Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend fun with Rodents

I worked all weekend in our mouse infested attic. Hot, smelly, cannot stand up straight because of roof pitch. Mice leavings every where - I am talking chewed paper, cardboard, fiberglass insulation,clothing, shoes and mouse pee and poo-
even dead mice all mixed in with things of great sentimental value.

I have a new appreciation for the meaning of the term "rat's nest" - we were the rats and the mice had invaded our nest.

At the end of two long days of sorting and triage through the belongings of our children and 30 some years worth of my papers and art work I squealed in shock when I saw a live mouse disappear below my hand as I moved books from one plastic box to a larger one. How the hell did that mouse get in there? It was in the same box with the dead mouse near the top.Continuing on I found below the next layer of books three little micelings in a nest of insulation. I removed and examined books and finally the nest was at the bottom of a plastic box. They looked so vulnerable, trying to hide underneath each other after I removed their nest,

I brought the little guys outside. My family urged me to drown them but I could not. The poor little guys seemed so helpless and so, yeah, I know it sounds stupid, but humans are programmed on a DNA level to be kind to little mammals,- they looked so cute. I dropped them is some high weeds far from the house.

The mice nest and family had not been there long because the books were untouched. The rest of our belonging were not as lucky. Mouse excrement is one thing but their unrine is really nasty. And it was all over our storage - books, paper and clothing! Mamma mia-

1 comment:

marcia said...

That sounds ghastly. What a waste of good memorabilia. We had PET MICE when the kids were small, maybe 4 and 7 years old- and one escaped. Well really the kids had them out playing with them and...I often saw it running along the baseboard heaters but it was too fast for me to catch it; it would escape underneath the metal cover and not be seen again for a few days. It chewed several lacy holes through a sheet that was bunched up in my room (for how long? a month or 2?). One night I was sleeping with Kyle in his bed. His dresser was behind the bed where our heads lay and I woke up to the sound of chewing. I moved, light on, chewing stopped. Light out, lying still, chewing again. Repeat this process at least one more time. Once I pinpointed the location of the chewing sound, I put the light on once again and opened Kyle's left top drawer. Sure enough there was Mousie, chewing peanuts Kyle had put in the drawer. Did your children ever store food in their dressers? Kyle slept through the whole adventure. Needless to say I caught the mouse and returned it to its terrarium home, NEVER to escape again.

Small observations: Mother mice get huge when they're pregnant, like lumpy rugs. Once our mouse mom had eighteen babies, but they were down to 8, then 5, and finally 3 a few days later, the rest having been eaten by the dad or both adults. The things we didn't know about having pet mice. If you want some, the pet stores sell them as snake food. But they do make very smelly pets, for such little things. Maybe their urine is why their tank smelled so awful. We eventually gave our survivors back to the pet store.