And this time it’s serious! There seems to have been a brief absence although, to be fair, I’ve not been sitting peering at the bird feeder all hours of the day and night. I have, however, been there at regular times and Ms Rat has not and I suspect the reason has been what used to be called ‘confinement’. Mrs Rat, instead of perching on the feeder and stuffing herself with seeds and raisins while the finches and sparrows hurl abuse from the sidelines, was this evening, nipping up the tree trunk, hopping over onto the platform, and making off with a seed or two back down across the edge of the pond and into the undergrowth. Pups! She’s feeding pups! Little madam has been and gone and done it and now I’m a grandmother!
Of course, chances are she’s actually next door’s rat. Certainly she wasn’t there before the fence was repaired and so, now that the canine equivalent of the Berlin Wall has been erected (expressed purpose: keeping our assorted dogs from snarling at each other through holes they’ve deliberately created in order to get annoyed), I reckon she’s found herself on the West instead of the East and up the duff, to boot. Well, home is where the bird seed is, it seems and so we have a maternity unit in amongst the ivy. How come not a single one of my various putative hunters, all too happy to claim feral credentials most of the time, have not intervened? I’ll be reviewing their Terms & Conditions forthwith, oh yes!