Hi, This is Cotton with a PSA (public service announcement) for you today. But first a related story.
Because this is a mill town, even though the mills have closed in recent years, we have wharf rats here. Jan heard of them but never saw one for the first couple of years or so she was here. Then one day she saw a cat with a shiny coat sunbathing in the yard. She went out on the porch for a better look. She walked a wide curve through the yard so she wouldn't scare it away. She got as close as two or three feet from it before it suddenly got up and ambled off and down into the sewer.
Only it wasn't a cat. What from the back had appeared to be a healthy looking cat with a shiny dark coat had a pointed face, bare feet, and a long naked tail! Jan's first thought was that possums don't come in that color. She still has a hard time believing a rat can grown that big.
A few short years later, a hot water pipe under the house broke the day before Christmas and we were without hot water until some time after New Year's. The poor plumber who finally showed up was sick and he was probably quite a bit sicker after crawling around on the frozen ground, but he did manage to install new hot water pipes.
A couple of days later, Jan found Crystal in the bathroom trying to dig through the side of the bathtub. And something on the other side was trying to dig through just as vigorously. Jan had to physically remove Crystal, Jenny and me and close the door. She left a message for the landlord but this kept happening. So she reluctantly called someone in the neighborhood who had some rat poison from the city. Rat poison was thrown under the house and things were quiet for a while.
Then the noises started under the tub in the bathroom again. And in the bathroom wall. Once there was what sounded like the frightened squealing of something small. It gave Jan chills. She could follow the critters as much by where we cats were investigating as by the rustle as they walked between the walls of the house. She kept leaving messages for the landlord. She had more poison thrown under the house, terrified a neighbor's cat would get hold of it.
One night there was the sound of chewing by the front door. Behind the fireplace. Over by the closet. Over by the door to the inside back porch. It was an invasion! Crystal, Jenny and me were racing from one spot to another, trying to dig through the walls. Jan totally lost it. This time she left a late night phone message for the landlord (we should clarify this is an ex-landlord), begging him to send someone over to plug up the opening the plumber evidently left under the bathtub. Her message was tinged with hysteria and it did the trick. She never saw the plumber so he must have come when she wasn't home, but the opening under the tub was finally sealed and the unwelcome visitors have not been heard from since.
We watched a video today that reminded me of this story and I'd like to share it with you. Because even if your human NEVER EVER uses rat poison anywhere on your property, you could still be poisoned, even if you're an indoor kitty. In this video, veterinarian Karen Becker discusses the best ways to protect your pets from ingesting rat poison and what to do if they accidentally have some.
If the video doesn't play, click here.