I realise it doesn’t look it, but this is, in fact, a siege. On the outside, we have the forces of good, in the form of a small black cat. Darkly lurking in the crocosmia are the forces of evil, viz a rat. An extremely fat and prosperous, indeed complacent rat, first spotted bumbling insolently across the grass, clearly thinking there was nothing to be feared in our garden and that all it contained was merely provided for the (obviously lavish) feeding of rat-kind. But! Tib was out on the prowl, and though he had never previously caught anything larger than a fly, or, as far as I know, anything apart from a fly, he began to stalk the rat. In fact he stalked straight towards it so their noses were little more than eight inches apart. Then the rat, without seeming to put on much speed, diverted into the raspberry canes, and thence to the clump of crocosmia.
Unfortunately the rat really was very big, and Tib is only four months old and mostly used to hunting string, and though he repeatedly poked his nose into the crocosmia he then repeatedly flinched and drew back. I waited with a broom with some thought of bashing the rat with it, and the boys bounced around with some toy axes bought earlier at Dublinia, but this did not help. Eventually the mighty hunter got bored and left, I tried to shoo out the rat and only succeeded in prompting it to make its way under cover of a stone, and the whole situation fizzled out in a most unsatisfactory fashion.
However, I hope the rats of Rosemount Avenue realise that their days of peace are numbered. Tib will be back…
P.S. I was quite surprised by my own bloodthirsty instincts on this occasion. One just doesn’t want rats around the house (and though I was proud of Tib and didn’t want to pull him off I was quite worried for him; what if he got bitten?). I wonder how vegans react when they find themselves living with rats? It must happen; our compost heap is free of meat, fish and dairy, but I’m sure it’s mostly the compost that was feeding today’s portly specimen. It’s one thing to wish good to all God’s creatures, quite another to have them frolicking on the lawn.