Monday, February 25, 2008


Well, a rat. A dead one to be precise. In my compost heap. The cheek!

I went down to add more stuff to the compost on Saturday morning (would have done the same on Wednesday but it was dark so didn't notice anything) and noticed some mangy looking fur lying on top of but kind of burrowed into one corner. I've seen cats climbing over the compost heap before (collapsing the top of it every time, I really should put a solid top on it) so although it didn't really look like a cat that was my first thought, that a cat had dug in for the heat. But cats don't like to get dirty, do they? I gave the fur a poke and it didn't move and then I noticed the big long tail at the end of the pile of fur. Eeeeww!!!! Which reaction caused me to think I may not be cut out for country life one little bit! I was also, to be honest, quite scared and had every fact/myth I'd ever heard about rats running through my head. I don't run or else I might very well have run screaming up the garden into the safety of the house. As it was there was definitely some shuddering and I was no sooner in the "safety" of the house when I remembered there's a cat flap in the back door (from previous owners) which doesn't shut and my head was promptly filled with visions of giant rats invading via the cat flap to take revenge on me for messing with one of their dead.

Hmmm. Yes. This is why I never watch horror films on purpose.

I left it alone and went out yesterday morning and it still hadn't moved so I bit the bullet, grabbed it by the tail and put it into a plastic bag and threw it in the bin. Really, finding a plastic bag was the most difficult part of the exercise. But I'm still a bit shuddery.

Now for the practical bit where I need to probably dismantle that compost heap to make sure there's no nest in it (it gets turned about once a month and I've never noticed anything before). Can I use that compost safely or should I make sure to only use it on flowerbeds and not edible ones? I'm sure I've seen this discussed so will have to go and search. Anyone with any tips please let me know.

1 comment:

Irish Sallygardens said...

We dont worry about rats, they come and go, they are all over the place. Luckily two of our for cats are great ratters/mousers which means we find a dead one every now and then. Otherwise I think we wouldn't even know they were around at all.