In which Haiku Farm welcomes a new fully-weaponized resident

It's been a bonus year for rats.

Last summer was a blissful mix of sunshine and occasional rain, not too hot, not too cold, and LOTS of grass and weed seeds to fill the bellies of hungry rats and their hungry offspring.

Then came winter:  an atypically cold one.  Lots of frozen days.  Not much unfrozen water available, and even less food for hungry rats.

Except, of course, in the barn.

The barn was full of food, shelter, and water for the chickens, the goats, the horse...and the rats.

Haiku Farm welcomes Mistress Esmeralda Weatherwax, polydact, barn cat.

The Ratinator made a dent.  But for every rat in the trap, there were ten more rats in the barn, and most of those were pregnant.  Incidentally, if you Google "Ratinator" you can find the link to the Ratinator (TM): Human Live Trap.  Don't buy from people who trap people!

Jim's pellet gun was about as successful as the trap:  good for a few hours of rat-plinking entertainment.

Poison on a place like ours is too risky--the floofs are curious, food-motivated, and they can fit into teeny spaces.  

We began to suspect that our efforts were simply breeding faster, stronger, smarter rats.

We contemplated hiring a piper, but those seem to always come with unintended consequences we would prefer to avoid.

So that brings us to the traditional solution for rats.

Esme has several confirmed rodent kills at her former residence.

We have attempted the barn cat solution in the past, and concluded that we just didn't have the right cat.  (Samantha Barn Cat moved into town a few years ago, and lives with Henry.  Her new name in her new home is "Chubs.")

The dogs aren't convinced that the feline person behind the closed, latched door deserves that wonderful-smelling catfood.  

But I am already charmed by her.

Okay, Esme: show us your stuff!

She's a nice kitty.  I hope the rats do not agree.


  1. We have two polydactyl barn cats. Vermin can't escape that extra toe lol

  2. My poly-cat has seven on each front and five on the back. Total of 24 - not the world record - sadly. He's an excellent hunter (when he overcomes his laziness), but his forte is tree climbing.


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