The Little Visitor
“A mouse does not rely on just one hole.” — Plautus
When a random visitor wanders in, finds a comfortable place to hide, helps themselves to food, it’s time to make a decision. They have to go.
Lots of people ask me if I am Buddhist because I just find it totally impossible to harm animals. I’m not, I am vegan, and any form of animal cruelty or abuse is utterly foreign to me. I’m the one in the family who will take a cockroach out into the garden and reassign spiders to other homes, so when I saw a little field mouse run into the house, the last thing I thought of doing was setting a killing/maiming trap.
I was sitting on the deck, minding my own business and having a morning coffee when I saw this cute little mouse come from behind the broom that’s up against the wall and duck inside.
I named her Millie. Of course, she could have been a Mickey, but I liked to think she was a spunky little girl. So Millie took up residence behind the fridge. She was exceptionally clean, never saw any sign that she was even in the house; in fact, I thought she’d gone back outside. However, the clue that she was still there were all the little dog biscuits that I saw along the side of the fridge.
Now the dog is old, blind and deaf and, although still with a good sense of smell, she had no idea that someone else was dining out on her food. Millie really was living the high life. Where else would she be warm, safe and have buffet styled fresh food right on her doorstep?
But it was time for action. I was a little concerned that Millie may be nesting, so I wanted to evict her as soon as possible. After searching the net, I came across a humane mouse trap ideal for trapping and releasing.
The trap duly arrived, and after putting a little peanut butter at the end of it, I set right next to the fridge. It did go through my mind that maybe Millie, with a stock of food already, may not be tempted.
The idea of the trap was that Millie would run into it, go to the end where the food was, the door would shut, and the trap would tip containing her inside. So quite when Millie got in, is anyone’s guess. During the day, I did hear little clicking noises. I would check the trap, but it still looked like it was in the “set” mode, hadn’t tipped at all. It wasn’t until later in the evening and on closer inspection I realised that she was, in fact, in there. Bit of a design fault in my eyes. There needs to be a sticker on the door, so you can see that it’s shut — where’s the paintbrush, I’ll put a dot of paint there for any future visitor.
Well, there was nothing else to be done. I mean, I had no idea how long the poor little thing had been in there, but she just had to be released even though I was now in the P.J.s. Into the car we hopped (Millie and dog) and off round the corner to the reserve next to the beach. I opened up the trap, and Millie dashed out into some long grass and right next to the trash bin, well, I had to give the girl some supplies!!!
The next day I pulled the fridge out to clean behind it. Whew! No nest or even a sign of nesting. But, WOW, there was a massive stash of doggie biscuits under and around the fridge. She sure was planning to stay — or perhaps planning a party?