My car had to go to the garage this week to have snow tires put on and some regular maintenance done. When I picked it up, the service guy went over the items on the bill with me. The last charge was for replacement of the cabin filter, which is the air filter between the outside and the interior of the car. The mechanic had found and removed a nest from the blower motor. A nest made by a rodent who was, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who you are), dead when the mechanic found it.
All I could think was "poor little mouse." I wrote a couple of posts about mice in our house, HERE and HERE and even HERE, and the gist of those is that while I am not a mouse-lover (more of a mouse-liker, or a mouse-accepter, or maybe just a mouse-admirer-but-not-in-my-house-person) I hate the thought of causing any animal to suffer, no matter how small. I suspect the mouse set up housekeeping while my car sat unused in our lane during the time I couldn't drive, and I also suspect it died the first time I went for a drive after that hiatus.
In addition to the burden of death that is now on my hands, we paid just under a hundred bucks to have the little corpse and its home removed and a new, clean air filter installed.
And no, I didn't smell a thing.
But now I'm super aware that another mouse could get in, and I spend most of the time I'm driving at night imagining that there is a mouse inside the car and that it is going to run up my pant leg.
The main reason I worry about that particular scenario is because of the story my father told me about his job working at a commercial hen house in the 1950s. As you can imagine, there was a constant rodent problem around the barn which housed thousands of chickens. My understanding is that they couldn't put out poison because the chickens would get at it. So rodent control consisted of a pitchfork and a person. A horrible thought, but it was a fact of life and part of my dad's job. One day as he was dispatching mice, one intrepid fellow ran up one of his pant legs, across, and down the other leg. My dad would always shiver when he told the story, even though he was half-laughing at the same time. (Not about the stabbity part, just the up-across-down part.)
I really, really hope I don't have a close encounter with a mouse in my car while I am driving.
Have a good weekend, people. May you be mouse-free in both house and vehicle. And especially in person.
I hope this is what "my" mouse is doing now, in a different dimension . . .