There once was a cat. a great scarred old Tom who lived in a basket in the corner of the kitchen.
In another corner, near the back door a hole in the skirting led to a tunnel which was occupied by a young inexperienced rat lady with her whole life ahead of her.
At the corner diagonally opposite the rat’s lair was the pantry and the door was usually left ajar.
One bright Spring morning, both our protagonists were feeling a little hungry and tha lady of the house came in and prepared breakfast, which the rest of the family came in and sat around the table to enjoy. (This is a traditional tale - you’ll understand )
As she filled the sink for washing up, the lady put down a saucer of food for the cat, who ate with relish.
The lady left the room and the cat went out of the back door to do “cat things”.
The rat was now alone, but was nervous that the lady, whom she could hear in the hallway may come back in or the cat may return.
After waiting a few minutes, the sounds of the lady hoovering receded a little, but the rat was still afraid that the cat may still be close by.
An hour passed. The Lady could no longer be heard and clearly the cat was not coming back for some time, so the rat thught she would wait another half hour to make sure the threats had gone, before venturing forth.
This time passed without incident, so the rat was assured that all was safe and ventured across the kitchen to the pantry where she ate her fill. All was well with the world and as she turned to return to her burrow, she heard a slight sound and there, standing between her and safety stood the old tomcat, who had finished his outside business and had returned for a nap.
The lady rat had a short life and never recovered to wait for confirmation again.