R.I.P. Mr Giant Rat

The rodent problem.

Here at Echo Camp, Dos Pos, we share the house with many other beings. Rodents (rat and mouse), big flying bugs, scorpions, lizards, geckos, bats, and a yellow warbler.

The rat is a giant rat I swear, as I’ve never seen one so large. He lives in the general store cupboard. The mouse is miniscule, as mice generally are. He lives in my bedroom I believe. Between them they manage to make chaos in the kitchen at night. This includes throwing stuff off shelves therefore making lots of noise, gnawing through anything and everything, spilling spices and juices all over the shelves, pooing all over the work surfaces, and actually getting us down quite a bit. It’s been an endless battle. We shop once per week for four of us. Our fridge is tiddly, which means we can’t possibly get everything in it and therefore rodent proof.

There’s been mention of putting down traps since I arrived here. Now I am a firm believer that a clean home has no interest for hungry rodents. But our problem here is the expense of water. We therefore have a ‘wash up once per day rule ‘. This means that there are always mountains of filthy pots, pans and cutlery. Yum yum say the rodents. So if there wasn’t this constant supply of easy pickings, would the rodents be giving us such a hard time. I don’t think so. So, the idea of inviting them in for a free meal and then killing them is something I can never condone. However, a few days ago I gave up my argument and accepted nobody wanted to hear it.

The traps didn’t work though. I was secretly relieved. Last night we returned to Dos Pos in the dark. Mango knew the giant rat was in the kitchen immediately. She raced in there and fast as lightening she had him. Clenched those strong rottweiler jaws down and Mr giant rat was no more. I knew he had to go. And what a way to go. Mango did not then attempt to eat him. She was gentle with the corpse. It almost seemed she respected him. I know I’m anthropomorphising. But you know, I think they’ve been battling for an awfully long time.

Sent from my Sony Xperia™ smartphone


About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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