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Paddy Courtney: Not only was there a dead rat in the house but I had a dead rat with leprosy

I hope i never have a week like this again. I've been washing myself with Jeyes Fluid and a wire brush and still can't get clean. All because my neighbour told me she had Rentokil lay poison in her attic to kill a rat.

"Why would you tell me this?" says I. "I'm just warning you because our houses are connected and it might try to escape under your floorboards," she replies, matter of factly. So, in a very manly way, I freaked out, screamed and jumped onto the nearest chair. She tutted, shook her head and left. "Please don't leave me, pleeeeeeeease."

That explained the rancid odour coming from the corner of my sitting room for the past few days. I chose to ignore it, hoping my girlfriend would take care of it with Shake 'n' Vac, candles or that bottle of Tweed that's been in the bathroom since we moved in more than six years ago.

We both knew the smell had to be the rat, because I had my bath at Christmas and wasn't due another until May. Operation 'get that poxy thing out of our gaff' swung into action. I tore up one of the floorboards and released the smell of a 1,000 brown bins. I shoved a dollop of Vicks up my nose, put on two pairs of gloves and armed myself with pliers, a rolling pin and a kitchen knife just in case Deady Mc Smellbag wasn't actually dead.

When I found him, he was slightly out of reach, so instead of ripping up more floorboards, I used the pliers to get a proper grip of him. With my first grab all I got was a clump of fur, second attempt, I ripped off one of his feet and on the third go, I tore off his nose. Not only was there a dead rat in my house, but I had a dead rat with leprosy.

Eventually I got him and he was that big, I could have put a saddle on him and ridden him at Cheltenham next week. The smell is gone but the memory will linger forever.