Monday, April 23, 2007

Life is Like that Sometimes

I feel like a murderer, a serial killer of sorts. Because of me at least 10 rats are dead. I didn't really do anything, but that is what has happened. I am taking full responsibility. I had a compost heap in my backyard. Over the years I had fed it well. My ever consuming need to be 'green' had me putting all of my kitchen scraps and yard waste into that bin. It was huge!

A couple of summers ago I saw a big rat run from the compost to my apple tree. Then a few minutes later I saw it run from the apple tree back to the compost bin. I decided at that moment not to put any more kitchen scraps into the bin. After all, we have a compost recycling program. Each week all of our kitchen scraps are collected and composted by the city. It seems to be working well. I didn't need to attract rats to my backyard. So, I decided that I would not put any more food scraps into my bin! But it seems that the rats did not really care if I did or not. They liked my bin and made themselves at home. Kind of like a rat condo! Last week the neighbour who backs onto us, told me that he had seen rats coming from the wall between our properties. He was very upset about it. He told me he was going to poison them. That's when I decided to get rid of my compost bin altogether. If the rats couldn't live there, they would have to move somewhere else. And if they moved somewhere else, they wouldn't be poisoned. It seemed like a good plan.

Yesterday was the first nice day in which we could move all that compost and spread it on the garden. Up until now we have not had any nice weather. The ground was still frozen or too soft to work in. My husband was not eager to empty those bins. But when I was sitting in the backyard, surveying my garden domain, I suddenly looked down, and there, about 3 feet in front of me, lay a dying rat! She was breathing heavily and her face had blood on it. I carefully moved her out of the direct sun and put her in a secluded place in the flower bed. But she apparently didn't like it there because I later found her back on the hard concrete patio. It took another agonizing hour before she died. That finally convinced my husband that those compost bins had to go. We started digging and sifting. It was back-breaking work. We spread the compost out on the vegetable garden and other flower beds. We put some into bags for later use. Then just as we were about half way through the second bin, out fell a rat's nest! I have often used the term 'rats's nest' to describe someone's messy hair, kind of like 'bed head', but this nest was actually very neat. Inside were 9 tiny babies. They were totally naked and their eyes were shut. Unfortunately they were also dead. I fear that their mother may have eaten the poison my neighbour set out and that she transfered the poison to her babies through her milk. I felt very sad. If I had gotten rid of that stupid compost bin a year ago, this would not have happened. So I am a murder! I didn't mean for it to happen, but it did.

Next week we will finish emptying the last bin. I hope we don't find anymore dead creatures. And after that I hope that no rat will ever find my yard a good place in which to build a home.


Meow! What's all this rat nonsense?

All this talk about dead rats! In my opinion, a dead rat is a good rat! If she (my owner) had just let me out, I would have eradicated those stupid rodents long ago. But on second thought, maybe I wouldn't want to dirty my paws - or other parts of me! I could break a nail!
But sorry, she'll get no sympathy from me! And what am I supposed to look at now to keep me occupied? Stupid rats! Meow!

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