Owner’s story of her roaming rat

A model of Matilda the rat, who belongs to Elle Havis, travelling around New York with Elle as she promotes her book Where's Matilda? ANL-151111-144721001

A model of Matilda the rat, who belongs to Elle Havis, travelling around New York with Elle as she promotes her book Where's Matilda? ANL-151111-144721001

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A rat-lover from Bury St Edmunds has made the ultimate tribute to one of her furry friends – by writing a book about her.

Elle Havis took in pet rat Matilda from a pet rescue centre around 18 months ago let her have free rein around the house.

Her almost daily hunts for the roaming rodent were the inspiration behind her book, Where’s Matilda?, which was illustrated by local artist Kieran Stotts-Everett.

Elle explained: “I would come home every day and ask, ‘Where’s Matilda?’.

“Sometimes she was on the couch, or on the bookcase, or even behind the washing machine!”

With the book printed, Elle decided to take a few copies on holiday with her to New York. She said: “I thought I could leave it in book shops and restaurants with a note.”

Before she left for the US, Elle asked craftswoman Beverley Neeves to create a model of Matilda, which she took pictures of at various tourist sites around the city (see New York, above).

Of the project, Elle said: “When you spend money on a hobby you don’t always get something back, and this has been such immense fun.”

Elle will be selling copies of her book, along with greeting cards and stickers, at the Green Fair in Bury on Saturday.

Ten per cent of her profits form the sale will go to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.