All Ears

I love Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Granted, they’re not my favorite cartoon characters, but they’re still adorable. I think Mickey’s ears must be one of the most recognizable silhouettes ever. My childhood doll, Grace, has almost more clothes than me, and I like to dress her up for special occasions. One of her Halloween outfits is Minnie. Grace really rocks those ears.

Yep, they’re cute mice all right. Funny thing, though. If you get a mouse in your house, all thoughts of cartoon characters immediately disappear and you turn a laser-like focus towards ridding the house of said mouse. We had one such intruder. Since I insist our house is almost hermetically sealed to keep bugs out, not sure how he got into the house. No, I don’t know if the mouse was Mickey or Minnie, but for the sake of argument, I’ll call it a he. Saves typing.

I know where he had been, because I heard weird noises coming from the lower kitchen cabinets. It wasn’t my imagination, because I would find our furry babies sitting in the kitchen staring at the cabinets. They knew something was in there, they just didn’t know how to get to it. And in case you’re worried for the safety of the mouse in a house full of cats, if it doesn’t come from a can, a sack, or a leftover dinner plate, they probably won’t eat it. But they would like to play with it. Pretty sure that would be a one-sided proposition, because I’m almost positive playing with a cat isn’t high on a mouse’s to-do list.

I finally decided enough was enough. If it was a mouse, which I was positive it was because he had left little presents in our junk drawer, he had to go. I’m not one to arbitrarily kill one of God’s little creatures, but if they want to survive, they should do so any place but my kitchen. And…the hunt was on!

I think I need to describe my house a little bit. We have a front room that contains a few curio cabinets, a chair, and a piano. It’s really more an entryway. That room is connected to the kitchen by an open doorway. The actual living room connects on the other side of that room and the kitchen with two huge arches. So, one could easily spend hours just walking in a circle around that area. Not saying I do, but it is good exercise.

At any rate, Ed and I started pulling stuff out of the lower cabinets, where I had been hearing weird noises. When we got stuff out, we noticed a strange smell. If you’ve ever come across a dead body, or perhaps a dead animal in your back yard, you know that smell. It’s distinctive and horrible. We found mouse droppings and arrived at the conclusion that our problem was solved.

Ed went back to doing his thing, and I proceeded to sanitize the cabinets. When I finally finished, I was turning off the kitchen light and I noticed some kitty babies staring at the lion and lamb statue underneath the piano bench. That is their normal pose when they spot a scorpion, so I grabbed the flashlight to get a better look, and lo and behold…Mickey was tucked safely inside the lion’s legs. He was in a stareoff with about five cats.

I called Ed, because critter disposal falls under his household duties, and we had the “how do we get rid of the mouse” debate. No, moving the statue and letting the cats have a snack wasn’t one of the options. See previous comment about not liking to kill God’s creatures.

We finally decided that Ed would try to catch it, so he went to put on a pair of gloves while I watched the intruder. It was actually fascinating, because everyone seemed to be frozen in time, not moving, just staring at each other. And, in case you’re curious…no. Our visitor did not have huge ears, so I’m not sure how Mickey ended up with such big ones. This tableau lasted for several minutes, because Ed doesn’t always have the same sense of urgency I do.

When he finally got back, he was able to pick up the mouse and take it outside. The mouse didn’t even put up a fuss. Ed thinks it might have been sick. I think our visitor was just so full of gratitude that he didn’t resist. Ed put him in the grass, away from the house, so he wouldn’t get any more brilliant ideas about invading our home, and would also be safe from the outside cats. I’m positive they wouldn’t just stare at him. They don’t care if food is canned or not. They’ll eat anything.

So what is the moral of this story? I’m not sure. But I did learn several things. 1) Real mice do not have Mickey Mouse ears. 2) Our cats are either too spoiled to eat a mouse, or they’re smart enough to know they’d be in for a lecture if they did. 3) You don’t have to rid your house of a rodent problem by killing them off. You can take them outside and let them live free, where they belong. (If any mice are reading this, don’t think I won’t set out a mousetrap if you’re not catchable, because I will. Just sayin’!)

What’s funny is that our mouse was resting in the paws of the lion statue. Aesop had a story about a lion and a mouse. The mouse told the lion that if he’d let him go, he would repay him. The lion laughed, but let the mouse go. Some time later, the lion got trapped by a hunter’s net and the mouse gnawed a hole to free the lion. The moral of that story is that a kindness is never wasted.

Now, I’m pretty sure the mouse will never be able to repay us, especially since I have no intention of getting caught in a hunter’s net, but it’s nice to know we might have a friend willing to bail us out if we get in trouble. Mouse solveable trouble, that is. Until that need arises, I’m just going to be content with the thought that God gave us a round of applause when we rescued his little critter. Aesop got it right. A little kindness goes a long way.

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