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Posts Tagged ‘mice’

And in Mutual of Raleigh's "Wild Kingdom" :D…

… it’s been a critter filled week.

Still waiting for the V2.0 bluebird eggs to hatch. According to the folks in the know, it’s supposed to be 15 days from the date that they lay their 5th and last egg. Which should be this coming Tuesday. So we’ll see then if we’ve got itty bitty baby birdies this time, or if she laid another batch of “dud” eggs. Hopefully we’ve got birdies this time, it would be sad if the eggs were bad a second time. :(

Got the aquarium (ie the Guppy Birth Control Tank, aka The Home for Unwed Fish-fathers) set up last weekend, and in three different sessions, got all the guppies we were able to identify as male out of the 20 gallon tank and into the 10 gallon tank upstairs. The Great Guppy Rodeo actually went MUCH easier and quicker than I thought, although we’ll have to keep checking, since there are still so many unidentifiable baby guppies in there that we won’t be able to tell until they get a little older if they’re male or female. So the worst is over, and my 20 gallon tank looks a lot less overcrowded. The females look a little unhappy though. LOL.

And we’ve apparently got MICE again. It’s been a while, but had to take one mouse outside last night, and another one out tonight. I think all the rain we’ve been having is bringing them into the house again. Hoping that we just had one male and one female and that we got them relocated before they decided to follow the guppies’ example and start a bunch of babies of their own. The LAST time we had mice, I had to put out something like 16 of them in as many days. Yeah, they’re cute, but after the first couple of times, it starts to get a little old. So hopefully getting rid of these first two will take care of the situation this time.

Cat Toys: Where Art Thou?

 

Or, how to catch a mouse after midnight.

Some of you may remember several months back when we were having our kitchen remodeled and had to move the refrigerator to have the new floor tiles put in, and we found the entire area under the fridge carpeted (“carpet: the word that lies like a rug – it is neither a car, nor a pet” ūüėÄ ) with¬†drinking straws¬†and milk¬†bottle top rings, which in our house¬†are¬†two¬†favorite toys of our cats. Apparently¬†all involved found it really really funny. Alas, I was not home, or I would have snapped a photo of it to share.

Advance to last night around 12:30.¬†I see¬†Chloe jump from behind my TV¬†downstairs and go tearing up the basement steps, with a live mouse in her mouth.¬†¬†Argh. Gotta love those late night mouse rodeos. By the time I get upstairs to the living room, she’s already let it go and it has run immediately behind our piano. Swell. The good(?) news, it runs immediately out the other side and Shelley gets him this time. While¬†the cats are¬†batting it around in the living room, I close the doors leading to all the other rooms so at least we can minimize where they can take it.

And by the time I get back to the living room, Shelley has let it get away and it’s run under the couch. We debate whether to let him come out on his own and take his chances, or whether between the two of us we can tip the couch over and force the issue a bit. We opt to tip the couch. Whereas Ozzy runs in this time, grabs the mouse in his mouth and runs with it into the dining room.

I grab our mouse catching clear tupperware box and cardboard, follow him in, and after circling the dining room table a couple of times, Ozzy finally decides to drop the mouse, who just lies there on his back, I figure he’s either a goner, or he’s playing some serious possum. Possum it was. As soon as I put the box over him, he flips back over – so fast I never even saw him do it, he was like a Weeping Angel, I blinked and he moved ūüėÄ – and starts running around frantically under the box. I get the cardboard under him and we turn him loose outside, where¬†the last we see of him he’s¬†scurrying off across the driveway into our neighbor’s yard. Sorry, Bill.¬†ūüėÄ

Anyway, what does this have to with the cat toys under the refrigerator a few months back? THIS is what¬†one finds underneath the couch when you’ve got 4 cats and the couch hasn’t been moved in YEARS (and no, we didn’t actually find¬†a cat under there, lol. But we did find a roll of Smarties. Wonder how long THOSE have been there!)¬†:

Fort Knox of Cat Toys

"As God as my witness, I'll never buy cat toys again!" :D

 

Amazing what finds its way under the couch when you’ve got cats. LOL. Be sure to click the pic for the full sized version, that was how I spotted the Smarties, which I didn’t even see last night. ūüėÄ

Love To Catch Them Mousies… :D

… Mousies what I love to catch. :)

My apologies to the late B. Kliban for borrowing from his great cat cartoon. It’s one of my favorites.

