Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Look at the size of that thing..."

I was woken up this morning at 3am by a familiar series of noises :

Thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-THUMP !

Thumpa-thumpa-thumpa ! Thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa! THUMP !

Thumpa-thumpa ... etc.

I knew pretty much what it was straight away. It was our cat Shadow racing around in the hallway outside our bedroom. She only ever does that for one of two reasons:

1 ) She is playing with one of her toys - catnip mouse or catnip ball ( or, more likely, I am using the laser pointer to get her to chase the "Red Dot of Mystery" round and round the house. Best cat toy EVER ).


2) She is 'playing' ( ie - torturing slowly to a painful death ) with some small creature she's managed to catch ( usually a mouse - but there have been skinks, cicadas and the occassional weta. She LOVES catching birds - but she doesn't really do well in stalking avians. I'm not sure why. ).

Seeing as I am in bed - and NOT in the hall with a laser pointer - I'm pretty sure that it's the latter. She's been better with bringing in her kills lately - usually I take them off her and let them go ( not that I want to save the life of vermin - but usually because I don't want them getting away from her and escaping somewhere in the house. We've had mice on the loose for up to a week before she manages to catch them again and finish them off - and there's at least one skink who died in the ventilation tubes by getting into the grills in the floor while Shadow was feigning disinterest. ) so she's learned NOT to bring them in until they are dead ( or so rooted that they aren't fun anymore ). I really can't be bothered to put myself on vermin extraction duty at three in the freaking morning - and it sounds like she has things under control, so I drift off back to sleep.

When I get up to do some exercise ( it's a Tuesday, so that's a StepMania morning instead of a run ) I'm pretty wary. The last thing you want to do at 5.30 is step on a partially eviserated rodent ( like I did in a certain flat while I was living in Wanganui - mouse guts are a freaking pain to get out of a carpet, let me just tell you that ! ). My eyes adjust to the dark, and I don't see any unusual shaped objects about. "Sweet" I think "She took it outside when she was done. Good kitty".

I get on my track pants, a t-shirt and flick on the lights to downstairs.

And discover the RAT halfway down.

And not just any rat ! This was some BIG freaking rat ! It must have been about quarter of the size ( at least ) of Shadow herself ! We're talking KING-SIZE rodent here. Man. Gross. I think it might have been just a little bit alive too ( I think it's tail moved ).

I scraped it onto a spade with a rake - and then took it to the corner of our street before launching it into some bushland, catapult-like.

I'm just glad that Viva didn't get up while Shadow was finishing off Ratty. I think she would have royally freaked out. Heck - I would have !


Meredith said...

So R.O.U.S's exist then?

Con-man said...

A third the size of Shadow (not the biggest cat in the world), is hardly an R.O.U.S. Here I am in London, where it is said that you are never more than 20 feet from a rat, and 4000 rats are born every hour! I saw this large glossy specimen disappear down a hole outside my window that would have been at least half a Shadow, and would have had Meredith's rather large cats running in abject fear.

Seraph said...

I still maintain it was a freaking big rat. Sure - it might pall in comparison to some of your English rats ( Such as Beckam ), but I say that any rat you have to catapult in to a neighbours back section at 5.30 am is too big !
On reflection it was more like half the size of her - but you're right, Shadow is hardly a heavyweight.