Some of my oldest memories of our family cottage involve mice… They invaded the cottage with alarming regularity, which meant that our first chore upon arrival was to wash all of the dishes, change the beds, and hunt down all of the places where they hid all the macaroni noodles. Years later, long after we have sealed all of the holes that they were sneaking in through, we are still finding noodles.
My mom instilled a healthy fear of the mice into me. Her shrieking and clamouring for the highest piece of furniture that could be climbed on once a mouse was spotted was quite legendary. Soon enough, I was following her onto the coffee table. It took me a long time to get over this irrational fear of mice, but I am pretty much over it, although I am still not a big fan of mice.
The family is pretty split on how they feel about the mice. Willy is not bothered at all by them, and doesn’t seem to mind sharing his house with them. Woo loves ALL living things, and would be crushed to know that we have displaced them, let alone terminated some. Goose is pretty much oblivious now, but I am certain that right now she would be joining her grandmother on the kitchen table, given how she reacts to house flies.
When I was in my teens, I set out to light the barbecue at the cottage one night. Remembering to open the lid (that’s another story), I lit it and looked inside to see a tiny mouse, a la feu! I squealed, it squealed and escaped quickly, only to sit in shock on the patio. It was still smoldering, I was still squealing, and my mom helpfully instructed me to turn the hose on it. I misted it and it ran off.
Last week Willy came in after lighting the ‘que at home and he had that look in his eyes, that I need to tell you this look. “I just relived your mouse in the barbecue story”, he said, “except there is a twist.” Apparently when the mouse escaped the BBQ, it landed on the deck then quickly leapt to the bushes. Where it landed on the cat’s back.
Minnie is in no way ambivalent in her feelings toward mice. Although she failed to catch the ones that moved into the house in the winter, she has caught a number of mice at the cottage and in the yard. She does this while tied to a leash, so I’d have to say that she is a decent mouser. I know this because she presents me with her catch on a semi-regular basis. Landing on Minnie was a case of out the fire and into the frying pan. Suffice to say that the tussle that ensued left us with no doubt as to who won this round.