The other night Elf was on the exercise bike, fighting the good fight, when she saw a rat stroll across to the top of the stairs and head down. By the time she had regained her composure and dismounted, it had vanished.
We got the men in with some bait stations, deployed inside and out. One afternoon we heard some shuffling and snuffling near the one in the "dishwasher hole" under the sink. We guessed that was him taking the bait.
All was quiet for a few days. Then we notice Marcus was wearing a pair of tracksuit pants that had been partly eaten. So rattus rattus has just been wandering the house chewing on stuff? Ee-ew.
Early Wednesday morning I heard some scratching in the hall. Cardinal Ratzinger was in a bad way, hunkered under the little bureau and obviously on his last legs. We closed all the doors and Elf blocked them with towels. I seized his tail with a plastic bag and flipped him into it, then into a strong shopping bag. 3am and we had a hissed debate about how to despatch him. I had prepared a shovel to whack him with but chickened out, thinking I would find it hard to get a first time clean shot when he was double-bagged. So I put him in the freezer. Where he remains, until bin night.