Monday, 10 November 2014

Domino The Smallholding Cat. Is He Hunting Or Composing Poetry?


It's a busy time being a smallholding cat at the moment.  The field mice and rats are heading to the nearest buildings to keep warm and feed.  They ("who are they?") say that rats and mice will eat ANYTHING that is organic.  Domino is worth his weight in gold keeping the vermin away.  He keeps leaving me dead presents around the house.  Guess who gets the job of disposing of the headless mice and horrible rats?  Yes.  It's yours truly, me!

There's a robin red breast that helps me in the vegetable garden.  It perches on my four prong pike and pinches the odd juicy worm or two.  I have noticed Domino eyeing up the Robin.  I hope he doesn't get it?  The terrier also does her bit diving into the hay when I shout:

"Rats".

And when I make hissing sounds.

We always give them a good meal and praise them when they catch a rat.  I have only seen one DEAD one this year.  So they must be doing their job.  I don't like poison or traps.  You can't beat a good cat and a terrier on a smallholding.

How do you get rid of rats and mice?

11 comments:

  1. Well Dave, we wish we knew how to get rid of the buggers, six cats, four who are outside most of the day, and one Lab. The planters that I did with so much love and care to give winter and spring colour have been destroyed by rats, they aren't eating the bulbs just digging down in the containers , breaking the tops off the spouting bulbs and damaging the roots of the cyclamen pansies and polyanthus . We also wont use poison but do use traps, the blighters have learnt how to discharge the traps but not get caught.

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  2. Sorry to hear about your bulbs and planters being attacked by rats, Anne. Perhaps you can put some mesh just under or on top of the soil to deter them? I try to keep all my beef nuts and oats in wheely bins.

    I have noticed we don't seem to get many rats since we gave the hens and ducks away. We had been sprinkling meal on the ground and troughs and it attracted them. Hope you are successful in eradicating them. I hate them. They say you never get rid of them but you can keep them at bay.

    Had a few scary encounters with rats. Once was sawing a piece of wood on a rainy day (like today) in an old out house and a big brown rat run over my leg. I nearly died. I would fight a lion before I would fight a rat. Once went to a pet farm in Cornwall with my family and my late parents. A little lad was stroking a pet brown rat in his arms. He said to my dad:

    "Do you want to stroke it?"

    My father jumped with the shock of seeing the rat.

    "No thanks"

    He said. We just laughed.

    Thanks!

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  3. I find our Jack Russells are far better than our cats, who sometimes tend to play with the mice rather than kill them. The older one did go through a phase of bringing live mice into the house, which drove us nuts. I threatened to take her back to the cats rescue and that seemed to work! :-)

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  4. opps sorry i meant 'work' not world.

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  5. Hi Deb. Our Jack Russell is 13 now and spends most of the day and night lying on top of the tiles over the hot water pipes in the kitchen. She soon jumps up if somebody opens a packet of crisps or they have biscuits to share.

    Domino is very cruel and plays with mice before killing them. He also climbs trees after the birds. They do a good job and seem to be keeping the rats and mice down. You made me laugh when you said you threatened to take your cat to the cats rescue. Thanks!

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  6. Domino looks a lovely cat, I love his black tail, great colour combination. My cats are all good mousers and rat-ers and bring them in for us and we have to tell them all what good girls (or boys) they are. I prefer not to see the rats though. I get the clearing up jobs.

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  7. One dead rat in the middle of the kitchen floor last night. It had been romping around the kitchen for some time (our kitchen is temporary so has lots of hiding places because we are under renovation conditions). We had to use poison. Hate doing it, but it is the only way for us at this time. But when our elderly Springer Spaniel passes on we are thinking about a terrier.

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  8. Hi Rachel. Domino does look a lovely cat. Thankfully he hasn't managed to bring any of his prey in yet. I have always liked terriers and Border Collies. But cats are definetly growing on me. I think cats are individuals and more stand offish than dogs. A good bitch is more loyal than anything. They are all have their own individual personalities and it's like a bereavement when they die. I always get the cleaning up jobs. It's like that old Monty Python sketch:

    "Mum there's another dead bishop on the landing."

    The joys of country living hey? Thanks Rachel.

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  9. Hi Vera. Get your self the loan of a cat or a terrier. They will soon get rid of the rats. They will also let you know if they are any about. Their presence will deter any rodent intruders. Good luck Vera and thanks for your comment.

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  10. Fortunately never seen a rat despite being in a rural location and the guy next door has a few chickens.
    Our semi-feral Raggy cat seems to keep the mice down, we get a constant stream of them left on the front doorstep, all lined up nicely.

    We also have a resident robin, and also hope the cat doesn't get it, we do occasionally receive a dead sparrow.

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  11. They reckon ("who ever they are") that we all live six feet from a rat. I am surprised that your next door neighbour doesn't get rodent visitors. Scattering hen food around attracts them. Raggy cat must be keeping them away. Is he OK? Domino caught a mouse today and ran away with it on top of the round silage bales.

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