Kliban cartoon

But finally, after the “better mouse” broke the last live catch trap that we had and we had to break down and order new traps from the internet, we again have a mouse trap that works. Kind of.

We HAD this great live catch trap that was spring loaded, you wound it, they walked in and stepped on a hidden pedal and it would scoop them up and stick them in a retaining area to turn loose outside at our earliest convenience.

Mousie pic 1

Worked great, until one weekend when I was gone to Doug’s, I came home and found that the trap was now in the garbage. Still don’t know exactly what happened, probably better off that I don’t, assuming that a mouse might have gotten stuck in the trap while it was being scooped and met a grisly fate. :( That had happened one other time, but I was able to free him before he succumbed to a bad case of dead. Not this one apparently.

So we’ve hunting for a decent enough replacement trap for that one, since apparently the Tomcat company is no longer making the spring loaded ones anymore (although they DO still show them on their website, but don’t sell to the general public). So after returning two other traps that didn’t work at all, we had this other one that kind of worked, with a ramp that as the mouse walked in, it would tilt towards the back of the trap, and a little door would shut on him, until we let him out. But half the time the thing would be closed and there wouldn’t be anything in it. Or the peanut butter bait would be gone and it would still be open. *scratches head perplexed* Guessing they worked in pairs and one would hold the door open while the other one swiped the bait. Last month, not only did they take the bait and run, they also swiped the removable back end of the trap, rendering the trap essentially useless, even after we tried to MacGyver a temporary fix for it. So figured we needed to go ahead and order a new trap online.

So after finding someone who actually still sold the spring loaded trap online, ordered two of them. Came in on Monday. NOT what we ordered. They were by the same company, but were the ones that you can find ANYWHERE, which had we known that’s what we were ordering, we would have just gotten for $5 less from Amazon. Emailed the company an angry-gram (polite, but very “what’s up with THIS, guys?!”), but agreed to at least try this new style. Not spring loaded, and still working with tilting ramps. But it seemed decently made, so we set it up. They said no bait required so we put it on the shelf as is overnight. Checked the next morning: no mouse. :( I thought “Swell, here we go again”. But figured we’d try baiting it. So borrowed a peanut from the squirrels and put one in the holding area last night. Checked it this morning after I got up.

Not one but TWO mice were peeking out at me from the “holding cell” when I turned the light on.

Mousie Pic 2

So it apparently DOES work. The only problem is, the ramps tilt back after the mouse is in the holding area, ready to catch the next unsuspecting mouse that walks in. And when it does that, if the trapped mouse gets startled (“if”? more like “when”, they’re real big on the whole “scurry and cower” thing – anyone see the “Tale of Despereaux” lol), it races back through the little hole and hides UNDER one of the ramps (you can see the second mouse doing just that in the picture). Tried to turn them loose at the curb this morning when I went out to get the paper going to work, but both mice were hiding under the ramps and would NOT come out. So I had to just leave the trap hidden in some leaves along side the driveway with the lid off.¬† As expected, they were gone by the time I got home from work. Brought the trap in again, loaded it with another peanut, and went ahead and set it up in the laundry room again. Checked it at around 9:30 during a commercial TV break, and yes, we caught ANOTHER mouse. Unfortunately, he’s going to have to wait in there all night, since I won’t be able to get him out without leaving the trap outside. And well, there’s always the chance that we’ll catch additional mice during the night tonight. So he may end up with company before morning. :)

So the trap SEEMS to be working, but getting them out of this style of trap seems to be a bit of a pain. If only they’d come when called… “Here mousie mousie mousie!”.¬† ūüėÄ

I know, a lot of you are thinking “why not just buy the ‘snappy traps that kill them instantly’ and be done with them?” We used to. Until one snappy trap failed to do the job instantly and to find the trap, we had to follow a trail of blood to the end of a shelf and around the corner, where the poor little guy dragged himself to hide. :-O Felt SO bad about that, and put my foot down right then and there, NO more snappy traps. We’ve been doing the catch and release thing ever since. And yeah, I’m sure that we DO re-catch some of the same mousies more than once; in that first pic, that little guy was NOT afraid of me at all, he was seriously doing the whole “been there done that bought the t-shirt” attitude. But it beats the alternative.

