This morning Jamie refused to come down from the top of the 8 foot high bookshelf.
A while back I said I didn't think a rodent would come into the house being stalked as it is at night by cats. I was wrong. Jamie had cornered a rat - on top of the picture rail!
Yes, that's a real rat. In our dining room. Oh, the shame!
Eventually between SO yelling and Jamie's brother Jeremy prowling round below, the rat was scared over to where Jamie could reach it. In a Spiderman-like manoeuvre that was sadly too quick for the camera, Jamie belted the rat at full reach with both front paws, knocking it to the ground.
Jamie got to the floor in hot pursuit in a series of lighting quick hops just as the rat ran into the kitchen. (Future note to self: close doors when rodents are baled up to limit chase space).
An epic battle ensued around the wood oven where Jay did a supurb showjump-over-the-woodbasket routine and stopped the rat from running behind the stove. Three times. We are pretty inept at catching rats, clearly. Jamie tried to catch it by jumping on it and biting it. This simple rat-dispatching procedure was hampered by me trying to hit the rat with the ash shovel and SO with the fire poker, having first protected himself by putting on my kitchen oven gloves.
I felt a bit sorry for the rat who was putting up an admirable fight, but it was only a few minutes before SO managed to pick it up with the oven mitt and take it outside.
Jamie seemed disappointed and went back to the top of the shelf to see if he could find another one. Jeremy sniffed around the stove for the rest of the day, sure Jamie had put it down here somewhere...