April Showers Bring, …, Mice?

By | April 17, 2006

The winter of 2004-2005 brought a deluge of rain to the Bay area. Heavy rains will cause underground mice tunnels to flood and collapse. While I was away on vacation for about 9 days during the heavy rains that winter, some of the neighborhood mice decided to take up residence in the engine compartment of my car. Read the story, stay for the 35+ comments.

Well, the rains have returned with a vengeance, and so, it appears have the mice.

Yesterday morning I was drinking coffee and reading the newspaper when my dear cat Nicholas walked up about two feet from my two feet. I looked down and noticed he was carrying one of his felt mice in his mouth. Nick sometimes does this, so I didn’t initially suspect anything was awry. But, I next noticed that the tail seemed entirely too realistic. When I stood up quickly, Nick lost his concentration and the mouse leapt wildly from his mouth and scurried past my toes on his way to the relative safety of the floor beneath the couch.

Nicholas immediately began to patrol the perimeter of the couch, and Alexi quickly joined in on the stalking. The instinct is strong in these two. My wife was not amused, and she quickly edged away from the excitement. The instinct is strong in her, too. I chased the mouse away from the couch and cornered him behind a fake fireplace log. Alexi and Nick were at the other end of the couch and didn’t notice the escape, leaving me to finish the hunt.

Then, my trapping instinct kicked in. I set up a plastic grocery store bag with its large opening at one end of the log. I then slowly pulled the log away from the wall and started moving toward Mickey Mouse with another bag. He turned and ran straight into the gaping maw of my plastic bag trap. I quickly snatched up that bag, dropped it in the other, and then tied off the top.

My first inclination was to blame him for last year’s car engine wire, hose, and insulation gluttony. I won’t share the brutal visions of retribution that flashed before me. But, then I realized that mice have short lives and he was unlikely to be the cretin responsible for my automotive nightmare. So, I tossed the bag in the car (our other car, just in case the scent of tasty wire harnesses might lead him to attempt an escape from the bag), drove to some nearby woods, and released him well away from other houses. He darted from the bag and scampered into some tall grass. With any luck, he made a tasty snack for a bird later in the day.

Handy Reference: Difference Between Rats and Mice

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