A BIRD flew into the house this morning!

I¬†swear, it’s like the New Zoo Review (and if anyone reading this knows what that is, congratulations, you’re old too!) at our house sometimes, between the camel crickets, the bugs, the mice, the maybe possum in the crawl space, and now we had a bird in the house!

It was the third bird (hey, that rhymes!) to fly into our storm door over the last couple of days, and this one hit hard enough to leave feathers and NOT fly away. Mom sort of scooted it back behind a planter box since if she left it where it was, one of the neighborhood cats would get it for sure. And there it stayed, huddled under a pile of leaves, just breathing hard. And we figured it was a goner, that we’d be having to dispose of a dead birdie by morning.

Mom opened the door to take a peek at him this morning, and it barely had time to register that he was actually sitting up looking at her, when through the door she was holding open, he suddenly launched himself and flew into our kitchen. I’m downstairs putting in my contact lenses and had just stuck the second one in when she lets out this shriek “Karen come quick, we’ve got a bird in the house!” And I’m like WTF? As I’m starting to close off all doors to other rooms, I think “need to shut the cats up too, or it’s really going to get messy in here”. The only one I could catch was Ozzy, but he’s so used to being stuck in his “naughty room” when he picks on Shelley, figured he’d be the easiest. Turns out the other cats were already too stressed about the excitement, so couldn’t actually catch any of the others.

By then, she’d found the bird, he’d landed on the counter right along side our stove, right behind the salt and pepper shakers. Fortunately he was too scared to move, and just sat there panting as I grabbed our usual “mouse catching” tupperware and a card that came in the mail yesterday to remind us to send in our census forms, and after putting the plasticware over the bird, slid the card underneath and was able to scoot him to a more level surface on the stove so I could get a sturdier cardboard under him and take him back outside.

Apparently he’s doing much better, when I went to put him in the planter box in our driveway to at least try to protect him a bit from the outside cats, I no sooner lifted the container off of him and he flew right past my head into the tree next door. Whew! Birdie Adventure over!

Oh, and as an afterthought… turned loose mouse number 13 this morning. ūüėÄ

Another Late Night Mouse-capade!

Actually was in bed before midnight (beat it by all of about 15 minutes, but DID beat it) last night, but then couldn’t sleep. Tossed and turned for a while, then finally dozed off enough to start dreaming. Dreamed that Shelley the cat was at the top of the basement stairs, growling at Ozzy, her 15 pound big brother, and figured that he’d been picking on her again, which he likes to do a lot, just because he can.

Eventually woke up enough to realize that I was awake again, and could still hear Shelley growling. From under my bed someplace. *groan* The last time she did that, she’d caught a mouse. I rolled over and looked at the clock. *double groan* Only about 1:30. After all that tossing and turning I probably had JUST gotten to sleep.

So I turn on the light, and – not knowing exactly WHERE Shelley is at that point – LOOK down before putting my feet down on the floor. Good thing, too, since there were 3 cats lined up down there. Ozzy and Chloe were sitting there staring at Shelley, who looked up at me as I looked down at her. But not TOO closely, since sticking out of her mouth, no big surprise, was the mouse. Well, the hind end of a mouse, all I could see were his back feet and tail. Gotta wonder what’s going through these mousies’ minds when a cat picks them up head first like that and they’re staring down the throat of impending doom. Still amazes me that they CAN pick them up like that and be so gentle with them that it’s not just instant death for the mouse. Guess they figure the mice are more fun to play with when they still move.

Long story short, I chased the other cats out of the room, and tried to get Shelley to drop the mouse someplace where I could trap it and put it outside. No such luck. She DID play a little “catch and release, recatch, rerelease” with it several times, but nowhere where I could get to it. And eventually she lost the thing and it ran away someplace.

I opened the door, let all the cats go where they wanted to, figured if he was still around at this point, they’d have the best chance of recatching him again. And turned out the light and went back to bed.

Eventually went back to sleep, but 6:30 came AWFULLY fast this morning. *yawn* Anyone got a caffeine IV?

I think it’s going to be a LOOOONG day.