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A Mouse's Tail ~ er, Tale

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The children in my class have been wanting a class pet and decided on a mouse. So I decided to stop at Jack's on the way to pick up my baby parrotlet on Saturday afternoon, bought a darling mouse and some mouse paraphernalia. I brought along a small wire cage to bring it back in and to keep it comfy on the trip. I picked up the baby, the kind of food he's been eating and a little happy hut, buckled his travel cage into the front seat belt and headed home. Just as I was approaching Xenia, what comes running into the front of the car??? The mouse! I pulled over to try to catch him, but he was too fast.

There was nothing to do but continue home and try to catch him when I could really park and concentrate on his capture. He came out twice, but each time was able to elude me right as I was about to put my hand around him.

I decided to try to enlist the help of Stella, hoping that if she was in the front seat, the mouse would decide the floor by the back seat would be a safer place to be. Stella was all too anxious to help. Poodles are hunting dogs and she has a pretty high prey drive. She saw the mouse and dodged into the car, but the mouse went into deeper hiding. Understandably.

I sent the cat in to see if she could roust the mouse, hoping to snatch the mouse from the cat or catch it when it ran from her, but all Luna did was cry pitifully out the window. There was no way she was going to even think about a mouse when she was certain she was going to suffer death-by-car. When I opened the door to get her out, she ran and hid under the house.

So I had a frustrated hunting dog, a crazed cat under the house, and a mouse loose in the car. I felt a bit like the Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly. I decided it was time to set a humane trap. A mouse in a car is NOT a good thing and I did not want the mouse to ruin my car by either gnawing on things or peeing all over it. I put a tall, slick sided container in there now with some cookies and cheese and a ramp with cookie crumbs leading up to it. No luck. I kept checking discretely, but no sign of a mouse.

So I had my homemade Rube Goldberg style trap, fought traffic jams and downtown crowds to get to the hardware store (there turned out to be a festival going on), purchased a 'Tin Cat' at said hardware store, bought peanut butter at Dollar General, baited the traps, and all for.... a mouse that I went out of my way to get and who had probably already left the car.

On Monday, as I was unpacking the car at work, I was ready to tell the children that I had mouse food, mouse littler, a mouse water bottle, and mouse chew toys, but no mouse. As I unpacked the mouse litter, there was his little self all curled up and innocent looking, in one of my cloth shopping bags. I caught him in a little washcloth I had for that purpose in case he showed up again, and put him in his new, much more secure home. Fortunately, he chose to nest on a shopping bag which can be washed, and that was on a waterproof Carhartt dog protective seat cover. No damage was done to car or mouse. He was certainly happy to get food and water after his two day, two night ordeal!

The children are delighted to have him in class. They are thinking of names for him. After hearing his story, on child suggested naming him Trouble, and because of his eye patch, some are thinking of pirate names. All weekend, I called him PITA (Pain In The Arse), but that isnít an appropriate name to throw into the mix.

As they say, all's well that ends well.
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