Waging war on fluffy little animals can raise serious questions.
The main one being: how to terminate said fluffly little animals?
You want to live and let live. And yet, sometimes, a line has to be drawn in the sand, or vegie patch as the case may be.
That line for us recently was our tomato plant. Stripped bare by some creature of the night.
Callous in it’s disregard for that which we created. Not that we created the tomato plant. It sprung out of the compost pit. But we put the compost pit together. So we’re claiming the tomato plant.
Proud proof that we can give life. And take it away. Or at least the blotchy, bug-ridden fruit growing on it. To place in meals we then claim taste so much better for the home-grown ingredient.
Like all parents, we viewed these tomatoes as the best on the planet. Just like our children. A source of great pride, and possibly some hyperbole.
So imagine the concern when it became clear the tomato plant was under siege.
We’d heard noises in the night, and not just the ones in our head.
David Attenborough-style audio in the shrubs accompanied by movement, suggesting we weren’t alone.
When the tommies started disappearing, we put two and two together and came up with torchbeams and consternation. Not much else though.
In the true spirit of wonderment, we weaponised. Out came the mice traps, then the rat traps, and then the bear traps – each followed by the disappointments.
Each morning we’d find the traps artfully disarmed of the peanut butter and banana smeared on the night before.
What to do with this territorial dispute?
On hearing our plight, one intrepid colleague recommended “surveillance”, and produced one of the greatest gadgets ever invented for voyeurs – the infrared camera with motion sensor.
Night vision to the layman – the scourge of Malcolm Naden – with multiple applications, most illegal I suspect, or at best highly unethical.
We were quickly able to determine that our traps were not being disarmed by stealth mammals, rather cockroaches. That explained the soft touch on the hair trigger latches.
Meanwhile, the fiend taking down our tomatoes turned out to be a rat. A very crafty one at that, in the grand tradition of rats. It knew not to go near the traps. a disappointing fact that our friend predicted and which left we animal lovers conflicted.
Because we love fluffy little animals. But we’d love them more, if they moved on suddenly, in a backyard thunder clap.
To take our mind off homicidus interuptus, we set up the camera in the garage to film which cat poos where at night. Talk about revelations. There’s no walking away from this video evidence puss.
We animal lovers made a pact never to film each other, before getting back to the next stage of our battle with the rat.
It’ll be a dirty conflict that raises a few more ethical questions.
The main one being, how to get a fluffy little animal to eat something very unhealthy?
Again, that sounds nasty, just like the destiny they will suffer, according to the manuals.
But to paraphrase the Old Testament: The tomato giveth, the Ratsak hopefully taketh away.