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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Story of a Mouse Part III : The End

Not cute, huh?

I called my daughter, who was at her dad's. She was not available so I told Dennis "Tell her there are baby mice in my room." The mousecatcher Bella is her cat, that has taken over my bed, so I needed to share the responsibility with her.
When Rose and her brother were dropped off later that day, they all ran in the house. I was listening to a story by phone from my soon-to-be-bride buddy about a get together she was at... and all the intrigue present. Rose, then Wilder, then Dennis came in and out of the room asking "where are they?" "that wasn't true, right?" while I was trying to listen on the phone. They could not believe I had rodents, babies, in my room. Dennis actually bet the kids that I was pulling their leg.
HA. On them. They thought they were cute, once they found 'em. In case you have not experienced baby mice, and I had not before this moment, they are not so cute. Rather alien like in their nuditity (yeah, i know that is not a word) and lack of eyes, hair and recognizable mouse features.
Rose is a softie. A softie with a heart of a teenager, which means cute boy aware, attitudinally challenging, lousy-mannered, but who sobs when a motherless naked mouse dies and hugs her mother when her mom is grumpy. It is a cool juxtaposition.
Regardless. We googled. We sent their dad off for baby formula and hydration materials. The kids used one of my GOOD silk scarves ("but it was in the ragbin...") for a bed in a frisbee for the newborns. The heat lamp was retrieved from the chicken coop. ALL FOR RODENTS. I am telling you, we are an embarrassment to country livin'. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
The end: we found mom, Wilder caught her, we put her in with her babies, then set them all outside the next day. She left her babies. They died. Good thing those mice breed like rats! Have I learned anything from this? 1. Mice are cute 2. Baby mice are helpless. 3. I have good kids.
Image Courtesy:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Story of a Mouse Part II

Part II:
In the middle of the night, I heard scrabbling around. And around. I would move in bed and the noise would stop. I figured that mouse was still in the house, and under my bed. All night. The next morning, after a biiiiig cup of coffee, I began moving my bed out from the wall in search of this elusive little creature. I cursed CURSED when I moved a newspaper and saw a cat "gift" that must have been left by our aged infirm feline. Except this moved. And I did a double-take. I was extremely freaked out when I realized I was looking at newborn mice.
To recap:
Cat catches mouse.
Alive mouse is carried in house by cat.
Mouse runs loose in my bedroom.
Mouse gives birth.
Human finds baby mice.
Human does not find mouse mom.
Baby mice are not cute.

Story of a Mouse Part I

When we moved out of the city, where rats are large and scary, to the suburbanish country, where mice are small and cute, our relationship changed.

Part I. I was coming down the blue farmhouse stairs and looked over the field. There is a window halfway down that you can look out over the garden, wetland, and front field. I saw Bella, our cat, traipsing across the grass toward the house with intent. She had something swinging from her clamped jaws and I thought : Good Bell, getting another rodent out of circulation. I went downstairs to let the horses back in their field, and Bella set down her conquest on the driveway. She sat over it. Then I noticed its tail move. I know cats do this. I know they have predator instincts and play with their food. All normal behavior. I just can’t see it done if the victim is still alive. She needed to kill her prey quick and then play with it, or let it go. (I seem to have all these rules of conduct for our animals—just to be clear – they don’t follow any of my suggestions)
Anyway, so she is beginning to “play” with her live captive and I told her NO. The wee mouse looked too much like our pet hamster, Chuck. I was tired, and not going to watch torture on the very small scale 12 inches from my foot. So told Bella no, and then Amanda, our dog was interested, and also mooshed the mouse with her nose. I told her no too, and Bella dove in to grab her mouse again. She looked at me with that dilated pupil crazy stinkeye, looked at our open front door… and ran toward it as I screamed NOT IN MY HOUSE! She ran to her hang-out room, which is my bedroom. Running after her, I slammed the bedroom door locking her and the mouse in my room. I was wanting her to finish the deed and get it out of my room. I was no longer in the saving frame of mind. I don’t want mice in the house. Noooooo way. I opened the door 10 minutes later, and both cats, BOTH cats are lounging on the bed falling asleep. There is no snippet of rodentia anywhere. Not a wisp, nor a whisker. I looked under the bed. (And found my missing books and two mismatched socks) I looked under the dresser. Dust bunnies. Looked under the other dresser. Found the case for my drill and reciprocating saw --why is that in my room?? No idea. First result, I should clean out under my furniture more often. Second result, no mouse.
I did what any normal person would do who had an exhausting work day and was pooped. I threw the cats out, closed the door, and went to bed.
Image Courtesy Hammielover123
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