Not this rodent:
And not this thing named after a rodent:
No; it was this kind of rodent, except smaller and darker:
|Not my mouse, not my hand ... because ... not enough time or inclination to take a picture at the critical moment.|
Warning #2: This is a bit long-winded. I write like I talk, except I talk fast so my stories are finished sooner. Sorry. There is a limit to the number of things in my life that I'm willing to put on the internet, so ... mouse stories it is. I completely understand if you move right along without reading. I'm trying to learn to edit myself but some days it's harder than others.
My post here - about the bird in the stove (found by BoyCat) - reminded me of other wildlife that occasionally gets in our house. Tiny, grey, furry wildlife, with miniscule feet and beady black eyes, whiskers and tails ... yeah, I'm talking about mice.
Our house was built in 1988, so - as houses go - it's not all that old. It's well-built and tight, and we have no idea how the mice get in, but they're tiny little blighters and run like the wind, and they've found a way, whether it's through a knothole somewhere, or through the door when we're entering or leaving the house.
The first few mice that got in must have found some way other than the door to enter, because they ended up between the walls, and there was nothing to do but sadly listen to them scratch for a couple of days and then deal with the smell of their poor wee carcasses in the kitchen closet. I don't know if I felt sorrier for the mice or for myself having to move the entire closet contents so they didn't take on that very special odour. Let's just say I was really, really sorry they died under such circumstances.
The fourth time I heard rustling and scratching in the same closet wall, I begged my husband to cut a hole in it to try and rescue the unfortunate beastie before it perished. Since the alternative for him was to deal with a very emotional spouse, he did it. Once the hole was made - and no mouse came out to greet us - he barricaded it with a heavy board held in place with heavy books.
Clearly not heavy enough. A few hours later, with my husband asleep for the night and me about to turn in as well, something caught my eye in the kitchen. Something small with a long tail. It was sitting on my yellow raincoat which I'd hung over the doorknob to dry earlier in the day.
After I scraped myself off the ceiling, I considered the facts. There was a mouse on the doorknob. We have three cats who are not allowed outdoors. My husband was asleep. If I took my eyes off the mouse for a fraction of a second, whether to obtain a cat's services, lock them all in the basement so there would be no murdering or running out the door, get a receptacle to trap the mouse, wake my husband, get the broom, get gardening gloves, or just to blink, let's face it, that mouse would be long gone. And it would be in the same house as us. At night. The only thing I really needed was something to catch the mouse in. The closest container was the wastebasket in the bathroom off the kitchen. As quietly as possible, I nabbed it - but the mouse had disappeared as anticipated. I'd only taken my eyes off it for a couple of seconds, so I checked all around the perimeter of the kitchen and felt certain it had not made it to the floor.
That meant, of course, that the mouse was in the folds of the raincoat. Carefully I took it off the doorknob, opened the door, and threw it onto the deck outside. By this time the cats had strolled into the room, and by the way they were lazing around, showing no sign of interest in anything but their food bowls, I figured my assumption about the mouse's whereabouts was probably right, and breathed a sigh of relief.
But I checked that raincoat three times before I took it back inside. Just for good measure. And even then, I felt kind of jumpy having it inside again.
There are more mouse tales to tell. Spoiler alert: they all lived - even though two of them spent time in a cat's mouth ... But that's a post for another day.
Do you have a story about wildlife in your house? Or have you been lucky and not had to deal with it?