Thursday, April 14, 2011


There's a rat in me garden - what am I gonna do?
There's a rat in me garden - what am I gonna do?
Surprise admiring the Springflower meadow

I'm gonna fix that rat - that's what I am gonna do! I'm gonna fix that rat!!!!!!

For those unfamiliar with the catchy ratsong by UB40, click the vid.

And she did. Surprise lived up to her name and caught a young rat in me garden before I was even aware of the fact that we had a rat problem. Now that I have chooks I'm even less keen on rats than before. 
Chooks living a rat free life courtesy of ratter Surprise

As you can imagine my relief was great when Surprise caught the rat. Less so when the killing of it took ages. I am familiar with the biology and the psychology of torture inflicted on prey by cats but I am not happy with it. From where I'm standing rats are people too, you know, it's not their fault that the human population regards them as vermin.

Surprised fixed that rat good and proper because some time later I found the gruesome remains of it; 2 hind legs, a tail and a ripped belly spilling entrails. The rest had been eaten. Ewww! And no, I did NOT take a picture of it and count yourself lucky coz it wasn't pretty.

Rats in the garden seem to be de rigueur lately, especially among former Gardener's World presenters. Having me own rat in the garden must mean serious rockage gardenwise for yours truly.

And as if one rat wasn't enough I've been sowing them in my potager lately. Rat's tails, I kid you not.

It's an oldfashioned radish called Rat's Tail for obvious reasons. They are part of the Forgotten Vegetables collection of seeds that you can buy here in Dutchland. I've bought several unusual and mostly forgotten vegs and fruits seeds to try out this year and will blog about the results at a later date.
I've sown the Rat's Tail radishes (Raphanus sativus) last March and they look like this at the mo. As you can see the leaf is the same as on ordinary radishes. But unlike the ordinary radish, in case of the Rat's Tail you eat the fruits (formed after flowering), not the tiny bulbs.
BTW if you have a rat problem in your garden I have a super ratkilling kittycat for hire and her fee is quite reasonable: a saucer of cream, some smoked haddock and a nice warm lap.
Surprise giving her daughter Kadootje a good wash. She's not only a killer ratter but a killer Mum as well.
On a more personal note: my MIL was cremated last Friday. My dad was diagnosed with cancer shortly before Christmas, my MIL with bowel cancer 2 weeks later. My dad's prostate cancer is under control now so that's quite a relief. MIL was less fortunate; because her condition was so poorly an op was out of the question. She got radiation treatment instead but that didn't work out.

Last February my dad was operated because the main artery in his tum was about to spring a leak. The op was succesfull but my dad has not recovered completely from it. He still is very weak, his feet drag behind him when he walks. He was always such a robust chap, so this is quite worrying and my Mum isn't in the best of health either (Alzheimer and partial loss of right hand and leg function due to a stroke). All in all life hasn't been all that much fun for the last 10 months or so.

I'm leaving you with a picture of my recently much enlarged potager. More about that in my next post.

copyright 2011 Y.E.W. Heuzen