One of the things rats do is appear when you least expect them.
A prime example was the one in Wetherspoons pub in Trowbridge recently.
A bloke was out with his girl when he felt something bump into his leg and found that a “sewer-sized rat” was climbing up his trousers.
Worse was to come. It seized a chip from his fingers and made off! Dogs will always want to share chips but at least they have the good grace to sit and look waggy-tailed and appealing until you hand one over. Plus they don’t keep you awake by galloping about in the attic at night.
Rats, I suspect, are beginning to believe that they own the place.
I was chatting to a fellow dog walker one summer day when, just across the road, a rat turned up at the bus stop. He just sat in the sun on the warm concrete enjoying the summer day. Then another rat turned up and sniffed nonchanently around on the grass verge. Rats.. a bit like buses, really.
As the chap in Trowbridge found out though, it’s much more disturbing when they invade your personal space. One Sunday, my family were assembled around the dining table as I was just serving up Sunday dinner.
Mother-in-law was a guest. For some reason she glanced out of the patio doors and gave something a hard stare.
“Is that a rat eating an orange on your lawn?”
Cutlery poised as we were all about to make a start on the roast Welsh lamb, we turned to look at the garden and yes.. there was a large brown rat sitting up on his haunches holding and nibbling half an orange.
His manner was relaxed, as though he was a beloved pet having a little Sunday afternoon romp among the flowers and in no particular rush to return to his cage.
“Oh yes. It does look like one,” I replied casually, as though we always have a rat-infested garden. I didn’t really enjoyed the lamb.
I spoke to a woman once who had complained to her holiday company about rats that appeared at night when she was leaving the restaurant on an island in the Maldives to walk back to her apartment.
They gave her the creeps, scurrying about in the dark. They even ran around her feet as she queued for the buffet! The holiday company letter addressing her complaint was hilarious.
They explained that the creatures were not , in fact, rats but Maldavian Palm Hamsters. She managed to take some snaps of the cute “hamsters” and they did look incredibly similar to rats..
Rats do have their fans, though. A doctor colleague of mine loves her pet rats and says they are incredibly intelligent, friendly and good company.
Well they must be if they’d run up a man’s leg to get a chip. I dread to think what they might do to secure a cheesy chip.
But *nothing* – and I mean *nothing* – is as bad as finding a cockroach in your knicker drawer.