Oooh, I had an interesting night yesterday. A big rat has been living inside for at least three weeks and after a handful of failed attempts to catch it, victory was finally mine and she was sweet, too! The problem with rats is that once they get comfortable, they invite their friends, they have parties, hey they also have orgies. Indeed they start climbing all over the place and it seriously doesn’t matter where you leave things like dirty dishes etc., they can climb up all the places you might think they won’t get to. Yesterday was quite frustrating, I had been waiting for three weeks for two cubic meters of builder’s mix to be delivered and once again no sign of a driver and no communication either.
I called the contractor and he still couldn’t give me a date or time – “maybe Friday, all my guys are attending a First Aid course tomorrow. Yeah, maybe Friday.” Fortunately, we agreed that I just show up and rent the 4×4 truck, get my loads from the quarry and deliver them myself. At least some progress had been made and I wasn’t too frustrated any more. That was when I heard something moving in the cupboard and seconds later, I saw an ear. Momo the cat was inside and noticed it too. He was all eager to start with but when he recognized the big rat, all the excitement was gone. As if Momo had accepted that the rat was another pet and he was living with me.
A bit strange since he catches heaps of rats but yesterday night, the rat walked passed him at least three times and Momo didn’t do anything else but standing in my way. As mentioned, I had encountered the rat a few times before yesterday night and had attempted to kill or catch it. The trap went off most nights, but there was no rat to be seen in the morning. I suppose he was so big that he just pulled himself out again. On one occasion I saw it hiding and threw a big rock at it, injuring his back leg but, no kill. On another occasion I tried to stab it with a knife and severed a small piece of the tail. Again, no kill.
Yesterday had to be the night though. The rat was starting to get too comfortable, just walking passed me and not even trying to hide any more. It suddenly disappeared after a bit of a chase but I was able to figure out where his small home within the big home was. It was in a corner of a banana box and while he thought he was hiding well, I knew where it was, but obviously couldn’t see it. I used a mirror to pin point its exact location and stabbed a big knife through the box.
What followed were screams and vibrations. I felt victorious but after taking the lid of the box away, there was f***all but a trail of blood. I followed the blood and – oh, I didn’t mention this was at 0100 in the morning – saw it hiding in a corner. I started opening all corners of the A-Frame up – Momo still sitting next to the fire and observing me – and baited the conventional rat trap and a cage trap that I have.
I heard and saw it munching on the cheese that it grabbed out of the cage and remained very silent, whilst being pissed off to the max! Minutes later I watched it go into the cage again to grab another piece and was able to throw my knife on the trap, enough vibrations to activate the mechanism and to trap it.
Victory after all. A big, ugly rat trapped. Oh boy was it ugly, a bit of the tail was missing, there were more gashes on the tail and on its cheek. The latter must have been where I got it with the knife. One eye was almost hanging out and very milky, the ears looked like those of a rugby player, one back leg looked funny, kind of broken but not really. I killed it in the trap and burned its remains in the fire place. Was really eager to take a picture of it. To document how ugly and beaten up the rat was but I abide by the Geneva Convention, which prohibits taking pictures of prisoners of war!
Well, I suppose the Convention also prohibits killing prisoners and burning them, but there was no other option.
And guess what, I went to the yard today, got the truck and managed to cart about three tons of builder’s mix to the beginning of my driveway. Incident free, which was of course the plan. My private driveways are each about 70 meters long but very steep and there was unfortunately no chance of getting the 4×4 truck all the way up to the site. I had enough foresight to backing it up the steep bit. When you get wheel spin on gravel on a steep gradient, you’ll be glad if you can just roll down in first gear forward, instead of having to reverse it out of the trouble zone. I’m happy though, the loads are finally here and I just have to shovel the mix into fish bins and drive them up with the quad.
I actually enjoyed driving the truck, it was all easier than I thought and although the roads are very steep, windy and narrow over here, things went well. Mainly because I adhered to the number one rule. Take it easy and think about what you are doing!