The Maligned Mouse

We found a mouse in our house.
He was discovered, deceased, inside the washing machine tub, as it was being filled with water to do a load of laundry.
We always leave the top lid open to dry out, and he had apparently fallen in and perished because he was unable to climb the slick, metal surface of the laundry tub liner.
He was tiny. Cute. Curled up as if just having a nap.
The search is now on as to how he got into our house.
The dryer vent perhaps? Or another opening on that side of the house?
There were mouse droppings underneath the laundry tub and around the washing machine, so we can only surmise that he entered through an opening from outside into that very room.
That room is off limits to our cats, as it also doubles as the furnace room.
In our last house, our cats had discovered four mice, that we know of.
They were quickly dispatched.
We found three of them, quite dead, after they were carried upstairs and deposited onto the living room carpet for us to find, as gifts.
We also discovered a mouse, again, quite dead, inside a compartment in our living room coffee table.
How it got there, and why or how it died, we never could figure out.
Perhaps it was not quite dead when the cats brought it upstairs, and it scrambled to safety up the table leg, only to perish of starvation. Or a heart attack. Or perhaps it was already dead when one of the cats deposited it there for us to find, also as a gift.
They say that cats will do that for their owners, as it is quite clear that we do not know how to hunt for ourselves.
I once had a lovely cat who quite proudly managed to capture a giant grasshopper. He brought it straight into the house and dropped it at my feet. I could see he was nearly bursting with glee.
In horror, I picked it up and returned it outside, all the while praising my cat, hoping he would not notice that I had rejected his gift as I set it free.
In our last house, we discovered those four little mice had found their way in through a dryer vent into the laundry room. For a long time after we sealed it off, we still found our cats staring up to the ceiling of that room, as if expecting more mice toys to fall in for them to play with.
But now to the mouse in our current house.
I think they are one of the cutest creatures.
Mice have the most adorable little faces, hands, feet, and tail.
They make sweet pets.
One of my first pets was a little white mouse.
Some of them have jobs as research subjects in the name of science.
Some were the stars of many a children’s book by reknowned English author Beatrix Potter, for one.
Their rodent relatives, the hampster, were the stars of a popular children’s show called Hammy the Hampster, with voiceovers covering their adventures.
And we can’t forget Mickey Mouse.
Or Stuart Little.
Even the gorgeous little chipmunk is a rodent.
The smart rat, however, is another story.
They also make great pets in modern times, to be sure.
But they are to blame for much disease in the world, and will forever be part of a dark era of human history where many people died.
Yes, rats are quite another matter.
One can never forget the scenes in the horror movie Willard where they are a teeming, murderous swarm.
And rats are tragically synonomous with filth and dirt.
Albeit human caused.
And in fact, a recent news story of a neighbourhood in the city that was becoming infested with rats, is quite likely contributed to by humans leaving piles of garbage around which attracts the rats.
However, they can also be thought of as the cleaners of our society, in a way.
Like the seagulls and crows and pigeons, they are the rodent equivalent of a cleanup crew.
A necessary cog in the wheel of life.
Someone needs to do the dirty work.
And these creatures do just that.
They don’t complain.
They don’t ask for money.
They just go about their business, eating and cleaning up our waste.
But when a little mouse finds its way into our house, errantly I am sure, I feel a little remorse as I am sure it is not its first choice.
I believe it entered mistakenly, by following a hole or opening that it thought would lead to perhaps some food, or shelter, or safety.
We have to be vigilant with these things.
We have to understand that survival is a difficult business, and so animals and birds have to be fairly opportunistic if they are to live.
And so, to help deter any future mice from perishing, I have set a live trap. I have put some tasty honey roasted peanuts inside, that will hopefully lure any last mice that may be lingering in our laundry and furnace room. Should it catch any, I will then deposit them back outside, and hope they have learned their lesson.
Should any mouse decide to exit the laundry and furnace room and make its way to our kitchen or elsewhere in the house, that would be a fatal move on its part.
For I know that our felines will quickly jump to task and do their job, and bring us the evidence as a joyful present.
So, mouse in our house, you are hereby put on notice.
As cute as you are, we would rather you live outside our house.


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