Update on the Mouse Situation

Deer MouseIt’s now over two months since I wrote, My MouseHunt. In that article, I told the story of the mouse who had gotten into my house and how I trapped her and released her. For me, that was the end of the story. But I suspect that most people thought I was just a silly boy. Indeed, the story was not over.

After four days without any mice, I noticed more scat. So I put out the trap and it caught another mouse, which I duly released in the front yard. And every three or four days, there was another mouse. I got to thinking that the local mice community had fingered me as a mark. I imagined one of the mice telling all the others, “You go inside this box where you can have as much peanut butter as you want. Then you go to sleep, and in the morning, this guy comes by and puts you outside.”

I like mice, but I don’t like feeling like a mark. So I decided to release the mice far from home. The problem with that is that the traps are super sensitive. So many times, when I opened the back door, there was no mouse inside. I didn’t like the idea of trudging a half mile away to release the little thing.

There was another problem: I am kind of a mark. I didn’t like the idea of the mouse being all alone — far from its family and friends. And then it might be eaten by a hawk. Or it might get into someone else’s house and have its cranium crushed just when it thought it was going to have a delicious meal.

But I found a spot that I thought was rather good. It was covered with trees and leaves. And I figured there was a good mouse living to be made — but clearly not as good as the peanut butter train in my house.

I had noticed during the month and half of constant mouse collecting there were clearly at least two mice. One was small and the other large. Now they might have all been different and I’m just noticing females and males. I don’t know. But the first mouse was small that I delivered far away in the land where a mouse could make a good living. The second mouse was large. And then, just like Keyser Söze: poof! They’re gone.

Was it just two mice who were living by my house? I’ll find out soon enough. I like the narrative though. There were two mice: a girl mouse and a boy mouse. And I relocated them together where they can make a good and honest living. Of course, I’m aware of the truth. Mice in captivity can live up to three years. Some specially bred mice have lived to almost five years. But mice in the wild rarely make it past one year. It makes me want to get a cage and keep them. But I’m not sure I’m up for that. If I really did have a girl and a boy, I wouldn’t want to have babies.

So the adventure continues…

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

14 thoughts on “Update on the Mouse Situation

      • Yeah — that’s the thing; baby mice. We killed a mouse recently at the SOs house (not on purpose; it panicked itself to death in the trap overnight) and felt bad about it. But better that than the possibility of baby mice. We wouldn’t be able to kill baby mice, and we wouldn’t want their parents to have free rein in the house, either. That’s a no-win scenario. So better to kill the adult mice than let them have babies. God, now I sound like a 30s eugenicist. “Kill them before they have babies!”

        • My concern is that if I started keeping them, I’d end up with a hundred after a while. But my understanding is that they don’t breed as much as one would think. But I’m still more a rat guy. If I can get a rat, teach her to use a litter box, and sleep with her, my life would be complete.

      • And that is why you should write a little story about Frank the mouse who’s parents were rescued by Frank the human.

        Or just move the mice. You know, whatever.

      • yep, that is you alright-a 1930s wannabe some person I am too lazy to look up the name of.

        Too bad vets don’t do spaying and neutering of mice.

          • That was supposed to be in response to James’ post about his being a eugenicist from the 1930s. I am sure there were some famous ones but I cannot be bothered to figure out who.

            • They’re all pretty strange. A really odd one is Madison Grant, who wrote “The Passing Of The Great Race” (Hitler LOVED it) and was largely a rich asshole.

              But then, because he believed rich assholes should have nice woods to walk in, Grant helped save the redwoods. Which are some of the most amazing things ever. So thanks, rich asshole! Kinda. A little.

  1. Its a journey to a new world for the parents and raising their children in this new scary place while the kids are half in the new and half in the old.

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