29 August 2008
We moved into our house last year in mid-October. Shortly after moving in, we realized there was a mouse living under the floor near the stove (we could tell because of the way the cats would sit transfixed, staring at that spot!) We figured it was too cold for it to go anywhere, but it would leave in spring (what mouse wants to share space with two mousers?) Sure enough, spring came and the mouse was gone. The boys forgot about that entrancing spot on the floor.
Well, a couple of days ago, the cats started staring again. Now, I don't mind a house mouse--as long as it doesn't get into anything or cause damage. I was content to leave it be, until last night when I started thinking about it chewing on wiring. As Wraith sat in the kitchen staring at the floor and Shadow sat in the basement staring at the ceiling, I made a mental note to google mouse repellents in the morning (silly me for thinking cats would be repellent enough!)
So, last night as I was still thinking about how to get the mouse to leave, I was returning to the basement from a quick trip upstairs and noticed that Wraith was now at the bottom of the stairs next to the dresser that contains my craft supplies. And he was batting at something on the floor. The light was dim so it took me a second. Was it a toy? Nope--small and brown. Poop? Hey, you never know. Then I noticed it moving.
Somehow the mouse had left the safety of the floorboards and Wraith had literally got his paws on him. The poor little thing was terrified. As Wraith went after him and I panicked (like a proper silly woman) and S called for me to get a container and Shadow came to see what all the commotion was... the mouse tried its best to escape us all. As it scooted under the dresser, Wraith wedged himself in there too. Luckily for all of us, the mouse was faster than the cats (who probably didn't realize they should be hunting, not playing) but it was fenced in by the stairs and the feet. We got the container (an empty plastic salad bin) over him, slid a piece of cardboard underneath and had us a trapped little guy.
I held down the container while S ran to get his boots on. The cats were very interested in my prisoner, pawing at him through the plastic. The mouse, to his credit, realized pretty quickly that the cats couldn't get at him, and settled down to wait. Let me tell you--he was damn cute. Tiny and brown, he looked like the dormouse from Alice in Wonderland (although I'm pretty sure he was a field mouse). I really wanted to get him a Habitrail and keep him, but I don't think he would have cared for that too much. Instead we took him to the nearest park and set him free under a shrub. With a slightly confused look, he scampered off into the darkness. I hope he has a good life, free of cats and the falcons (or maybe hawks?) that live on top of a nearby high rise. And I really hope he doesn't come back to our house!
When we returned home, Wraith was desperately checking under the dresser for his new fun toy. He checked the floor by the stove too, but alas, there was nothing interesting there, either. We gave him and Shadow treats for being good hunters (secretly grateful that they weren't great hunters). And to top off the evening, I watched as a chubby raccoon cut across our yard and through the hedge. For an urban area, we definitely aren't lacking in wildlife.