Saturday, 4 April 2009

Disability Rights for Mice

Now I could never be accused of over sentimentality when it comes to animals. I feed the birds, chase squirrels out of the garden and sometimes pick up the pieces my spiteful old moggy brings home. Not birds, they’re not his scene, he catches mice, in all shapes and sizes, but as far as I’m concerned there are only two sorts, the very quick and the dead.

If alive, he drops them on the kitchen floor, and then calls me. That distinct yowling noise has me running for the cardboard tube, the mouse scuttles up the tube and within minutes is back in the garden, bragging of its adventures, ready to be caught another day.
Dead, they’re picked up by the tail and slung out of the back door, a salutary reminder to others of their kind that, if you’re a walking dinner and only half way up the food chain, gardens are dangerous places. Only this time the dead mouse hanging by its tail about to be slung out, wriggled. If not dead, then maybe injured, fainted, shocked? Into a box for observation and a bit of apple, death anticipated within the hour. But it didn’t do the expected, and we forgot the granddaughters were coming.

“Can we keep it,” they squealed, donning metaphorical doctors’ outfits as they rushed through the door. Two blond heads together over the box, much discussion, a few sunflower seeds and a peanut later,
“We know what’s wrong. It’s sprained a leg.”
“Maybe we should…” I was reluctant; the word euthanasia was left hanging in the air.
“But you can’t, it’s disabled,” they wailed in shocked disbelief at my callously practical solution.

Heads together once more and soon, blu-tacked to the freezer, our instructions.

Anyone know what a wood mouse likes for dinner, ‘cos this one’s no longer stuck half way up the food chain? It fallen on three of its little feet, and busy resting the sprained one. I’m hoping for a miraculous recovery, otherwise it looks like we’ve got a pet.

P.S Grandad is at this moment up the workshop, making a cage.


elizabethm said...

Oh no - how funny! I am just as unsentimental as you are but can see how this has happened to you. don't mice need company? (sorry!)

Calico Kate said...

Oh how lovely of them. As a child we had two field mice as pets, 'Capability' & 'Brown' - we knew our gardeners! They lived in an old fish tank with soil in, and their bed a terracotta plant pot they periodically buried, dug up and moved, and buried again, seeds grew in to plants which they then ate and excavations abounded all over. They were really rather fun, wild in a captive way.
What have your grandchildren called it?

Pondside said...

Oh dear - thanks for the Saturday morning laugh! At any given time we have three baited traps and most cold mornings at least one of them is full. I have no sentimentality for mice either, but can understand how this has happened to you! Loved that little list - you must save it.
Ummm - have you quilted up a little blanket for him yet?

lampworkbeader said...

The mouse is now established in its new home. The girls are away on holiday for ten days, so the list was to make sure we didn't do anything 'nasty' while they were away. They are hoping the cat will bring it a friend. Give me strength.

Fennie said...

I thought mice ate anything (even cheese) but surely seeds of one sort or another, or bread and butter dipped in milk. Hope he recovers and you can release him to the wild.

Un Peu Loufoque said...

Our numerous cats have a very ecologically unsound habit of bringing in not teh comon old boring mouse but pretty russet brown dormice with white ears..I fear soon to be if not already an endangered species!

LittleBrownDog said...

In my experience, mice eat just about anything. Tents, old socks, cardboard boxes... Our mice are particularly partial to bird seed.

On the positive side, I don't think they live very long.

laurie said...

such a sweet little face.

tim relf said...

Great post. Love that line about there only being two sorts of mice: the very quick and the dead!
Your cat sounds a far better hunter than my two.
In two years, between them, they've managed to bring home:
1. A dead bird (partially decomposed, suggesting they'd merely stumbled across the carcass).
2. A slug (hardly speedy prey)
3. A bread roll (I can only presume from a neighbours bird table).
What are you going to call the mouse?

lampworkbeader said...

That damn mouse?

Exmoorjane said...

Very fond of pet mice though never had a wood mouse! I would have done the same I suspect (both as you and your granddaughters....
Nah, they don't live too long though fate could always have landed you with the longest living wood mouse in history.....he he!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I would have done exactly the same . . and he is sooooo cute . . .