Monday, September 20, 2010

Of Moose and Mice

Depending on where you live in this huge province, moose hunting season is upon us; different zones begin on different dates. (But let me throw this bit of information out there for warm climate tourists. You will never sight nor hunt moose in Toronto, Montreal or other fine southern Canadian cities. Well, if you do attempt to sight and/or hunt, you will do so in vain. I say this because I hear that it has been attempted by some visitors. It may very well be an urban myth; however, you can't be too careful.)

Not being a hunter, you'd think that the moose season would not be relevant to me, and it isn't except that for me personally, the mouse season is also upon us. It's only a one letter difference after all.

You see, as the weather cools, for some reason local mice begin make a beeline mouseline right into our garage casting longing looks at the basement wall, knowing that there lies a modicum of warmth on the other side.

We've caught four of the blighters in the past week.

I really don't like snapping their little necks and snuffing their little lives like that, but they simply can't be permitted access. It just wouldn't work out. In times past, I've shared both my car and my bed with with mice, and let me tell you that the experience did not work out to our mutual satisfaction.

But I really hate it when the trap doesn't spring properly, like it didn't a few days ago, when one poor little, terrified fella was caught by the cheek.

What to do? He's injured, so you can't set him free. I mean, what do you do?

Fortunately (I guess), I have role models to follow.

For one, I have my father's example, for I vividly remember the cat bringing a trophy in the form of a live mouse into the kitchen one fine day. I was even more shocked by my dad's rapid response of stomping the critter. I never thought of my dad as a quick thinking sort of guy, but he sure was on that day. He stomped with great and fervent alacrity before said mouse could even begin to think of making a beeline mouseline to any sort of nook or cranny. It was a most impressive display by dear old dad.

On another occasion, somewhat later in my life, I saw how Cuppa's dad put a badly trapped mouse out of its misery by holding under the faucet until it drowned.

So, what to do with our poor wee mousie caught by the cheek? Personally, drowning doesn't seem like fun to me, so I opted for the quick, booted stomp.

I hated doing it. I don't like killing. I remember a Clint Eastwood western (I think) where he opines to Morgan Freeman (I think) that it's an awful thing to kill a man because you take away the only thing that he really has — his life (I think). I feel the same way about killing animals and even insects. To wit: I will try to capture a spider who has found its way into our little abode and release it outside. I am also here to inform you that I only take a small amount of satisfaction in swatting the life out of a biting mosquito. So, it was really hard for me to stomp the mouse into oblivion. Really hard: heart poundingly and body-shakingly hard. And if that admission makes me a womanish wimp in the the eyes of blogdom, so be it.

I know that others feel differently about taking animals' lives, but this is the way that I feel. Yes, I eat meat, mostly because I'm too tired and harried these days to figure out how to be a planet and life friendly vegetarian. It would please me if I could or would though.

So that's my little mousecapade. Let's hope that the news of our unfriendly welcome gets around and that any other mice searching for winter warmth take their little bods to one of the many other fine and more hospitable neighborhood establishments.

For a little light relief, I offer you Mouse in the Mug on the Uilleann Pipes. I know I'm reaching, but it's all I've got.


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I am sorry to read you do not share Schweitzer's "reverence for life".
" Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace."

He avoided your problem with his love of cats.

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."

Seems you still share music.

Anvilcloud said...

You know, I'm somewhat fond of cats too. :)

JunieRose2005 said...


It pleases me to know people who do not enjoy killing other living things. I too, will always try to rescue any spider found in my house...

Agree, though, that a mouse in the house is not to be tolerated- so you do what you have to do!

Junie Rose

Bernie said...

I am so against killing anything AC but in my case I would have to hire someone to do the deed. We have no rats in Alberta and I have never seen a mouse except when I was at the landfill......better you than me but you did what you had to do...Hugs

Ginnie said...

I am definitely not a hunter but when it comes to the interior of my home it's a different story. All those little beasties carry stuff in with them (and I don't mean just another buddy) so it's "off with their heads" for me!

Lorna said...

I was in serious need of something light.

Anvilcloud said...

Lorna et al please read the two links on tomorrow's post. Worth the time, I assure you.

Ruth said...

I know I couldn't stomp a mouse, but that is what husbands are for. I looked in vain for a moose at Algonquin Park last February. And I have been along for the ride with a moose hunter around Temagami (thankfully no moose sightings then either).

Kila said...

Ah, yes, it's that time of year in Wisconsin, too. (Never had much of a mouse problem at our old house, though.) I don't think I could stand to kill a creature myself. But, I wouldn't want a mouse in the house either. I'd probably let him free outside, which wouldn't accomplish much, LOL.

Mary G said...

I drown them, hating every aspect of it. JG puts on a leather glove and throws the mouse, hard, onto the concrete floor. Fast and merciful. Me, I'm afraid I would not throw fast enough.
I once found a whole mouse family in with the cereal boxes. Ew.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same about any mice gaining access to my house.. but I must admit that I had to skip and skim the words that described the stomping. I really just don't know what I would do in such a situation and hope I am never put to the test.

Pearl said...

I suppose it's a mercy killing. I got the mouse away from the cat before damage and released it outside. probably more of a NIMBY-reaction than anything else.