Unexpected visitors

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.

rat

a prettier-than-average rat

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.

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About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
This entry was posted in Countryside, Current Affairs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Unexpected visitors

  1. John Gamblin says:

    Very funny Jan. Reminds me of when I lived in a ‘villa’ in the Middle East – I returned one day to find a rat staring up at me from the toilet bowl. I flushed the loo but he was a better swimmer than Mark Spitz. 6 flushes later I put the seat down with a weight on top and went off to a movie. The bugger was still there grinning up at me on my return. Arghh – I hate to say that I went to bed leaving next doors cat in the bathroom (with my neighbours permission I hastily add). Problem solved.

  2. janh1 says:

    OMG G 🙂 A champion swimmer rat!! I’d love to have read your Trip Advisor report of that ‘villa.’ If it was one of my cats, they wouldn’t have thanked you for leaving them. I have a horrible feeling that they would scram from something as big as a rat 🙂 When one of them brought the baby bunny home, it hopped about in the hallway and they just watched and left it alone!

  3. Isobel says:

    If I had to choose between rats and cockroaches it would be rats every time. I see them from time to time. I see the evidence of them far more often. Perhaps what we fear most about rats is how they, like us, are survivors on the great dungheap of time. A dungheap the humans have created. Mind you, I draw the line at any animal stealing my chips. But what can you expect if you eat at Wetherspoons?

    • janh1 says:

      Re rats v cockroaches, I’m with you, Isobel. I’d probably share my chips if the rat was trained to look cute on command. But common theft should never be rewarded. 🙂

      • Isobel says:

        David Attenborough’s story about the rat coming up the toilet makes me feel quite unwell. They are clever creatures, and have pretty faces. If we were cleaner, maybe they would be less keen to live in such close proximity with us.

  4. sabinaA says:

    Hi Jan, get blog,reminded me my little mice! Before I had the wood burning stove fitted in my open fireplace I used to get these sweet little mice come down the chimney and scuttle about the place! In the evenings I have a snack of some fruit and cheer and crackers, and one of them ,knew the time perfectly, it will arrive and stand on its hind legs begging! With pleading eyes. But when they stated scuttling about in the conservatory and frightening the visitors,I had to take drastic measures. And alas they have disappeared,I cant say I don’t miss them!

  5. janh1 says:

    “Sweet little mice” – love it… and one even begged for food! I do like wood mice because they have big brown beady eyes and large ears. They are also *incredible* little jumpers. Found one in a big bag of birdseed in the garage. He’d got in but he couldn’t get out… liberated him in the wood 🙂

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