scraps of paper and towels and pens don't stand a chance against these cats but rats are a little scary.
so I sit there occasionally counting tails so I know where everyone is and after a while I decide to put these rats away and take out the other two from the other cage as having them all out at once is too much not to mention one rat from one clan bit a little piece out of one of the rats from the other clan once when s had them out together so it is best not to let them encounter one another. at last tail count I only had four so I figure the remaining rat is under the desk or something and I began catching them and putting them away.
after I catch all that I can see I count tails and there are only four in the cage so I look under things and behind things and I see no fifth rat so I count tails again thinking maybe someone was hiding in the box in their cage but still only four so I go get a flashlight the better to see under and behind things with and do a thorough check of the room but still no fifth rat so somewhat obsessively I go back to the cage and make sure there are only four in there and I even reach in and shake the little box but the way the multilevel cage is put together I can't quite maneuver so as to pick it up and look in it but shaking it elicits no apparent reaction from inside so I put it down and pick up the flashlight and look under everything again.
now it is possible that one of them got out of the room when I was not looking although I had been watching the door fairly vigilantly but I figure checking under things in the rest of the house might not be a bad idea but first I count the rats in the cage again and there are still only four so I check under the fridge and under the tub and under the wardrobe in the livingroom and under the daybed where I see bunnies but no rats.
I check the cage again where there remain four rats and then I go look under and behind everything I have already looked under and behind and am beginning to think that I'm going to have to sit in the middle of the house all evening and wait for the missing rat to walk by and beyond that I'm trying to imagine how I will explain to s that I lost a rat but that it must still be in here somewhere and I am somewhat worried that Santiago will find the rat first and although he is well-behaved towards them is not as afraid of them as Jackson is and so might possibly mistake one for something he should catch and try to kill.
I do all this several more times.
finally I decide to stop looking and just sit in the chair until something stirs but just before sitting I count the rats in the cage again and now there are five.
thanks for speaking up I say to them.