Okay, I am feeling some what traumatised this morning. Let me explain. (Oh don't read if you're squeamish..)
Sydney has a rat problem. A plague actually. Living in the inner city, next to a block of flats that keeps its bins next to our backyard fence means that we cop a bit of that plague. Last year they got in the house. We found all the holes and put an end to it. This year they have proven to be just as much of a pain in the back garden. They have been burrowing all through our compost heap, eating it and moving huge amounts of soil around the garden. So out came the poison, out came the traps. My gallant husband has disposed of three biggies this last month. ( I confess that whilst we are both in favour of getting rid of them - he has to deal with disentangling them from the trap and burying them deep into the compost heap from whence they came. It's the circle of life, right?)
But now. NOW. They had babies. Teeny tiny things, with fur but eyes still closed. And it has been well over a week now since we got the last big one. The babies have crawled out of their nest and are in our back garden, too weak to mew, too small to feed themselves. It's tragic! I knew it was happening because Tim saw one and told me not to look. I didn't. But collecting the bin in this morning, bare footed, I almost stepped on one. The skin of my feet made contact with warm and I quickly retracted my foot, no pressure applied but I felt it. (Are you feeling nauseous yet?)
Now I know it seems contradictory that we could heartlessly kill rats and claim to be animal loving vegetarians, but there's a big difference between a tiny baby rat and a big ugly one that's been eating your garden. Okay given time there is no difference at all but.. I'm a total softy.
So what to do? I don't have the guts to bop it on the head and put it out of its misery, poor thing. Although this is surely the most humain course of action. And I am certainly not going to nurse it back to life. So I scooped it off the street and back into a shaded corner of our garden. I tried to make it look comfortable and then covered it in leaves so it wouldn't get eaten by other animals or fry in the sun. And now I feel like crap.