We have a dog.
We chose a puppy that we thought would grow up into a toughie. Except that we got THIS instead. THIS likes to dose indoors on a soft rug I bought specifically for the purpose. THIS likes to sit on women's laps and get his tummy scratched. THIS whines and howls piteously twice a week at bath time from behind a foam-covered snout. To hear him at bath time, one would think Petunia runs an animal torture house. One must never make the mistake of looking THIS in the eye at bath time because the look of utter forlorn-ness will turn your heart into melting ice-cream. THIS also eats carrots, pistachios and celery sticks because I do.
WHERE is the toughie I had wanted to guard the new house?
The question becomes salient because I have learnt that there have been sightings of rats at the new house. When work started at our site, I saw rat cages. On one occasion, I saw a baby rat in one of the cages. In the past months, there have been no rats at the worksite. I am told that the digging had disturbed a nest, but now the rats have fled the noise and the digging and the never ending pours of concrete.
But I have no doubt that the neighbourhood has rats. About 10 houses up the road, there is a square of shophouses with restaurants. Where there is food, there are rats, and 10 houses down from those restaurants, is Pet's House.
I was worried enough to borrow a book entitled "Rats" by Robert Sullivan. Now, my worry has turned to horror. Rats can chew through concrete and steel plates. They are only deterred by concrete mixed with broken glass and steel wool. Possibly because these cut their gums. In 6 hours, a dominant male rat can mate with 20 females. Here, the Husband turned to me and proclaimed his new found respect for rats. Each female produces 10 pups after 21 weeks. Immediately after giving birth, a female rat can get pregnant again. The ignorant critters have never heard of condoms nor The Pill. In summary, one pair of rats has the potential of 15,000 descendants in ONE year.
Rats can grow to a foot long, and in packs, have been known to attack humans and kill babies. On Rikers Island, a New York City dump, rats killed and ate farm pigs. They even devoured the dogs meant to kill them. However, scientists have noted that they would rather starve than eat raw carrots.
And all I have is THIS carrot eating dog to protect my house against rats.