3am in the morning is becoming a regular wake-up time. The other night it was thunderous drops of rain on our metal roof that interrupted our sleep. Last night the offending wake-up call was loud scraping and scuffling in the hall just outside our door. A quick investigation caught sight of a fleeting shadow disappearing behind the shoe cupboard that might have been a house lizard.
Back to bed, but five minutes later the scuffling started again. This time the light goes on and the cupboard is pulled away from the wall. Now, the size of animals in this part of the world is usually a bit larger than the equivalent at home and it is sometimes difficult to put a name to just what one is looking at. Even so, anything with whiskers, a pointed nose and a long tail usually answers to rodent. At a full twelve inches from snout to tail this wasn't a mouse but a not-inconsiderably proportioned rat.
The previous visitor we had to deal with in this particular corner of the house was a somewhat larger snake. On that occasion a smothering fleece and the broom successfully swept the intruder onto the path outside. This time it was pretty obvious that something a bit more subtle would be needed but we had just the thing somewhere in the garden.
One call and Mweru the cat is at the door to be introduced her next job. Back to bed again, and once more the scuffling started a short while later. Not for long though. Problem solved.