Friday, March 26, 2010

A Mouse in the House

Today was a sad day.

My cats came running into the dining room in a big herd and I heard a few squeaks.  'Yay!'  I thought.  'They are playing with their mouse toy!'  I rushed over to see, since they rarely play with it (especially not as a group).  But there was no mouse toy.  Instead, Chloe was clutching a small mouse in her mouth.  I screamed, the cats ran, the dogs came barreling in, and then I chased after all seven of them.  The cats ran into my bedroom and Chloe dashed under the bed with her find.  I began corralling the other cats out of the room and finally caught Chloe - mouseless - stalking my nightstand.  I looked all around for the mouse (hoping I'd find it somewhere alive) but I couldn't find it anywhere.

Fast forward five hours.  My mom stopped by to visit and bring a Have-a-Heart mouse trap.  We have mice in the house - they run around under the floorboards and in the basement and I'm totally ok with that.  We never see them.  This is an old house that was built in the middle of a corn field and there have always been field mice sneaking in somehow.  I keep everything in the fridge except canned goods - I'm completely neurotic about bugs and stuff getting into food and so I don't keep it in the pantry.  So since there is nothing for them to eat, I'm ok with them keeping warm in the cracks and crevices of the house during the winter.  And how do you even get mice out of (or keep them from coming in) to a space I can't even get to?  I set up the Have-a-Heart trap in my room with the hope that this little mouse would find it's way into the Have-a-Heart trap so I could move it on outside.

But as we're sitting in the kitchen chatting, I see Chloe come trotting into the kitchen with - you guessed it - a mouse in her mouth.  J had gone into the bedroom and forgot to close the door afterwards.  I ran after her, yelled, and she dropped it.  The poor little thing just lay on the floor, breathing heavy, while I batted the cats away.  Then all of a sudden it jumped up and began frantically racing around the foyer.  J grabbed a flower pot I happened to have sitting out and trapped the mouse inside, then using a piece of cardboard, made a portable mouse house.  We carried it outside, took it a little ways from the house, and released it with some shredded cheese.  That was the first time I saw the mouse - just a teeny-tiny little mouse with soft baby fur.  It was so incredibly small.  And so unbelievably cute.  As it hopped away from our house, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.  This little baby had just been attacked, torn away from its home and family, and sent into the huge unknown world.  It's entire life had changed completely.  I remembered watching Milo and Otis as a child and bawling my eyes out as those two little animals were ripped away from their comfortable and fairly safe lives.  I wish I knew that that little mouse was alright.  J and I stood there and I said, "We should have just put it in the basement."  "I know," he said.  My mom disagreed; she told us (quite sensibly) that you can't keep mice in the house, and even if we had put it in the basement, it might have ventured up and been caught by the cats again.  No matter what we would have done, we would have worried.  And we are worrying.  J and I are both animal lovers, and mice are no exceptions.  I know cats instinctually hunt mice, but I'd prefer to not have any killing going on in my house.  Hopefully now that it is warming up the mice will move outside and be safe away from our cats.  I'm glad that Chloe didn't kill the mouse; I only hope that it is able to stay safe outside.

Thanks for reading.  I've been feeling so sad about what happened.  I just hope the mouse is ok.  It makes me feel better to write my feelings out.


ANSTAH said...

aww Brooke, you are so cute. This story was so touching. animal lover indeed. I'm sure the mouse thanks you for saving its life. =]

Unknown said...

:) Thanks for reading, ANSTAH. I am such an animal lover - and such a sensitive person! I hope it is ok. I wish it hadn't gotten so cold around here recently!

Rhea said...

My grandfather always used to prefer kill the mice when they were caught in the mousetrap, KILL. Being an animal lover, even when I was only 3, I queitly used to let em out of the house when my granddad wasn't looking. I got into trouble many times, I don't care though. Poor little mice :(
I hope the mouse will be fine...

Skulda said...

that was really sweet of you to rescue the mouse. Unfortunately it is not a good idea to allow the little cuties to live in your home. Their urine and feces can cause serious illness.

Sorry to be the barrer of bad news. :(

Tierney said...

That made me sad.. I hope the mouse is ok.
My own kitty is a ferocious hunter.. There are tons of mice out in the fields surrounding our house.. and my stepdad makes our cats live outside/in the garage. So I can't really stop my kitty, he is outside so much and he's really fast. I feel bad for the mice though.

Libbeh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucy said...

Aw, that is so sad - I love animals so much so I totally get how you feel :-(

Unknown said...

Rhea, it has warmed up today, so J and I are both feeling more hopeful for it :)

Skulda - yick! That's what my mom was saying (and her reasoning for why I shouldn't put it in the basement). Now that it is warming up, I'm sure they will be (or already are) moving outdoors. And we're currently having our house resided, which may eliminate any mouse-friendly cracks and crevices. So next winter may be mouse-free!

Tierney, my mom has outdoors cats too and it is true - you can't stop a cat from hunting instinctually. And in the great outdoors, it does seem like a little more (a little) of a fair playing field. But it still is sad :( I've always wanted to have a barn (with rescued barn cats too!) but I know I'd be devastated seeing them catching mice!

Awww Libbeh, that is such a sad story :( :( That's why I use the Have-a-Heart trap (although I probably should be using it more on regular basis in order to move this mouse family outdoors). It is a little box with a door that swings shut when they walk in. They I can carry it outside and release them! My mother has a big one too, perfect for catching stray cats for spay/neuter and trapping that groundhog that was destroying my parents' backyard. He got moved to a public park :)

Lucky - yeah, I'm a total animal sap - and it would have been different if it had been a big mouse, but it was SO TINY! I had never seen a mouse that small.

Akuma Kanji said...

Gladly it was a small mouse from fields. I already had 3 mice in my house and notice... it is an apartment in a building... the problem is, it wasn't like those little cute mice like that, they were those from the sewers that grow up like rabbits. Gladly we caught them in the next days but imagine if we had the bad luck to have a rat in here? And it's not a certain thing... we might have that bad luck one day.. hope not.
Thank you for being a follower of my blog and thank you for your comment, you are really nice and kind ^__^.

Unknown said...

Kanji - you're welcome! and thanks for following my blog too :)
I'm like you - if I found a RAT in my house, it would be a different story. Baby mice are cute... rats scare me. Ad I agree - if I was in an apartment or I actually saw mice in my house, it would be different/I'd want them living outdoors! lol. Glad we have teeny tiny mice around here - not sewer mice - those sound scary!

nihrida said...

I think you did the right thing. If you put it in the basement it would be caught by one of your cats eventually. There's still a big chance she'll come back. It's a house mouse after all. =)
I'm just glad it's alive.

Stiletto said...

WOW, reading this is like deja-vu!

Me and Rob go thru this every winter. We have no cats, but Macy , our Jack Russel likes to chase them, and the flying squirrels that live in our roof. And I am the same way! So many say "Christy, you have GOT to get rid of them!" I say Why? they aren't hurting me! The squirrels stay in the roof just during the winter and we keep live traps out for the mice, and if it's cold out I just keep them in a old fish tank my lizard used to live in, til it's warm enough to release them!

and the mice cant get on our island in the kitchen and that's what i use as a prep surface just in case!

We are two of a kind, me and you!

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