With the owls gone, we've settled back down into an uncomplicated (but certainly less entertaining) routine. At least this was the case until a few days ago, when we received a rather unusual visitor.
It was late afternoon and we were sitting outside in the garden, enjoying the last rays of sunshine. Doors and windows were left wide open because temperatures had been soaring for days. I went inside to the dining room and as I got close to the window, the curtains rustled. I pulled the curtain back, and guess what had made its way into our home? A big brown rat! It looked up at me, then scurried away, hiding under a pot plant. It took a few minutes of 'broom-dancing' with Ratty before we got it out the front door.
The next night, I was closing up the house downstairs and Allan was upstairs in the bedroom. We had left the balcony door open - one of the few things we really miss being able to do when the owls are around. Suddenly Allan called to me "We have a visitor". I rushed upstairs to find Ratty again - this time under my bed. More broom-dancing with Ratty took place, before we eventually got Ratty to walk out (not run for its life like I thought a sensible rat being confronted by a threatening human with a broomstick would do).
Two nights later, again just before going to bed, I went into our office and heard the pitter patter of tiny feet running on the carpet. I didn't even have to switch on the light to know who it was.
On Ratty's last visit, I had a good talk with him / her while I was sending Ratty back outdoors. I politely explained to Ratty that I live inside and he / she lives outside - along with all its family members. I told Ratty that while it may think it should 'make hay while the sun shines' and the owls are gone, it is not a good idea to set up camp anywhere near our house.
"In another month or two, Pot Plant Owl and Pappa will be back, and then what will you do, Ratty?" I questioned.
Ratty didn't answer of course, but by the look on its face, I don't think it is particularly worried.
My bets are on PPO and Pappa winning this.
As much as I like(?) Ratty, I don't want it in our home, so have now had to resort to putting screening up to cover open windows and doors. So far, so good - although this Ratty is quite the lateral thinker and may just have a few more visits planned yet.
Sigh! Is this really the home for 'all creatures'?