Thursday, 29 October 2009


I’m sitting at the table in the back room trying to get a package label together to send our disc printer off for maintenance and I can hear a metallic tapping noise under the table. Very apprehensively, I peer behind the sewing machine (you have to get right under the table to do this, so you can’t make a rapid exit easily. This is a bit worrying.) and there I see what seems to be a mouse with a trapped leg – but no sign of the chocolate! I pull the sewing machine out of the way and left S to pick it up on the shovel to take out into the back garden. Apparently it squeaked at him when he picked it up (complete with trap) which he found a bit unnerving. Having deposited it on the grass he said what do you want me to do? To which, the only real answer is kill it. After all, with a broken leg it’s not going to survive anyway. So he whacked it with the shovel which did the job – bit too enthusiastically really because the trap got rather flattened.

So – was it a mouse …. or a baby rat? Urgent internet research revealed a table and photos. Having deposited the carcass into one of those sealable bags it was decided, on the basis of large head, small ears, thick tail and bigger back feet, that this was definitely, oh no, a baby rat.

More, rather more urgent internet research threw up the added information that litters can be up to 12. So we’ve caught one …. trouble is they start to breed from six weeks, pregnancy lasts about three weeks – say we had six boys and six girls – just do the maths ….

Everyone now being rather twitchy, and conscious of bottoms of trouser legs. Go out to buy some Marigolds, as research shows they’re best when dealing with rodents.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

In which things go very quiet

Nothing – for several days …..

I’m in the kitchen, and I happen to glance at the door to the hall. Now when we rebuilt the kitchen we moved the ‘step down’ from the hallway round the corner and consequently the kitchen door is now about three inches off the ground. This is another of these things that will get fixed, one day. Anyway, as I said, I glanced towards the door and underneath it I could see what looked like a little paw sort of clawing underneath. Now this is rather worrying because I didn’t think the rat would be that bold and I’m now getting quite apprehensive. So I stamped my way towards the door and flung it open. Nothing.

Well that was a relief. So I shut the door again and then I realise that the “paw” is still there. Quickly I open the door again – but still nothing there. And then I realise that what I can see is actually a bit of fluff stuck to the bottom of the door which is moving in the breeze because it’s quite a windy day, and my brain has decided that this is a rat’s paw.

I actually tried this out on other members of the household, and they all fell for it, too.