Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The clock struck twelve.........

Driving by my local library I glanced over at the pond on the other side of the road. Caught this nice photo of a Blue Heron.

So, I get this email from my middle son, up in Boston. I thought I would just let him tell the story.

Oh, Max and Bailey are his cats. Caitlin his wife. The dog is Hudson.

"THEN, in the middle of the night, I hear them both running around, and Max is growling! Up until we brought the dog home, I had never heard him hiss before, but I've definitely never heard him growl! Anyway, I could see him in the shadows running around with Bailey right on his heels. I figured they were just play-fighting (they do that to get attention/food) but then I've never heard Max growl. Given his size (20lbs) I thought maybe for a minute an outside animal had gotten into our house somehow. When I followed them both into the bathroom and turned on the light, I realized Max had something in his mouth. Upon closer (no glasses on) inspection, it was the head of a mouse sticking out of his mouth! Not sure what to do at this point, I followed them back into the bedroom where the mouse got free of Max, and then Bailey scooped him up in his mouth. I grabbed a plastic bag and got bailey to release the mouse in the bag, so I could take him outside and release him. Unfortunately, by the time I got my shoes on and to the other side of the street, I dumped the bag over and it didn't seem like anything came out! (although...still no glasses on, so who knows.) anyway, not sure if the bag had a hole in it or not, but very exciting night for the cats. We never had mice in our apartments, so I think this is their first catch.They were up for the rest of the night looking for him. Caitlin was sufficiently grossed out by the entire ordeal."

Now before all you rodent lovers send me hate mail remember I love domesticated rats. I think country mice are cute as buttons as long as they remember to stay outside. MICE IN MY HOME..........ABSOLUTELY NOT.

When we lived in town in our 100 year old remodeled farm house the one problem we had was the basement had been created after the house was built and the walls were cement and rock rubble. Lots of places for mice to come inside.

I was young. I thought little mice were cute. The first time we put out a trap we, John and I, laid in bed worrying about the sound of the trap going off.
We had put a cube of cheese in the trap like we had seen on countless cartoon shows. The trap went off, we hurried downstairs to find an empty trap and the cheese gone.

Co workers suggested peanut butter instead of cheese. We followed through with that suggestion only to find that neither one of us wanted to deal with the dead mouse.

I decided to go the humane way. I bought very expensive metal traps from THE EXTERMINATOR, a store with a giant cockroach on it's roof. The humane metal traps worked and for a week I proudly took the traps down to the park for the release program. While I released the last trap the mice were handing out road maps on how to get back to our house.
This silliness continued for about a month. I trudged down to the park, released the mice and they scampered as fast as they could right back to the house.

I decided to ignore the entire problem. I put the traps in the attic, raised the ladder and shut the whole issue away. Meanwhile the mice burrowed into my large plant pots, made a nest and raised a family. Another mouse got into my table linen drawer and did his or her best to continue the superior race.

Pushed to the limit I went to Farm and Fleet and got little bags of poison pellets. The mice ate the pellets and went looking for water, outside. I'm not proud of this but despite how cute mice look on TV they carry diseases, mites, ticks and road maps.

Ahhhhh, I hear you, in the back row. You want to know why we just didn't get a cat. Well, for 30 years my husband was allergic to cats. Then Cleo arrived at our door and suddenly he wasn't. Now we have two cats and he still seems to be perfectly alright.

The first year we were in our new house a country mouse wandered in from the garage. Cleo and Louie were both on it. Cleo wanted to put it in the bathtub, Louie just wanted to play with it. I put a trash can over it, scooped it up and tossed it back outside.

I am a hard hearted woman when it comes to mice. Give me a well trained rat any day but mice............bah.


  1. I don't like mice, and you know what follows mice, if it is hot and dry enough...snakes. I had that problem once. No pest control of any kind, professional or otherwise, kept the mice or snakes out. It drove us crazy so we sold the house after 9 months!

  2. Have to leave on a better note. :) Love your heron photo as I love the birds.

  3. Thanks Yvonne for stopping by. I have to say that post wasn't my usual style. I guess it brought back conflicted and not pleasant memories.
    When we bought a cabin that had not been used in a while we found that the previous owner had left a LARGE snake in the basement to keep the mice population down. Scared the crap out of us, city folk. :)Bea

  4. Mice in the house? No way. When we moved here, Jim could hear the mice and rats running around in the roof space. One day, we were in the kitchen and a rat poked its nose through a hole in the ceiling. The rats eat our carpet and the tube from the washing machines. We got 2 cat. No problem. Mice banished. Only the odd one that they bring in to play with escapes! It's a cruel world but I don't enjoy them for company.

    Well done you and I laughed at your son's story.

  5. Great story about the mice and let's all give our kitty's big applause for keeping those little suckers at bay!
    Beautiful heron, btw!