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Tuesday, November 04 2014

         As has already been established, I can handle dead bodies. I can do bloody bodies. I can do hanging bodies. I can do rotting bodies. What I cannot do - is rat bodies. No. Negative Ghost Rider. Sister doesn't do rats, live or dead. When I was a kid I read a children's book that taught me how to deal with rats. Well partially. Unlike the sultan, I would have stopped while I was ahead.  The story goes like this:

There was a king or raja or sultan who loved cheese. He filled his palace with cheese. The problem was that the palace was also filling with rats. In hindsight, I think they were mice because they were cute. A mouse can pull off cute. Rats have trouble with it. Something about those scaly hairless tails. Anyway, to combat his rodent problem, the king got cats.

And the cats took care of the rats. But in no time, he had a problem with cats everywhere. The book didn't mention litterboxes, but three hundred cats flinging kitty litter everywhere would be a problem. So to get rid of the cats, the sultan got dogs.

(I think I'm at that point in my home now.)

The dogs quickly chased the cats away. And then he had dogs lazing around the palace, digging holes, chewing the furniture. (Perhaps he should have invested in some dog crates too.) Anyway, the dogs were ruining the palace, so they had to go. How do you get rid of dogs?


Yes, the sultan brought in lions. And the dogs left. But now he had lions lazing around everywhere. (There was still no mention of kitty litter. I'm just sayin'.)

Anyway, to get rid of the lions, the sultan brought in elephants! Yes, elephants. And it worked. The lions hit the high road. But elephants hanging around the palace created a whole nuther set of problems so now he had to get rid of elephants. And guess what he did?

He brought the mice back! They scared the elephants away, and he and the mice lived in the cheese palace happily ever after.


Lessons learned:  You don't need an exterminator. Use natural predators. Spay and neuter. Keep them outside or get a litter box.

We are in the midst of a rat invasion in the barn. Nadine the Rat Snake has moved on, and the rats are taking over. I expect to look out one night to find them carting Briar off. The dogs kill them when they can, but rats are smarter than mice, so it isn't as easy to catch them. Other Half has tried traps and poison, but these rats merely laugh in his face as they rip open bags of cattle feed. They have built underground palaces beneath the feed room.

Long before traps or poison (which I really don't like!) I would have gotten cats. I had cats on my old farm. And guess what? I had no rats! I had wonderful, sweet, beautiful, highly efficient paid assasins. I tried to bring them with me when I moved to this new house, but alas, my efforts failed, and I was forced to return them to the old farm where my mother was able to coax them to move in with her onto the property next door. I miss them, but I see them at her house. They are happy and healthy.

But I have rats here. I need cats here. As I've watched Other Half battle the rats, and lose miserably, I remind him that when we retire to North Texas we WILL be getting barn cats, because I flat-ass refuse to live with rodents, and up there, if you have rodents, copperheads WILL move in to take care of your problem.

So imagine this. I'm sitting at work when I get a text from Other Half:

"I saw Michelle had some barn cars get one, theyre not house cats love u"

Translated: Since Michelle doesn't do anything with cars, I assumed he meant cats. He was probably playing on facebook in a deer blind and saw that our friend Michelle who does animal rescue was trapping and spaying feral cats. She needed barn homes for these cats, and so he finally gave in and admitted his technology-based weapons of war were not effective against rats. He hates cats, but he hates rats in the feed room more.

So I quickly texted him that we need two instead of just one. (That's two homeless cats off the streets instead of one!) He agreed not so much because he cared about homeless cats, but because he was on board with the idea of having a spare cat.  (You can clean them up and dress them up, but they're still guys. . . )

I am reminded of many years ago when I had a similar problem. My old barn cat had died, and God sent me a tiny new Rat Warrior who grew to become a mighty hunter who turned the tide on the rodent invasion.

So in the next few days we'll have a couple of Ninja cats that'll remain prisoners for a while until they figure out that our barn is where food, water, shelter, and rat toys are provided. And then the proper Circle of Life can begin without the artificial aid of poisons and traps that don't work at all if you have smart rats.

   Read:  Karma

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:23 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Can't wait to see pictures and hear your stories about them.
Posted by Sharon on 11/09/2014 - 08:29 PM
I had planned to post today but got too busy. If you check the Facebook page you can see their picture. They're finally coming out of hiding. Briar is curious.
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 11/09/2014 - 08:47 PM
Sheri I have five barn cats, all mine from a six month old female kitten my daughter brought home six years ago - Momma cat had four kittens, couldn't find homes so neutered them all and threw them out by the barn. They are a PIA and eat hard and canned food every day - SPOILED!- but I haven't seen a rat, mouse or snake anywhere near my barn in six years. :-)
Posted by Jennifer on 11/11/2014 - 12:29 PM
Do you know these cats haven't even been released from their wire crate yet and already the rats have stopped ripping into feed sacks!!! Wow! Even the snake wasn't this good!
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 11/11/2014 - 12:41 PM

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