16 November 2008
This is a rat. For those of you who have never seen one before. That is my size ten shoe next to its tail, so you can see how long it is. Was. One of the cats deposited this in the front yard, right below my bedroom window - no doubt as a love offering. I must tell them that, like most girls, I do prefer flowers.
There are two unusual things about this rat. The first is that although its neck has been severely mangled, the head remains attached to the body. Generally, when Finny catches a rat he likes to leave the body in one part of the yard and the head in another. It doubles the pleasure for me, you see. The second is that when Pounce catches a rat she usually eats them, leaving only a tiny piece of offal by the front door. She often vomits her meal up somewhere afterwards. Which is the only logical response to having eaten a rat.
The cats get all their rats from the back yard of our next door neighbours. There was no one home over there when I found it so I was tempted to fling it back over the fence, or at least tuck it under the kids' cubby house. Instead it joined the various bits of its brethren in a hole up behind the shed.
These nightly killings are the reason I don't have a cat flap: with one installed, the house would be littered with rat parts. Instead I'm woken in the middle of the night (as is the rest of the neighbourhood) by Pounce yowling at the front door, clutching a rat in her jaws. I turn on the light, open the door a crack, tell her what a good girl she is and then slam the door in her face. Sometimes I have to repeat the process a couple of times but she eventually gets the (somewhat confusing) message.
"No wonder your cats have psychological problems," said QEII.