I’m a Wimp
The last couple weeks I’ve noticed a creature is living in my garage. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but I assume it’s a rat. I’ve thought about leaving the door open to let the cats hang out in the garage but don’t want my pets getting into other potentially harmful stuff that may be out there. At least until I have the time to clean it out.
Then last night I was awoken by something trying to get into my chicken coop. I heard the distinct noise (twang) of the hardware cloth being pulled on and released. I quickly got up to see what was trying to get to my chickens and found my own cat pulling at the wire.
To get a better look at what my cat was trying to get (since I knew it wasn’t the chickens) I walked around to the other window and saw the sweetest looking rat sitting on top of my hen house — looking right at me with it’s doe eyes.
[Visualize picture of cute rat looking scared that I was too tired to take]
Instead of opening up the coop and letting my cat have a run at the rat, I went back to bed. I figure it had to leave the coop at some point and then it was fair game. In short; I’m a wimp.
I deserve to have rat poop all over my garage. Maybe I’ll put out some live traps soon and send this buddy to the woods (yes, I know this is also bad). We already know I can’t kill it. I’m open to your suggestions.
Haha, you are way tender-hearted if you think rats are cute! I say cats are the eco-friendly solution. They will get it before you know it! It will come out of the garage to get the chickens’ food and make itself vulnerable, until you get around to making the garage safe–that’s what I think. My kitties slay an endless stream of pests. Love ’em.
I’m with you. I wouldn’t be able to kill it either. I live in NYC, where rats get such a bad rap and where most people hate them. I say, “everyone has to eat – including rats…and they wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for us.” Where people go, rats will follow. They don’t want anything to do with us anyway, and usually run the other way. They’re just looking for food. It saddens me that people have so much intolerance toward them.
As for your little critter, it’s tough to know what to do! If it were me, I would probably not do anything at all for a week or so and see what happens. Perhaps nature will just take its own course (and the rat will leave the coop and become part of someone else’s food chain).
Relocation is always tricky. Who knows if this is a female rat with a nest of babies somewhere? (Not that you want a whole family moving into your yard, I know!)
I’m kind of surprised that the rat came around in spite of the smell of your cat, which must exist in your yard. We take care of a colony of feral cats in our yard (spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, fed 2x daily and given winter shelters) – we haven’t seen so much as a squirrel within 50 feet of our yard! Sounds kind of gross, but I wonder if you took some “used” litter from your cat’s litter box and occasionally sprinkled or placed it around the coop or in various spots throughout the yard if it would help to deter the rat from coming around? Gross, I know, but perhaps it would trick them into thinking there are a lot more cats around? Cats are certainly one of their top predators and I’ve heard they won’t touch an area where they think there are many cats…
That’s about all I can think of for now – good luck! :(
You have to consider rats as the greater evil and I agree if there was an eco friendly solution it is the cat.
This is a tough one. We had mice in our attic. I bought some bait and asked my husband put it up there. No more mice. I know it’s an inhumane thing to do. I just try not to think about it too much.
No, you are not a whimp.. it’s hard to almost impossible to kill anything. I think the best way to deal with mice is the natural way, get the cat! Mice outside are fine, but because they breed disease, in the house is not good, they are also very destructive.
A friend recommended your blog recently. I just started looking around, but I thought I would comment. If you haven’t dealt with it already, it is illegal in the state of Washington to relocate trapped animals. Legally, you’re only allowed to release it in the place it was trapped.
I recommend letting the cat do it’s thing. Good luck.
I would recommend just drowning it in a rain barrel if you use a live trap. It may be cruel but its part of life. Sometimes you create life in your garden, and sometimes you take away life from your garden :)
Either chase it out (I’m guessing the hunger factor over road the cat factor) or build it a pen and have a pet rat (watch for diseases though, especially with cleaning up said Rat Poop, your cat is also at risk, make sure it’s shots are up to date).
Frankly not much into killing animals myself and I’ve relocated many a mouse and rat in my time.
We try to keep them at bay here at the farm because of health reasons. If it is hanging around the chicken coup that might not be healthy for the chickens? Maybe the cat will win out!
that is hard, I am a vegan, but the rat has gotta go!