Over the weekend we discovered what our cats have been watching for so intently in the backyard... yes, that's right, we have at least one resident rat. It is a cute and plump female rat who seems to have a taste for tomatoes. I was rather wondering why it seemed like the green tomatoes on our tomato plants never turned red, and I wasn't terribly surprised to find that this was the answer. The strangest thing about this rat is that she likes to eat cherry tomatoes in the BBQ - we opened it up to use it this weekend and there were tomato skin pieces and tomato seeds on the inside. Is she eating them in there because she doesn't want to share with the (for now, hypothetical) rat family that lives under the deck?
Matt was all in favor of sending a cat out after the rat, and we had several discussions as to which of our always indoor, never caught anything cats would be best for the task. Now that he's seen the rat though, he's not so sure. She's a pretty good sized rat, and she really doesn't look like she's missed a meal for awhile. At least she's not the scruffy, wouldn't be surprised if she had rabies sort of rat - she really is quite cute and would not look at all out of place in a cage in someone's home.
Not sure what we'll do about this critter, but as it stands, it doesn't look like we'll be getting anymore tomatoes since the rat will eat them greener than we will.