Captain's Cabin

Pirate Lord of the Platinum Coast
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Dogs have owners, Cats have staff.
Cleo on the Beach - Dianna
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Mousework


I was going to write about Tigers for Friday Ark, but several of my furrriends left comments about being on Mouse Patrol from 2 until 4 am in the morning. Usually Mouse Patrol, or Rat Patrol, really, lasts until 6 am but I catch most of my rats between 2 and 4.

Florida is very much a swampy place and in Cape Coral especially we have many, many canals (more per square foot then Venice, Italy), and as a result of all that water, we get lots of wildlife. Racoons, possums, and Armadillos are usually the bigger mammals, we also get snakes and the occassional alligator, owls, hawks, eagles and vultures, squirrels, chipmonks and rabbits and of course rats.

The Rats I commonly hunt and catch are known as Roof Rats although we also call them Canal Rats and River Rats, Black Rats, Ship Rats, or Fruit or Citrus Rats. This is the most common rat although we also have Norway Rats and house or field mice. I have never encountered a single Norway Rat here.

Roof rats are usually gray to slightly brown in color. Adults are typically 8 inches long, with a 9 inch long tail. The tail is long, dark, and scaley. Roof rats prefer warmer, more tropical climates than Norways. Roof Rats get their name because they spend about 90% of their time above ground. The live in trees, run on power lines, the tops of fences, and they really love to live in the attics of houses.

Females have 4-6 litters per year, with 6-8 young per litter. They are fully weaned within a month, and sexually mature in as little as two months. They don't live very long in the wild, seldom more than a year (especially when I am around). Roof Rats are nocturnal and we often hear them on the roof or up in the house eves at night. We also get them in the house, as they come in where the plumbing pipes come in. Bean do not like having them in the house, so I must do my patrol to make sure they stay outside where they belong.

The weather is turning cooler now, so they will try to come inside more to keep warm. This is not a good idea, and I suggest they try staying warm some other way. I am very good at catching and killing these rats. I use the pounce move to break their backs and then I sometimes practice some of my other killing moves on them. I do not torture them. Because I am a big strong cat, I kill them very quickly, then I play with them for a while.

Ratty


Roof Rats do not cause as much damage as Norway Rats because they do not gnaw on things as much, but they can still be damaging to homes and properties. Their bites can be painful and also carry diseases, including rabies and rat-bite fever (streptobacillus moniliformis).

As always, humans get a bit funny about anything with fur, so there is a humor site dedicated to Roof Rats at www.roofrats.org.

If you need any advise ridding your homes of these pests, please let me know as I am very effecient at killing them. They are also very tastey, I have eaten them often. No seasoning - or cooking - required.

1 comment:

Captain Jack and Dante said...

Our woofie brother Samwise is acutally the vermin killer in our house. He's killed mice and moles before. Daddy said he got a squirrel once too but Mommy didn't want to know about that and wouldn't let us listen either...