The "Cat" in The OuthouseMy 'Baba' lived in a time when running water came from a pump, and even at large schools outhouses were most often the only type of latrine in use. This is a story from her time as a teacher, when she lived at one of the state-run schools.
As teachers we did not get paid very well, and we lived at the school we taught. For food, at the school we often had graf (beans) with bread for meals. We had to also go outside for the washroom, and use outhouses. The outhouses were simple, like a covered hole in the ground. The smell and food waste in the outhouses often brought in animals and they sometimes got stuck when they fell through the hole. One night late when it was getting dark, I went out the outhouse. I was about to sit down when I heard something move, and I saw a shadow in the hole. I stood up and looked into the hole, but could only see a dark shape, about 2 feet big.
It was large, I thought it must be a cat. So I went and got a lantern, and came back. I leaned over the hole again to see if I could get the cat back out. I was so shocked - it was not a cat, but a big grey rat! It was huge, so large I could not believe it. It was eating the food at sitting on the pile at the bottom of the pit. I was worried about it being down there when I would go to use the washroom - I was afraid it would poke holes in my bottom with it's teeth - so I left and used a different outhouse that night. When I came back later it was gone.