A Working Cat Comes to Stay

Rats, rats, rats. I have done everything to get rid of them. They have no access to chicken feed or goat feed, and yet, they like to make their home around the goat yard. I see their holes. Last year they ate all my strawberries so I didn’t even plant strawberries this year. I hear that they are attracted by chicken poop. They live on it. Could this be true? I think it might be. Why else would they love the goat yard. I have tried everything to discourage these varmints and have killed many through traps. I even gave in and tried poison. These things work, and over the years I must have killed over 20 rats, but still, there are rats.

A friend of mine had a similar problem and said she solved it with the help of Puget Sound Working Cats. They adopt out “barn cats” or “garage cats.” These are semi-feral cats who are proven ratters.

I signed up and last Sunday, Barb Horton came over with a little cat named Zachary (renamed Gandolph). He’s got a cauliflower ear and is small, grey, sort of striped, and handsome. Also shy. He spent his first week here hiding in the garage. The first few days we couldn’t even find him and worried he’d somehow escaped. Over the next few days, it was clear he was around due to the cat poops in the litter box and the disappearance of cat food from the bow. Yesterday, was a big day for Gandolf. ┬áHe came out and let me pet him as he ate his wet food. Next week, I can let him out into the yard. I am so excited to set this little dude to work.

My one concern is cat poop. I hear it is a pollutant. I think I’ll look into if there’s a way to compost it. I’m guessing you’d have to let it sit at LEAST a year due before using it.

2 Responses to “A Working Cat Comes to Stay”

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  1. Emmy says:

    Once you let him outside, he’ll bury his own poo. Cats are so nice that way. It’s no good for compost, though, as far as I know.

  2. Mary says:

    The editor in me has to say “Gandalf” if you’re going for the traditional grey/white wizard who hangs out with hobbits spelling.

    But then I say, *do* tell me how he works out. Even without chicken poop or goat feed or strawberries we’ve had trouble with rats in our backyard. Two of them quickly fell for the traps but the remaining couple are too bright for such things. I have a cat but she’s not allowed out after dark. I’ve *thought* about the rental working cats (I think I read about them on the Portage Bay Granary website) but I’m not sure how Gradka would respond. Badly, I suspect.

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