It is immediately apparent that Serafina is no typical young girl! She lives with her father, hidden in the basement of the Biltmore Estate. How, you might ask, is that accomplished? Mmm...very carefully? Yes, that would be the answer. However inexplicable or impossible this may initially appear, it is at once made believable by the historical knowledge that Serafina's "Pa" helped to construct the estate and indulged himself with a free, though perhaps less than desirable to most people, place to live, hidden away behind the boiler in the protection of the workshop. Since her father was still employed by George and Edith Vanderbilt to maintain the generator and other aspects of the mansion, this was possible.
She was about four months old when she left a dead mouse on top of my pillow one night! I understood this as an offering to demonstrate her prowess, but... Needless to say, I was just grateful to have looked down and noticed it before I unsuspectingly jumped into bed. I realized the importance of this 'ritual,' so I very gently picked Smokie up, holding her in one arm, while with my other hand, I grabbed a Kleenex, picked up the mouse by its tail, and explained to Smokie as we walked down the stairs and out of the house, that although I could appreciate her skill and willingness to 'hunt,' this was not an appropriate place to leave such 'offerings.' I was living in the country, with no more than 0-2 houses per square mile, so I had to always keep traps set, 'cause there were mice who inevitably made it inside every once in awhile. Though she did manage to hunt others and 'play' with them until they died, she never brought them to my bed ever again, leaving them where they lay. (I knew she understood!) :) And, of course, those were mice, a totally different animal than a rat! Rats grow to be very LARGE in comparison and can cause tons more damage. And rats...well, they're detestable! Though I do know two people who keep rats as pets...that is different...at least for them, though not for me! ;)