A neighbour’s cat watches intently through the hawthorn hedge from its vantage point on next door’s concrete coal bunker.
It pounces and chases a brown rat, coming close to catching it. The rat looks healthy enough but it has been behaving strangely, roaming about in the afternoon sunshine, showing little concern for danger. For a while it stopped and was nibbling at the edge of the frosty, still mainly snow-covered lawn. Perhaps it has eaten poison bait put out by one of our neighbours and it’s now feeling thirsty, which seems to be one of the symptoms of rat poison. Ponds are currently deep frozen so perhaps it was quenching its thirst with ice crystals.