I guess it was bound to happen, what with chickens and an active compost bin. It seems we have some additional garden dwellers at the moment. I noticed something was digging into the bottom of the compost bin, and had in fact tunnelled all the way through it to make a sleeping quarters at the top. I guess it must be rather nice in there for a rat. The warmth of the compost, straw and food being added regularly, and away from the elements.
We were happy to just let it be for the winter, although I was removing the lid of our dalek bin with great trepidation of late, just in case our resident was snoozing! He was doing me a favour too, mixing up the compost, and shovelling out the really well rotted stuff I just coudn't get to through that piddly little hatch of a door at the base of the bin. The chickens were enjoying a bit of a treat too, rummaging through the compost for grubs etc. However, ratty has decided to explore under the hen house now too, and I don't want him (it could be a "her" I haven't investigated that closely!) to interfere with the chickens. So I'm now in search of a humane rat trap, to relocate Mr Ratty to a more suitable place. Although I'm sure he thinks here is quite suitable enough!
There was a fleeting moment where I thought this would be a good excuse to get a cat again, but I know I would be way too anxious having a cat again, where we are. My heart can't take any more losses to that road. Besides, relocating Mr Rat is a far better option, if only I can catch him!