Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Night time visitor

As it happens, last Thursday evening we were watching a movie in our family room, and a visitor dropped down into our interior garden. Fortunately, both sliding glass doors were closed.

At first we didn't believe Peter's report, that a rat had dropped from the roof! After all, it seemed highly unlikely, at least so we thought. But, sure enough, he called us over to the door, and there, trying to hide at the base of the small tree was a brown rat.

He was about half the size of our smallest cat, Dolly. We put both Dolly and Ziggy, our huge male cat, into the garden, hoping that they would scare it back out. Dolly was extremely interested, once she saw the rat. Ziggy just wanted to go back inside to resume the last of his 23 hour nap.

We gave Dolly about thirty minutes, but then quickly grabbed both cats, closed, and locked the sliding glass doors. Meghan's room opens into the garden, and she reported hearing the rat attempting to find a way out. Dolly spent her evening with her head between the vertical blinds, watching it.

Early the next morning, the rat was still around, but had managed to climb a vine onto a shelf. Dolly zoomed outside as soon as one of the doors at the back of the house was opened. She climbed the guava tree, leapt onto the cabana, and disappeared. The rat had moved back down into the garden, and climbed the little tree. There he sat, perched, and perfectly still.

Tom went off to work, and his Spanish lessons, and I puttered around, keeping an eye out for Dolly. The kids woke up, and saw mister rat still sitting in the tree.

When our housekeeper, Martha, arrived, I quickly ushered her back to show it to her. She exclaimed, and indicated that as soon as our chauffeur, Manuel, arrived she would have him get rid of it.

Manuel succeeded, and I didn't ask about the remains. As a nice sidelight to our unwanted visitor, Martha arranged with our gardener to have it made beautiful, again.

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