Wednesday 1 September 2010

A mouse a day...*

(*apologies to a well-known chocolate manufacturer)

...helps you work, rest and play. Depending on who or what you are, of course.

Millie puts in the Work: she has reverted to being the Mad Mouser, bringing live prey indoors on a regular basis. Last week, however, I binned what I thought was a very dead mouse, found at the back door, stiff, cold, wet, legs in the air, mouth open; yes, definitely dead.

Margery discovered it the next day, wriggling indignantly in its bin bag awaiting release (duly bestowed). I found myself apologising guiltily to the little mite as it legged it nimbly down the back lane.

This week, some decidedly not-dead mice have been released in the sitting room, and Millie Rests, smug, triumphant, ignoring the shrieks and squeals - surprisingly loud for such small creatures - as Scooter takes over, tormenting by his very presence and fascinated gaze. The dog hops about, ears pricked, but unsure about what to do next.

No one seems interested in death or devouring. It's Play, live entertainment, not blood sports.

I step in; I have a box kept at the ready, and the mice are only too happy to scuttle into it, to be carried up to  the top of the road and released into the undergrowth beneath the trees. I'm a much better mouser than Scooter, although he is very useful for pinpointing where the mouse has hidden.

Sometimes, after the freeing ceremony, a vigil is maintained where the mouse has been. This is slightly unnerving for me: were there in fact two mice behind the sofa together?

The box is also checked out very thoroughly.

I have a viewing tomorrow. The cats will either be locked in or out, well in advance of the appointment with an unsuspecting potential buyer. Selling a house is tricky enough without nerve-shattering sound effects from terrified rodents emitting from behind the sofa.

I sometimes doubt the wisdom of seeking a move to a more rural area. Can Millie cope with a wider menu of live prey? Can I?


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who lives in the middle of five acres - her four cats don't just bring things into the house - they leave them on her bed - and even worse, her pillow!! Good luck with the viewing - fingers firmly crossed!!

Rattling On said...

My friend once heard scuffling in the night. Her cat had brought a chicken in through the flap. We once had a very live starling in the kitchen. Messy. In the poop department!

Lucille said...

I've also had the unnerving experience of disposing of a 'dead' mouse, that suddenly leapt in the air and scuttled away. I screamed and if there had been a chair I would have jumped on it.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Mice are obviously very good at playing dead . Ages ago , at the height of late cat's Rodent Extinction Campaign , I put a very dead one in the pedal bin . When I went back about an hour later , I nearly had a heart attack . The perky little **** was sitting up , eating a cheese rind .
Good luck tomorrow !
Sonata .

flwrjane said...

Very funny. We now have voles in our garden would they be interested in helping? I would definitely let them bring them home to you.

the veg artist said...

Rupert's mouse catching was spasmodic. If he felt I needed cheering up, or if I had mentioned that he hadn't caught a mouse in ages, one would appear - left, very dead, on the doormat as a gift. He never brought a live mouse in, preferring to play with them outside, tossing them into the air, and then wondering why the poor things died of a heart attack.
Millie could be working on the 'Every house needs a mouse' principle. Perhaps you could let her keep one, then she wouldn't feel the need to bring more in? Perhaps not!
Tell them to be on their best behaviour for the viewing! Good Luck!

Carolina said...

Fortunately our new cats leave their shopping outside. Although one has to tread carefully, because they drop them all over the place. Sometimes one of the dogs eats the fresh left-overs. Crunchy. The ones I find before I step on them and before the dog does, fly over the hedge into the woods. Ashes to ashes...
Our former cats sometimes brought live mice in. Oh yippee. Some day I'll have to write a post about one funny occasion.

Good luck with the viewing.

(I've noticed in your profile that one of your interests is 'baking my cats'. LOL)

Susan said...

Hey ! fingers & paws crossed re les viewing. Hope it goes really well.

Carolina said...

Noticed you're not baking your cats anymore. I'm sure they are relieved ;-)

jabblog said...

Our cats used to bring young live rats in and frogs which scream really loudly - no other defences, of course.

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