I RECEIVED a belated Christmas present last week when returning from walking my dog Buster in the form of a half-dead brown rat that had been left at my back door. I’m guessing by one of the local cats! It’s not the first time I’ve seen a rat in the area as sightings of them have been quite common of late, but it’s the worst state I have seen one in for a long time.

Struggling to contain my shock, I did what any man would do in such a situation and hid inside the utility room to formulate a plan on how to put this poor creature out of its misery. When I had mustered up the courage to go and do what needed to be done my state of mind was sent further into chaos when I returned to the back door to witness my dog Buster with the dying rat in his mouth, wagging his tail in delight as he often does with his when stealing one of my slippers. After chasing Buster around the garden, shovel in hand, I finally managed to release the rat from his mouth and put him out of his misery.

Worse was to come though when I realised I had nowhere to put the dead rat as my bin was already overflowing from the mass of Christmas rubbish. After making a bit of space I had to place the dead rat in a Christmas box at the top of bin for a whole week awaiting the next collection. Every time I had to try and squeeze another few bits of rubbish in I was reminded of the tragic incident.

With smaller bins set to replace the limited general rubbish bins, we already will the Council consider starting to double up the bin collections over the festive period to help families cope with the huge amounts of waste generated? I understand that resources are limited and there are green/recycling targets to meet but surely an extra collection at Christmas is a possibility to help avoid such awkward moments like the one I experienced.

Matthew Pimm Milton Road Newport