Traverse City Record-Eagle


The Trouble With Rats, Update #4

John S. Porter(Blogger’s note: Posted on December 6, 2013, on the blog by John S. Porter. is about the lives of expats in Southwest China.)

I thought that the last update was the final, definitive epistle on rats, but no. I haven’t seen or heard from the rats in my neighborhood for almost three months now. You can search the site for “Trouble with Rats” for the whole story. The response from readers has been very interesting. It seems that rats are a universal issue. Most women especially don’t like rats, seeing rats, hearing about rats, reading about rats or anything else about rats. Even changing out the picture with a picture of Mickey Mouse didn’t help.

Yet I am continuously tweaked by this subject. Bobdisqus on the Traverse City Record Eagle Blog gave some great links that deserve more publicity:

Cuddly Kitty
Rat Hunting Dogs . . .

Both of these links provide lifesaving information that is really worth knowing. The upshot of the articles is that you need to keep your pet’s shots up to date and keep them clean. If you take your dog out in the neighborhood to hunt rats, you shouldn’t let him lick your face: (

Thank you Bob !

As for me, I haven’t seen or heard of rats in my house for a long time, but the subject is never far away. I was experimenting with a banana bread recipe, breaking walnuts in my spare time. I had a half cup just sitting on the kitchen counter a few days ago. I got up one morning with the idea that I would make some banana bread, but the walnuts were gone! I live alone (I hope) and I don’t remember getting up in the middle of the night and eating those walnuts. At age 62, I may be losing my memory. Alternately, I may have unwanted houseguests. I’m not sure which idea I prefer . . .

  • CathyStripeLester

    John, it’s no news to me that cats hunt and dogs are efficient ratters! When someone shot my cat Kato with a pellet gun (he survived — I did a blog on it a few months ago: — a couple people commented that I should keep him indoors but BobDisqus stood up for cats behaving as their nature made them.

    I take issue with the notion that cats are responsible for songbirds’ decline. Domestic cats mainly nab birds that come to bird feeders, but the fall in bird numbers includes a lot of species that don’t hang around in city areas. For example, loons are edging towards a situation where there’s a concerted effort to rebuild loon populations, but when’s the last time Puddytat came in with a loon? There’s a lot more evidence that habitat destruction and pesticides have a huge negative influence on bird populations.

    As for dogs and rats, organizations like PETA are accurate enough when it comes to describing the pain of an animal caught in a trap, but if I were a rat I’d rather be caught by a dog, where the death is very quick, than poisoned or trapped (or even drowned in a bucket)!

    As for the sport of ratting, in 19th century England, not only did rat-catchers work with terriers, but gentlemen would pay for big numbers of live rats. Then they’d have a rat-killing contest; the rats would be put into a sort of gaming pit, each gentlemen would enter his best dog, and the dogs would be rated on how many rats they could kill in a set time limit.

    • Bobdisqus

      CSL & Jack
      Just Bob will do. It is what I go by as did my father before me (Robert). Bobdisqus is just an artifact created by the RE policy changes over the years. But feel free to use what ever you see fit. pinhead, bozo halfwit

      • John S. Porter

        Ok. Bob it is.!

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