Chasing rats

During the last weeks we have been hearing scratching from above our heads. A rat family has moved in to the attic of one of the expatriate houses. Late at night when the noise from the expats stops the rat party begins...

Sometimes it sounds like an obese cat running across the roof. And no, when the rats get going they don’t limit their living space to the attic. Once I found one running around in the oven. One night as I was preparing tea, two rats chased each other from under the fridge. And when I sat one quiet night alone the office finishing my monthly report, another well-fed rat ran across the office floor. This worried me especially since I am afraid that the rat has chased away our office mouse Alfred.

Now we have placed rat poison pellets under the cupboard in the office, and we hope it will be the rat, not Alfred dining on them. We also hope Emmanuel the cockroach who lives in the cupboard safe (and apparently just had babies) will skip the pellets. Spontaneously I don’t like the idea of eliminating rats with poison, but I hear this poison apparently causes a painless death (or alternatively the logistician knows what to tell me in order to keep me calm).

Our last attempt to get rid of the office rats was more ecological, but meant more workload for the same logistician (a fact that now makes me suspicious). We had old fashioned rat cages placed under the office furniture and one morning an unhappy rat found himself locked in to one of them. I wrapped the cage in a towel so that the rat would be calmer and handed it over to the logistician. I made him swear an oath not to kill the rat but release it outside the hospital compound. He went outside the hospital fence, across the wet field surrounding the hospital and probably formulated the poison pellet order in his head during this muddy walk.

I have secretly prepared a third option for solving the rat problem. But will I be allowed to get a bunch of cute cats to move in to our compound…?