Of mice and men

Warning: a little bit of gruesomeness, and a long MPSIMS ramble.

A while back I posted about our cat’s propensity for depositing live mice in our bed. The good news lately is that there’s been less of that; the bad news is that it’s because about two years ago the cat adopted son #2 as her pet, and now she sleeps in his bed, and also bring HIM the late-night presents.

The other good news is that it’s been a rarer event, and we’ve been mostly mouse-free, at least until recently. To describe what’s changed, you have to understand the layout of our house, which was built in the 1700s - picture a VERY tall capital U, and then tip that U over onto its side. The very top end of the U is son #2’s room; the very bottom tip of the U is our bedroom, and then a long storage room, say 16’ x 10’. That storage room is actually washer/dryer, pantry, extra shelving, and then a lot of boxes/cases of stuff since we buy in bulk. And in addition to all that, the cat’s food and litterbox.

About a month ago, I became aware that the mice had noticed the cat’s night-time absences, and were starting to take her food. The clues weren’t too obvious, no little poops, but just occasionally when I got up for my inevitable 3AM bathroom trip, I’d hear the “ping!” of a mouse fleeing the ceramic bowl. It happened often enough that I went and bought a mouse trap, organized the cases in the storage room into little pathways to the food, and put a trap in each pathway. And sure enough, a few days later, 2AM or so, one got nabbed, except it went horribly awry - because I was putting traps where the cat might go, I’d bought these little enclosed plastic types, rather than the lethal and cheap wooden type. As a result, the incredibly fucking fat mouse (I have seen many mice, but none like this - and no, it wasn’t a rat) had its head caught in the trap, but wasn’t dead, and had flipped around on the floor until it landed in the food bowl. Ugh. I took it out and deposited it in the woods, where it staggered off.

I then put the trap back, thinking it had failed because the mouse was so big. And last night the same thing happened - snapping sound woke me up at 2AM, flopping sounds for a while, and then silence. I lay in bed feeling horribly guilty for not finding a different kind of trap, and then finally got up, turned on the light, went into the back room, and…no mouse. No trap. What the hell. For the next half hour I stacked and restacked boxes, looking for that goddamn thing, knowing it was in agony somewhere, but finally went back to bed. At 6:30 I got up, decided to work from home, and searched again for a while. Bear in mind - big room, lots of shelves and hidden areas, lots of cases. No luck.

Finally, about 9AM, son #2 comes down to where I’m working. Me: “Did you hear about the mouse?” Son: “You mean the one in the garbage?” Me: “What? No. The one in the back room. What one in the garbage?” Son: “You will not believe this, but around 3 this morning the cat jumps into the bed, and guess what - not only does she have a dead mouse, the damn mouse is still in the trap.”

So there you have it: presumably the cat found the mouse in the trap, and made the long journey all the way up to son #2s room to deposit it.

God I hate mice.

We have lost mouse traps to mice, or rather Rats. Mr.Wrekker sets the big, mean old wooden rat/bear traps in his barn. He has to tie them to a stake or the half-dead Rat will walk off with them attached to a body part. I have a fear of a large rodent with rat/bear traps on it’s paws chasing me through bucolic hills of home, yelling “who’s trapped now?”

Thankfully this summer weather has kept the critters at bay outside, but if this winter was like the last or before, I can expect glowing eyes during the night. This house was built in 1905 and I am sure there are plenty of entrances where meeses (sp?) can come in that I missed.

Thankfully my friend/landlord adopted an angora cat who seems to be on look-out for such things. I will pay an extra $5/month not to have a dedicated mouse upon my bed.

The Siamese would never lower themselves to catch a mouse. But cat pee will discourage meeces, I hear. Old Granny used to take her cats sandbox(her term) and scatter it around her old garden shed to keep mice out. She claimed it worked, YMMV.