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Eek! A mouse (x 2)! July 1, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, homesteading, pets, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , ,

Silence Dogood here. I wasn’t particularly pleased to be awakened at 5 a.m. this morning by our beloved black German shepherd, Shiloh, requesting a bathroom break, since I’d been working on a project until midnight the previous night. Aaauuugghh!!! But the groggy aggravation paled before the sight that greeted me when I returned to the living room and saw that one of our cats, Layla, had caught a mouse. AAAUUGHHHHH!!!!

Mind you, normally mice try to find food and warmth in our home in the winter. Why one would have chosen to come in here during a scorching summer beats me, unless it naively assumed the house would be cooler than outside.

At any rate, it was the smallest mouse I’d ever seen. And it was still very much alive and outraged but (so far) unharmed, squeaking its outrage at Layla as she played with it. So I pulled on the heavy fireplace glove and grabbed it. Or, at least, I tried to grab it repeatedly, with a little help from an increasingly bemused Layla. (This technique has worked fine in the past, but because the fireproof glove is so thick and stiff, I was concerned that I’d crush the tiny mouse rather than scooping it up and immobilizing it.)

Finally, I had it in my grasp. I’d already—trained by years of this procedure with our former cat, Jessie—unlocked the front door. So I carted the mouse to the door and threw it back in the yard. Unlike Jessie, who would actually alert me to her catches with a distinctive cry and bring them to the front-door mat, then wait for me to don the glove and open the door so I could scoop up the mouse and toss it out, Layla looked appalled by the entire procedure. I attempted to shower her with praise—who wants mice in the house?!—but it was clear that she thought the whole thing was downright bizarre, if not an outrage.

By now, I was fully awake, and not pleased about it on a Sunday morning when I desperately needed to catch up on missed sleep. But oh, well. I settled in with the morning papers and a cup of tea and tried to make the best of it.

So you can imagine my horror when I walked into the living room an hour later and there was the same mouse in the floor! Creeping closer, I looked to see if it was still alive. And that’s when I saw that it was one of the tiny grey fur toy mice that our friend Ben (naturally, travelling during this crisis) had bought as a special treat for the cats. We hadn’t seen one of them in years. But somehow Layla had found it and set it in plain sight, in case I wanted another mouse. She certainly had the last laugh!

               ‘Til next time,




1. Frater Zee - July 1, 2012

HA !! Too funny. Your fireplace glove method (to prevent hand bites) is clever, but I can see how it might be too stiff to let you grip a seriously squirmy mouse. Idea!! Try leather work gloves. The heavier varieties look to be mouse-bite proof, and if needed you can wear the pair to get both hands on the little squeaker. Heh. Cheers.

Thanks for the suggestion, Frater Zee! The necessity of hand protection was driven home again a few weeks ago when that poor man in the Southwest was attempting to rescue a mouse bare-handed from his cat, was bitten by the terrified mouse, and ended up in the hospital in critical condition with plague as a result. As far as I know, that’s not a risk we run here in scenic PA, but if memory serves, hantavirus is. And even if not, who wants to be bitten by anything?! I’ve already taken a huge chance cutting a chipmunk free from bird netting while holding it fast in my bare hand (thank God, it simply rested quietly throughout the fairly involved procedure), and after all, I only have nine lives. And yes, although I failed to see the humor in the initial mouse episode, I thought the duplicate mouse was priceless. Layla is probably our smartest cat ever, and clearly she was working out the implications of my going after the first mouse…

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