Warning: Completely Gross Cat-Catch Related Stories Coming Up.
The last flat I lived in before coming back to London was almost right on the banks of a canal, obviously teeming with wildlife. I have three cats. Go figure.
Leo, my cute little black long-hair who has the biggest yellow eyes in the world and looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, set about systematically picking off the local wildlife, seemingly one by one. His favourite trick was to bring a mouse into my bedroom in the middle of the night. I'm quite a light sleeper, and discovered that there's nothing quite as gross as waking up to the sound of "crunch....crunch...crunch..." - but not quite waking up enough to do anything about it. Come the morning, I'd get out of bed, forgetting what had happened in the night, to be faced with the left-overs - a mouse's head, staring up at me from the carpet. After this started happening every.single.night, I kinda got used to it.
I once got up to find a rat in the middle of my living room floor. I don't mind rats - I actually think they're very cute. When they're alive. But this one was dead. It had ceased to be, it was an ex-rat < /python>. And it was MASSIVE. First thing in the morning, I was feeling a little fragile, so I set about trying to find something in the kitchen to 'scoop' it up with - the best I could do was a bucket and a mop, the plan being to sort of 'tip' the rat into the bucket, take it outside and chuck it back down by the canal bank. But the rat, although dead, had other ideas... I sort of nudged it with the mop a few times but it would NOT go over the lip of the bucket, preferring instead to sort of roll around the carpet. In the end, after screaming like a big girl a couple of times, I did something really quite gross - i dumped the bucket over the top of it, shut the cats out of the living room, went to work, and dealt with it when I got home. It was just too far a stretch to deal with first thing in the morning.
But that pales into insignificance compared to this: a few days after the rat incident, I saw something BIG scuttle along the skirting board out of the corner of my eye. Another rat, followed quickly by the cat, chasing after it. I tried to get to it before Leo did, but he was too quick for me and picked it up and took it away and a few seconds later, I heard the 'thunk' of the cat flap; as he'd often take his catches back outside, I thought well, that's the end of that then. Until a couple of weeks later, when I started to smell something... odd.
I took out the rubbish. I cleaned the sink and the drains, but still couldn't get rid of the smell, or figure out where it was coming from. Until I followed my nose to the side of the sofa, and then it dawned on me. Down the side of the sofa, I had an old computer stored. Because I'd been doing some work on it, the side was off, and it was open.... it'd been fairly well wedged against the sofa but still with a gap large enough for say, a rat to get through if it wanted to hide from a cat who wanted to play with it...
Oh man. I couldn't deal with that. I couldn't even look. I called my ex, said "please, please come and help me with this" and to his credit, he did. I went in the other room and he dug out the old computer. Inside, was the missing rat, decomposing and sort of welded and stuck to all the bits and pieces of the computer.
Never did get around to fixing it up after that - funny that
Thankfully, since coming back to London a year and a half ago, I haven't had any more 'gifts' - I guess the local foxes/strays have them all first.