I try to boast every now and again how butch I am. I grew up in the country where it seemed any animal could jump in the window or be brought in by one of the family pets at any time.

Country kids soon learnt how to deal with snakes, possums, bats -“ you name it -“ being dropped at their feet by a loving pet. They might cause a scream but were soon disposed of. But have I lost my survivor skills after living in the city for 10 years?

One rainy Sunday night, I was sitting at home by myself with our household animals all curled up on the almost-cashmere rug. Toto the silky terrier (Vanity’s dog), my cat Kakadu and I all seemed happy to sit and watch the entire series of Nightmare On Elm St together. After a few hours we had a pit stop to refresh our beverages and snacks.

It didn’t seem very long after that I heard an ear-piercing shriek coming not from the movie but the kitchen. Before I knew it, Kakadu had delivered the biggest live rat I have ever seen at my feet.

Within an instant, Toto assumed his birthright as a king ratter and soon I had cat and dog chasing this rat around the house with me on the coffee table jumping with a mixture of fear and excitement.

Ducking and weaving between years of drag outfits stored neatly in the corner, the animals tumbled around like the Tasmanian devil from the cartoons.

Finally I mustered the courage to dismount the coffee table and try to move the action outside to the wet courtyard. I was wishing I still lived with the crazy lesbian who would have pushed the cat and dog away to try to get the rat herself.

Armed with plastic bags on both hands and loosely clutching the broomstick, I gingerly tried to shoo the fight to the back door. It seemed to be three steps forward and two back.

Finally, as I got them to the kitchen, it was quite obvious the rat was on its last legs, not moving at all, just shrieking every time anything came near it. This is where I had to step in. Grabbing a bucket I swiftly covered the rodent but, as in the cheap horror movie I was just watching, no sooner had the bucket covered the body than it seemed to come alive again.

Shitting myself, I quickly placed as many phone books as I could on the bucket and waited for my other flatmate to come home and deal with the surprise.

Who said staying at home couldn’t be exciting?

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