A couple of days ago, Bel interrupted my breakfast with a peremptory "rrowwrrr!" and indicated that there was a matter of importance requiring my attendance (also known as, "follow me, right NOW!"). She led me to the windows along the back of the house, which are floor to almost-ceiling, and her brother, Pye, frantically pawing at the glass and fluffed up to twice his usual size. On the other side of the glass was a completely unfazed rodent, peering in at all of us fearlessly. Hmm, big mousie, thinks I, squinting - nope, on closer inspection, little rat. I rapped on the window but he didn't even flinch, just sat up jauntily on his back paws and washed his face. I suspect he may have been an escaped pet, being a pretty grey with a snowy white belly and obviously not unfamiliar with people and cats. I went outside to investigate further before a cat or two got so enthused they pursued their new friend right through the glass, but he was wily enough to make himself scarce. In the past, I've considered a pet rat - they are cute and intelligent - but this one might have found himself on the feline menu had he joined the family. I hope he survives in the great outdoors.
4 months ago