Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mouse traps gone missing

Old farm houses like ours have resident mouse populations. It just comes with the territory. It's probably true that their claim to the property goes back farther than ours in terms of genealogy. So, does this make them super mice or something? I ask this because my mouse traps have been disappearing at an alarming rate. I set them at night and they are gone by morning. Is this some sort of mouse game to drive the farmer's wife crazy so she cuts off their tails with a carving knife? I know the song.

As any good farm wife will tell you, mouse traps are a must in a house like this. Returning to the store on a regular basis to replace them is ridiculous. I am now beginning to understand why the former owner always had her traps tied with pink string to a post or a hook. She must have had the same problem with these super mice and had no interest in driving to town every time she lost a trap.

I suspect, in the pantry, there is a larger rodent at play. The hole in the floor looks big enough for a rat. I shudder to think what that rat is finding so tasty in a pantry that is filled mostly with canning jars and wine bottles. I know from trying to catch the thieves that a rat won't fall for a rat trap once a buddy has been caught, so I am surprised it would fall for a mouse trap. Unless it is careless with a tail or something.

Every now and again, I will find a sprung trap flung far from where I set it. Sometimes there is something in it and other times not. I debate from time to time whether I am being totally inhumane with these traps, but poison seems worse and too dangerous for our other animals. Glue traps just seem cruel. Spring traps when they catch the neck are fast. What to do when it's just a leg that has been caught? I let the animal go because it wasn't its time to die.

Did I mention we have not one but two cats that are supposed to keep the mouse population in order? Bezel is retired, but Bubba is a killer when he isn't playing catch and release in the house. That would be, catch the mouse outside and release it inside. When he's focused, though, there are no second chances. Maybe he could focus a bit more on the trap thieves so I don't have to go back to the store.

Photo: cat toy in the trap (didn't think a dead mouse was a good idea)

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