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Home Front

Regulars | By Alice Pitman | November issue

Gnawing problems with my rat colony

As readers may recall, a rat took up residence behind the cupboards in our kitchen while we were on holiday. More wily than its predecessor (which Mr Home Front quickly trapped a year ago), this one ignored our new high- tech rat trap, containing a piece of chocolate smothered in peanut butter (as recommended by the Heston Blumenthal-style instructions on the box). And turned his nose up at the ironmonger’s poison. Reluctance to pay for a pest controller meant we accommodated our lodger for some weeks. There may even have been a touch of Stockholm Syndrome. One night, when I was pouring myself a second glass of Lidl’s Pinot Noir and heard him scrabbling under the floorboards nearby, I felt the usual repulsion, this time mixed with a perverse creeping fondness. But then the rat ruined things by inviting his friends round. I knew this because we kept hearing simultaneous...

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