Talking Mouse

mouse on my counter
Mouse on my counter

5/13/2018 ~ Best Mother’s Day EVER. The Mouse is back. The Mouse, and I do mean singular. For weeks when I set the Catch & Release trap I caught what appeared to be the same mouse. No more little/young mice were caught.

One day I said to the captured mouse, “John Henry,” which was what I had named the mouse I thought could be a pet. The mouse perked up its ears, as if it recognized the name. “Stockholm Syndrome,” I thought to myself.

I don’t know how the captured mouse kept getting back in, but as a possible clue to how tiny a hole is needed, I recently opened the drawer where I kept my yeast for Korean Rice Wine making and… there was a mouse in the cellophane package with the cheesecloth I use to strain Kombucha.

I had noticed that when I threw away the cheesecloth I’d used to strain Kombucha that almost invariably a mouse would take it and put it on one of its tables … where the cheesecloth slowly disappeared, presumably into the mouse or mice.

So, when the mouse found unused cheesecloth in the drawer it probably thought it was like food without the sauce, so to speak.

I thought I could just grab it, in the cellophane package, and … I  hadn’t really thought much beyond grabbing it. When I grabbed it, however, it became clear that the mouse had a very strong desire not to be in my hand… and it escaped.

I was pretty sure the mouse had come down from the ceiling, via a stud, and entered the drawer from the counter framework which is relatively open. To block access in the future, I stuffed steel wool into the openings I could reach, and felt that my drawer was now Secure. I put a peanut in the drawer, to test out whether a mouse was still getting into the drawer.

Sure enough, the peanut was shelled and eaten, and my yeast balls from China were moved around. The Champagne yeast had been its preference, but that being gone, it settled for the Chinese yeast balls.

I wondered if perhaps the mouse was really getting in from floor level. I thought access to the under cabinet space was blocked, but… So I checked and found a tiny, TINY hole. It was the size one might imagine a cricket using for access. It seemed was too small a hole to allow a mouse to get under my cabinets, still… I used some pieces of broken pottery to fill the hole and placed an empty bottle from Heiniken beer over the “point of entry.” I decided that maybe I should put some screws into the bottle, to weigh it down, and I did. After that, the peanut I put in the drawer has not been touched.

Having decided a few days ago that the mouse I was catching each night was the same mouse, I decided to stop trapping it and instead put out peanuts for it every other night.

Then, last night there was huge noise in my gardening accessory closet and I thought I’d better catch the mouse and take it outside. So, I set the trap and caught a mouse.

This morning I saw that it was the same mouse. So I said, “John Henry,” to it in a soft voice, several times. Then I said, “Sweetie mouse,” several times.

In response it washed its face.

I said what a beautiful mouse it is and how I enjoy seeing it. I said,”John Henry,” a few more times, and “Sweetie Mouse,” in the kind of voice one uses with kittens and other small pets.

Then, while I was sitting on my kitchen chair, contemplating the mouse in the trap, the mouse began making tiny sounds. At first I wasn’t sure the sounds were actually coming from the mouse. When I watched closely, though, I could see its whiskers move as it made the little noises. I listened until it stopped making the little sounds. Then I said, “Sweetie Mouse.” And, it began making little sounds again. So each time it stopped making the little sounds I would very softly say, “Oh,” as if I understood. Then it would make more little sounds, and again I’d reply. That went on for several minutes. Maybe as much as 10 or 15 minutes.

I wondered if I should take the mouse outside, where mice tend to live shorter lives than if they are inside, or if I should release it here in the house…

I decided to toss a coin. I have great faith in the Universe communicating via coins. I got my I Ching tossing penny and shook it in my hands, clearing my mind so that if thoughts have a physical effect, I wouldn’t play a part in making the coin land one way, or the other. When I released the penny, it landed Tails, which I interpret as Yes. Meaning in this case that the mouse should stay in the house.

I opened the trap and The Mouse didn’t run out. Though, in fact the open door was behind it. What The Mouse did was begin making little sounds again, so we had another chat of several minutes length.

Finally the mouse walked out of the trap, giving a bit of time to inspecting the peanuts I’d put just outside the trap’s door. While The Mouse was exiting the trap I said, “Sweetie Mouse” a few times to encourage it to understand I meant it to be free in the house.

Next, I checked the “Mouse House” which was on a shelf behind my large TubTrug with some unknown but huge plant growing in it. The Mouse House showed signs of a mouse having moved the bedding into specific areas, like the little sand enclosure. And, there were several peanut shells. The wheel was down. I had thought I’d heard a mouse running on the wheel at one point, some time ago. So, I put the wheel back in place, put water in the water container, and put the Mouse House on the counter. I covered 3/4 of it with a hand towel so that it would be dark inside, and I put several peanuts outside one of its two access points.

Then, I vacuumed the floor where I’d spilled potting soil. To my surprise the mouse came around the corner from the living room, apparently unfazed by the noise of the vacuum since I walked within a foot of the vacuum.

I went outside, dug up some lettuce plants and put them into a low, stoneware planter I have, so the mouse could have fresh lettuce.

LOL. I’m so happy. I hope The Mouse is happy, too.

5/5/2018 ~ Last night I looked up from my computer to see a mouse sitting on the backrest of my rolling walker, looking at me. It had one leg up, as if pondering whether to stay and watch me, or move on to something more interesting.

Later when I was in the kitchen I saw the mouse, I think it was the same one, jumping out of the bag of peanuts I bought to put outside for the mice. The mouse had a peanut in its mouth and ran along the bottom of the back-splash to the other side of the counter. This is the counter I had thought was totally safe from mice.

I was amazed at the running and jumping the mouse did without letting go of its peanut. When it jumped into the sink where I dry dishes, and was under the wire holder for dishes while they dry, I lifted the wire basket and saw that it had two peanuts in the drain basket.

From that point the mouse no longer had the peanut in its mouth. I was so close to the mouse I thought I could pet it. I would guess it didn’t have an easy way off the counter, or it would have left me in the dust, so to speak.

I took several pictures of it, all of which show that the camera adds weight to mice just as it often does to us…