Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Operation RatWatch

We have a KitchenRat.
This is not funny. I heard scufflings and scrapings whilst making Nat's sandwich midweek , and despite the fact that two of the cats were staring pointedly at the alley between the fridge freezer and the wall , assumed that they were looking for a spider . I think this is called Denial.

The cats sat there for most of the day , only leaving the RatWatch post for food or related activities ( littertray). The other two cats joined them at various points standing behind them ( in case the rat was large) watching carefully . Still I was too busy to think.
The following morning I came down first - rare for me but Alice had insisted on a Nocturnal Ablution session and D was recovering with a Late Start .

En Route to the cat feeding station I noted a moist guinea pig dropping on the bench and scooped it up with a piece of kitchen roll thinking to myself Honestly thats all I need , the Pigsters projecting their poo up out of their quarters and onto the food preparation areas . Pah and double pah! Wiping up and washing hands was the extent of the attention I paid to that . D appeared and peering at the bench further said "Where have all these all mucky marks come from " pointing at a run of large footprints leading from behind the fridge freezer to the kitchen sink . Hmm . "Ive just cleaned up a guinea pig poo" I offer helpfully .... which on reflection might have been a ratpoo... "

D fetches various disinfectants and other heavy duty cleansers and gets down to business inspecting the footprints as he goes . These could be bird prints , he says , in a weak voice . That , I say , is called Denial . Or wishful thinking . It doesnt work . Where , for example is the Bird now? Birds don't typically squeeze back down the hole they came in through. t
They bash about against the windows. We need to face it . Its a rat . Possibly Rats . Someone has to ring Environmental health . And the last time I rang them about the one in the Attic that that wimpy plumber said he saw , no one ever even rang back about .
I 'm onto it , he says . Later .

Later that day we have a torch and three of us are in the Kitchen mounting a search .It is widely believed that  the cats , or some of the cats have come face to face , and are not happy . Some of them are looking depressed and are facing the wall in D's office , as if meditatiing . They are no longer on RatWatch . That job has fallen to the Humans . The dog has no interest , though she is keen to eat the catfood as ever  , under the guise of catching a rat .

I climb onto the bench and train the torch behind the freezer . It is a narrow space , dark and there is an adjustment period for the eyes . I have to position and reposition my glasses . Nat has already tried and seen nothing . I move the torch up and down and decide my specs are better off , for long distance viewing . I am long sighted after all . It is still very dark , with a smallish circle lit . I move the circle and find what looks like a ball of something . I am not terribly squeamish but I am not wholly  at ease. It appears to be a ball of dust , cobwebby and grim . It is unpleasant . I move the torch , I am aware in the background that Nat is on the phone to the right of me . Beneath the ball of dust , a large greasy black rat shuffles across my line of vision and then disappears . I find myself shouting very loudly and I hear Nat saying Oh my mum has just seen the Rat  Oh My God . I seem to be shouting very loudly and D is shouting Which way is it going?  the over arching feeling is one of my legs weakening and failing .
Nat ends her call and comes to help me down from the bench . I am laughing helplessly .
We have a Rat . It is Official .

And , judging by the weather , snow snow and more snow , we may have a rat for a while longer .
Envirolink are scheduled to arrrive to deal on Monday afternoon . In the meantime , every time we leave the kitchen , a rat or rats appear to be skipping about on the benches . The cats are occasionally on RatWatch but mostly they are subdued and not themselves . Perhaps cats too  have that primal scared of rats feeling that I myself have experienced?

3 comments:

Silliyak said...

I hope you have gotten rid of the rats by now. Hopefully they haven't gotten rid of you! If that's the case, I, for one, welcome our new rat overlords and promise fealty until the end.

BetteJo said...

I had that one tiny mouse that has not shown up since the day I found it, I hope it decided a house with 4 cats is not a welcoming place. But a rat? That would make me uncomfortable. And - I'm thinking the kitties are pondering turning in their cat cards, as they are more afraid than the humans!
I'm guessing mine would be too. Sigh-h-h.

joan said...

Like Bette Jo, we have encountered mice, we have a electric thing you plug in, but if you have piggies in vicinity this is not an option, have been thinking of you
lv joan xx

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