Reckless Rat

Anyone who heard Captain Beaky as a younger person might have recognized Batty-Bat (the flying umberrrella) referenced in recent posts. If so, you will then also recall that one of the other characters was Reckless Rat (in his Reckless Hat).

Of course I am too young to remember any of this but Mr B does, and F loved it when he first played it for her. The internet can be a wonderful thing for sharing enjoyment, can it not?

Where is this going?  Well some of you will need to grab your 'yuck factor' protection cape when we tell you that we spied Reckless Rat among the rocks at the beach the other day - big and brown and furry and Reckless.  He did scarper when he realized we had him under scrutiny.

I'm not a rat hunter myself. I refer you to one of my very old posts on the subject (here) but we've been informed by a local that feral cats haven't always been a fixture around here and on the beach, and that before they were, there were a lot more Reckless Rats on the beach - peering out of crevices at the sunbathers.  Apparently the rats had a routine to their day, emerging from the beach mid-morning to conduct a bin raid on the rubbish skips beside the little garden out front, and in the process scaring, entertaining, or 'grossing-out' anyone waiting at the bus stop.

In the same vein as the old lady who swallowed the fly, the solution to the first problem is the genesis of the next. Fortunately no one is proposing feral dogs to control the feral cat population. We understand Athens took steps to rid itself of the stray dog problem nearly 2 decades ago (in excess of 10,000 of them we were told, but like fish, tales might get bigger the older they get) and although a controversial program at the time we haven't met anyone advocating for a return to those stray dog days.

Now there are charities and facebook groups and even individuals devoted to a program of capture, neuter, and release for feral cats.  It creates an interesting dynamic if the cats around us are anything to judge from. The neutered male cats are at the bottom of cat heirarchy,  submissive to Tom cats and females of any stripe, but they are none-the-less in by far better condition if their weight, fur condition and general appearance is anything to go by.  They aren't burning themselves up competing to pass on their DNA.

As for passing on dna, humans need to think hard about what they are doing in this drive. They are catching and spaying the friendly, trusting, workable cat personalities and removing them from the local gene pool, leaving the cagier, wilder, uncatchable ones to breed on. This may not have an ultimately desirable outcome without some redesign of the approach, but one thing is for certain, with tougher cats around Reckless Rat won't be long for this earth if he doesn't bury his Reckless Hat.

Philosophizing (Musing - is that 'odeur de rat' I detect?)


  1. Rats are indomitable. They seem to survive anything we throw at them and are absolutely everywhere!

    1. We're with Bill Oddie in that we actually quite like them - well don't hate them. That puts us firmly in minority. F didn't want to kill the one in the linked post, she gave it long enough to get away. She just thought she had to because we lived in town. You kind of have to kind of admire them - rats and cockroaches will probably survive nuclear holocaust and catastrophic climate change. They would end up eating each other.

  2. Hari OM
    Sigh... yeah... it's just nature in an urban setting. As it doesn't suit the humans they seek evermore damaging solutions. You say it right - the program is effectively 'selective breeding' by default. Next thing you know there will be reports of tigers and lions, and the then there will be calls for massacre-mode... hugs and whiskeries, YAM-aunty xxx

  3. I had not thought about the catching the nice and leaving the mean, makes a lot of sense. no asnwer comes to me about it though. in Florida the land of palm trees there are rats everywhere. in fact as I stood in the rain in the dark waiting for Beau to do his bidness, i saw 2 runacross the power lines in our back yard. occasioanlly they come in our garage and we have to trap them. when we see a squirrle run across the lines we say isnt he cute, the thing is the only difference is rat tails are furless. our first dog Max was a ratter, better than a cat, 4th dog Jake was a ratter, all the others pay them no mind at all.
    i am rambling so will leave now.

    1. Dogs bred for the job are infinitely better ratters than cats. I've seen some in action, they waste no time catching and despatching. You are right about rats and squirrels. We had a never ending battle with squirrels raiding our bird feeders in UK - and then rats eating what they had spilled on the ground. Tigger didn't care, he learned early that they were both too difficult to catch and left it to the local foxes. Strangely, Tigger and the foxes seemed to hare some sort of entente cordiale, which Tigger never extended to dogs.

  4. I don’t know about reckless rat but I’d much rather lots of cuddly cats. Although your right. Maybe catching some of the meaner members of the family might be a wiser thing to do. Unfortunately catching the nice kitties is way easier


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