Categorized | Features, Laurie's Scribbles

Mouse In The House: What Should We Do?

mouse

Laurie thinks mice are cute. Even a stuffed mouse has an appeal for the country girl. 

By Laurie Stone

My son Patrick came into the kitchen, his face worried. “I caught a mouse in the basement.” I looked at him and shrugged. Mice come into our house all the time, part of life in the Connecticut woods.

“Put it out,” I said. He looked at me like I’d just spoken Swahili.

“How do I do that?”

I sighed. Time to teach my oldest the ways of humane animal relocation.

Late spring was an unusual time for a mouse (that’s usually “ant season”), but it had been cool and rainy. Mice usually come in the fall when they’re attracted to the warmth.

I think mice are cute. Unlike many women — and a few men I know — I have no terror of them. That said, they leave behind little “presents” that aren’t cute. They must go.

motherhood, guilty pleasures, meals, mother, worrying, hopeful, boys, asleep, pedometerI also hate killing anything. Living in the country for decades, I’ve become adept at removing unwanted creatures in a kind way, mostly insects. With moths, spiders and hornets, I use a tried-and-true method to evacuate them: I take a paper cup and place it over the perpetrator and then (this is the tricky part) slide an index card gently underneath. This is where you need nerves of steel, especially if there’s an angry wasp or hornet buzzing hysterically underneath. I slowly lift the cup-and-card combo off the surface and with the help of someone opening doors ahead of me, set the little being free.

Both of my sons had used this method with insects but never with a mouse. Come to think of it, I hadn’t either.

We went to the basement where Patrick pointed to a small, upside-down clay flowerpot. “It’s under there.” I pictured how scared this little mouse must be.

At my suggestion, Patrick procured a cardboard sheet (the kind that comes inside a man’s shirt when it’s dry-cleaned) and I slowly, gently slid it under the flowerpot. Fast scrabbling was heard beneath and the tiny tip of a tail poked out. Yes, a mouse was under there. With Patrick opening doors, I carried the upside-down flowerpot with the cardboard sheet tight underneath.

“Put it somewhere far from the house,” said Patrick. (I sensed he wasn’t a mouse person). I walked across our driveway and placed it on a rock. I slowly lifted the flowerpot. There stood a baby gray and white field mouse, tiny with a big head. I imagined its mother frantically looking for it.

The baby mouse scurried away into the brush, so fragile against the wild animals that live out there. I didn’t give it much of a chance, but maybe it would be lucky. “At least we tried,” I said to Patrick, looking at the leafy spot where the mouse had disappeared. He nodded.

The world’s cruel, but sometimes it feels good doing something kind…even for a little mouse.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog, “Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

3 Responses to “Mouse In The House: What Should We Do?”

  1. Beth Havey says:

    Laurie, Love this. It takes me back to my life in Des Moines. Coming from Chicago, I was not very familiar with a country life and critters, but we had a forest behind our house and we had: deer, a bard owl, and lots of bats that would come into the garage in the evening. Now, back in Chicago, we have bunnies in the backyard, only. Ah wild is life.

  2. Rena says:

    I am an animal lover too but there are two animals that absolutely terrify me. A mouse and a cat. I don’t know if I was traumatized by Tom & Jerry as a kid or what but it’s deep. Like go to a hotel terrified.

  3. Alana says:

    I have been known to rescue spiders (wasps give me a bit of pause but I have done that a couple of times, too) using the cup and index card trick, and release them outdoors. Trying to rescue a mouse? no no no no (screech).

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