal with them. (Heck, I wish he was still around period, he was a fine and excellent Little Dude.) He would leave them on the back porch instead of turning them loose in the basement. But I guess I'm glad the girls are killing them.


P.S. Here's a beautiful picture to make up for the ugly one up top:
Handsome Bob StrayCat, Bon Vivant, Tommy About Town (full name and titles)
Wasn't he grand and glorious?


jan said...

I had to re-read everything after, "I cought it in a towel"! I do not think I would catch a rat, even with a NASA approve impervious heat shield fabric, guaranteed to be bite proof! My daughter lives in NYC (rat central) and she said she accidently brushed on with her foot that crossed her path in mid-stride in the subway station. That creeped me out for days.

I think you are extraordinarily brave!

Wunx~ said...

Not so brave. It's a whole lot easier to catch it than to know it's running around in my house.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your great