Lessons From The Farm Series: Cat vs. Rats


Way back in 2000 we had a lot of field rats in the payag. I thought maybe having a predator will keep them from occupying the payag which we built for us. That’s when operation “find a cat for the rats” began. I’m not much of a cat person so I didn’t have a cat.

I had to try and find a house cat from friends, but no one had any to give. Except a new acquaintance who wanted to get rid of a crazy cat that was as fierce as I get when I’m on a diet, yet really hungry and my “food” is delayed. On my cheat day.

Yup, this cat was FIERCE! It was so fierce it wasn’t used to people holding it and would scratch and claw at anyone who tried. All it wanted was to be left alone to eat whatever he wanted. Perfect, I thought, just the right cat for the rats. We called the cat the “Super Cat”. I love it when everything comes together.

But alas, I was wrong. So wrong. We were used to this cat NOT being around since it didn’t really like anyone else. At all. One week had passed and we couldn’t find the cat. We thought it ran away. I wished it ran away instead, to be honest.

Cause another week later, our noses began to tingle at the distinct smell of something decomposing. Hoping it was a rat that the cat got, we literally had to tear through pieces of the payag’s internal bamboo woven wall to find where the smell was coming from.

Boom! We found it! It was the Super Cat, stuck in a tight corner after quite possibly the final chase of rat tail he got. The rats outsmarted the cat. We gave the cat a proper burial as it served us well, even unto its own untimely demise.


Sometimes, the best intentions and laid out plans don’t always work out. But it’s always worth the effort because you come out of it learning something new. You learn what actually works. And what doesn’t. You don’t want to live in the sad, regret filled world called “What IF”.

While we were never able to get rid of ALL the field rats, we successfully adjusted to living in the payag, rats and all. How would you get rid of 20 hectares worth of rats anyway? Even with a dozen “Super Cats” the rats might end up outsmarting them all.

You gotta learn to adjust and choose your battles cause you can’t get rid of all the rats. Even with a “Super Cat”.