Everybody around here agrees that it’s been a terrible year for mice. Well, great for the mice, terrible for us humans. There are just so many of them, and they all want to live indoors! We had mice (and the occasional baby shrew) when we first moved into the house, as it had been vacant for quite a while. But then (ignoring the weeks when M was in the hospital as a newborn and the cats weren’t in the house) mouse sightings/catchings have been pretty few and far between. Until this year.
The cats have dispatched about half a dozen mice and helped me catch about that many again. A few days ago, Bear-Bear cornered the mouse above, trapped it behind a trash can. It seemed almost relieved to scurry into my little “holding pen” cage. The cats had obviously been playing with it — it has only about a third of its tail, and one eye was swollen shut. Because I am a SUCKER, I made it a home in the spare 10gal aquarium I had. The eye has made a full recovery, but now it’s cold and really snowy outside, so I feel bad dumping it in the middle of a field. (My parents over-wintered a mouse they caught last year, so I come by my bleeding heart honestly.) If you were a mouse, would you rather have the freedom to run wherever you please but be out in the cold (or run the risk of being killed if you go indoors) — or trapped in a cage but warm and supplied with food? I wish I could get an answer about that, straight from the mouse.
Oh, and I’ve got a second mouse tenant, too. This one came out of the garage while the girls and I were playing outside. It walked straight over to us (over the snow), almost purposefully, and let me scoop him up with my mittened hands. If you’ve ever tried to catch a wild mouse, you know how odd that is. Maybe word had spread that I’m offering warm beds and fresh produce.