Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Great House Mouse Relocation Program

It became clear a couple of weeks ago that we had a wee house visitor.

He was a night owl mouse, if that makes sense; he slept all day [and played mouse Wii maybe]  and came out at night to help himself to Otto's left-over dog food. One kibble was a full meal, I'm sure, with all the daily recommended vitamins needed for a house mouse.

I don't mind a wee mouse once in a while, but this critter was clearly making himself at home, getting a bit brazen about lurking in the dark kitchen corner looking at us with an Are you going to eat that? expression. The other members of  my household were freaked out and demanded house mouse eviction.

So I used our compassionate mouse catch and release trap. Because I will never have poison, wee-bone crushing traps, or glue that tortures and  starves creatures to death.

Also, I'm a big Beatrix Potter fan, and if you've ever read The Tale of the Two Bad Mice about Hunca Munca's frustrating and hilarious adventure about crashing a doll house and trying to eat the painted plaster ham, then you will never want to harm a mouse again. 

So I got out our compassionate relocation contraption and inside placed peanut butter and goldfish crackers. No dice. In fact, our wee mousekin left wee droppings on top of the contraption, which I took as a  I don't want no stinking crackers message.  I added a Pepperidge Farm cookie and that did the trick. This morning--as pictured at left-- he looked back at me with his giant bulbous glistening nocturnal eyeballs. I'm pretty sure he was a he. I glimpsed mouse yarbles.

If I had a hamster cage, I think I would have kept him. He was unflappable, and clearly enjoying the cookie. But I don't, and he probably wouldn't like spending the rest of his mouse days in captivity.

I took him to a local park with sheds, picnic tables [with crumbs]  and a strip of woods, and released him, along with a care packag of  seeds and cookies. I'm not naive-- I know it's an owl/hawk/snake-eat-mouse world out there. But he's in Nature's House now, and he's alive. I wish him all the best.


  1. A lovely post. (I could never bear to kill a mouse, either.)

  2. that they go on living without our sad attempts to redirect and 'show them the way'! It is rather nice to think that someday, perhaps, my granddaughter will show a little pity towards them (mouse 'peeples'!)through the constant readings from the "Beatrix Potter Complete Tales" book I will be presenting to her on her very first birthday...stay tuned.

  3. This was a fun read, very attractive tittle. I believe you did the right thing by letting him run wild.

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