Friday, March 20, 2009

Fat baby rat

There's a certain type of call Winnie does when she brings a "present" into the house for me. It's a cross between a purr and a miaow, and hearing it puts me into an immediate state of alertness. Time to rescue another little creature!

Winnie's pretty good at not killing things before she shows them to me - although there was that one occasion where a full-grown rat bled to death on my kitchen floor while I watched in frozen horror... but we won't go there right now.

This time it was a very plump-looking large mouse - or was it a baby rat? I wasn't too sure, but - having caught Winnie's rats in the past and learned from the first painful experience - I was definitely going to put some leather gloves on before I attempted to grab it.

I managed to get Winnie to drop it after a couple of attempts, then I shoved her out of the living room, closed both doors and went looking for my rat-catcher gloves. By the time I got back with hands fully protected the mouse/rat had disappeared from its little hiding-place under the TV, and was nowhere to be seen. Dammit!

I spent ages searching the whole of the living room with torch in hand - under the sofa, under the chairs, under the bookcases and behind the curtains - but I couldn't find it anywhere. Eventually I gave up and settled back down to watch TV. I knew Winnie and Bailey would help.

Later on in the evening, as I was having a cigarette outside on the deck, I noticed Bailey getting very interested in the flower basket by the back door. Aha! I threw down my cigarette and raced inside and - bingo! There was the rat/mouse, trying desperately to hide behind the curtain. I grabbed my gloves again - by which time Winnie was in hot pursuit.

She and I both managed to get it at almost the same moment - it squeaked like crazy and ran up the table leg. Ah - it's definitely a rat. A fat baby rat. With its teeth biting hard into my leather glove I managed to grab it by the tail, pushed Winnie out the way, and escaped out the back door with my prize. I let it go in a flowerbed at the end of the garden. Phew!

Ecologically-minded readers may ask why I allowed a pest and an enemy-of-native-flora-and-fauna to go free and fight another day. I confess - I can't kill things, and I can't watch them being killed either. I just can't do it, so I have no option but to rescue them from my cats and liberate them - whatever the species.

Hope Winnie doesn't catch it again though...

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