Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New frequent visitor - Tues 18 Jan

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'?


  1. You are so kind to all the critters, and Ratty may think you'll protect him/her from the predators. Just you wait, rascal Ratty, just you wait! Maybe he/she already knew from previous experience that you weren't a mortal threat!

    I was glad to read on your earlier post that you saw "our" owls; they certainly seem to be doing well! What a joy to see them now and again, I'm sure.

    Our winter break is almost over, and my college will start Spring Semester next Monday. I'm not thrilled, except for the fact that as soon as the semester is over, we're heading to South Africa for our summer!

    Hope you are having a delightful and wonderful new year! All the best to you and yours.

  2. Hi Tracy, As I read your story of 'Ratty', I cringed thinking of you 'brooming' him toward the door! I hope PPO has been monitoring your balcony.
    Maybe she had tried to catch it and it was trying to find a way out of its demise...could be, no?
    Thanks for keeping up with your blog. I ck it daily. Miss the owlettes but have realized it is hearing from you and Allan. You both made following the owls a pleasure. Thank you! Zpinkbug

  3. Hi Tracy:

    I just had to tell you how excited I get every time I see that you have posted something new on your blog. I really enjoy reading it. It's so nice that you keep us up to date with what is happening with PPO and her family. I was glad that one of the chicks that died wasn't from PPO's family but still so very sad to know that another chick had lost his/her life. It sounds like you set things straight with Ratty so hopefully he will not come back and try to move in with you and Allan!

    It is cold here in the Midwest where I live - in St. Louis, MO and we are expecting 4-6 inches of snow in a couple of days. Oh - how I am looking forward to spring in a couple of months and warmer days where I can leave my windows open and enjoy the smell of the spring air and witness once again the daffodils in bloom. All the best to you, Allan and the owl family.


  4. "Sigh! Is this really the home for 'all creatures'?"
    Looks like your home is very attractive to many creatures.. predators and preys as well.. ;D

    We all enjoy your stories so much! Thanks!!!

  5. OMG Tracy...ratty is in for a big surprise! Take a picture and post it lol. Those owlets would have full tummys p~~

  6. Oh Tracy...you are too good. My brain instantly went to Owl Food! Bless you!

  7. Well, Tracy, every post from you is good news - it's always so delightful and so interesting to read your blog. But here rats are considered serious pests, and your Ratty would have an even shorter life than if he met up with Pappa and PPO. We'd have the pest control people in within hours and that would be the end of Ratty. I realise, though, that living as close to some green space as you do, you could get all kinds of "wild life". Well, good luck keeping the house for yourselves.

    How goes the petition? Any news lately?

    Bless you all - the beasts, the children, the four-legged creatures - enjoy it all. Just don't get bitten!

    From the cold and frozen north - Helen

  8. Glad to keep up with your animal tales/tails. I was thinking this "ratty" may have been someones pet at one time. He seems to be unafraid of humans and brooms. Hope he knows what an owl is and stays undercover with his own family come spring. Lots of owls to watch online this year. Thanks for sharing your home with us.