I was going to write something more or less substantial today but instead found out what happens when you no longer have a cat in the house. What happens is that you hear a commotion and go into the next room to see your cute little Jack Russell throwing a rat about. A live rat. A large live rat. Our cats used to bring the odd rat they killed indoors. More importantly the smell of cats generally kept them away. Now it’s dispersed, leaving one enterprising fellow to encounter our last line of defence.
Our little Katie has the ratting instinct, but lacks work experience. Instead of snapping its neck with a sideways twist she was chucking the thing up and down. She had succeeded in immobilizing it, as we found when a particularly hefty lob saw it land on the dining room table and stay there, rolling about feebly.
Thing is, we like rats, as a family. We used to keep them as pets. This rat was a scruffy grey monster, not the sleek piebald and champagne little creatures our kid used to nurture in his bedroom. Nonetheless it had the remains of that endearing, vivid and slightly uncanny intelligence they have, a fact I had to register because I needed to look at it while I hit it over the head with something heavy. The dog sat there yapping with an ‘I did that’ look on its face. That job done, we disinfected every horizontal surface. The dog wasn’t much help there, either.
This happened at roughly the same time Patrick Moore’s death was announced. As a non-Buddhist, I’m pleased to confirm that this was entirely a coincidence.