Monday, June 25, 2012

Cats and mice and such like

Goodness me, who would have guessed that my mild-mannered bloggy friends - quilters and knitters and gardeners - would have been quite so... how shall I put it?... firm... with God's non-human creatures? Lots of advice about bumping off unwanted wildlife. Ali, who has come and visited us at home and is a very nice lady indeed, suggested squashing slugs between the fingers! Now, it's not that I harbour any fond feelings about slugs. But - could. not. do. that. Much too squeamish.

Thanks for the advice, anyway. The slugs still roam unhindered around the garden (though the beer suggestion is one I'm wondering about) but we hope the mice have been outmanoeuvred. SIL 1 found a tiny slot under the cooker that he thinks last night's mouse may have squeezed through from the foundations of the house, and a crack between the outside paving slabs and the side of the house that he thinks may have allowed it access to the foundations. So today Mr Life and he screwed an long, l-shaped metal plate over the cooker gap and filled the crack outside with pea gravel. Try to get through that, Mr Mouse! (Or rather, please don't.) Also, their next-door neighbours, who've been away for six months visiting relatives in Pakistan, returned late last night to find LOTS of mice in their kitchen cupboards, happily eating flour and sugar and rice and so on. They are made of sterner stuff than our family and have called in pest controllers, so with any luck there may be fewer mice in the neighbourhood shortly.

Cassie Cat, by the way, came back home about 1 am. She's currently sitting on my (PC) mouse, with her tail flapping over the keyboard in a rather tickly manner.

Between hospital visits today I cut the lawns (doesn't that sound like a stately home? Alas, no. But we have a lawn in the front garden and another in the back). The lawnmower lives in our garage. As I crunched over the gravel towards the garage door, I heard someone coming down the lane that runs down the side of our garden on the other side of a tall hedge. I glanced at the gap between the hedge and the garage to see who was passing. Then the footsteps stopped. I stopped too, puzzled. Then the very tip of a white training shoe appeared and retreated again. I was a bit alarmed. Why was someone hiding in the lane? Bravely I stuck my head round the hedge. There was a small girl of about eight pressed against it, trying not to be seen.

"Oh, hello," I said. "I was wondering who was there."

She came nearer. "So was I," she said. "I heard you and I was like - who's that?"

We had a chat and she told me where she lived. It was quite a complicated description which included, "You know that house on the main road with the big black gates? Well, my house is next to the next one."

I didn't actually know the black gates but said I did in case she felt she needed to go into more detail, and she wandered off down the lane.

I don't know whether she was really frightened when she heard me or was just playing a game with herself to make her life more exciting. You do that when you're eight.


  1. Eight is a very interesting age. That's such a pretty flower, what is it?

  2. It is evident that Cassie was unable to resist the temptation to go mousing, and who knows, maybe she reduced their numbers.

  3. You can do that when you are eight. When you are All Grown Up the Universe does it for you.

  4. Yes I remember scaring myself silly when I was eight and quite enjoying it. You could squeal like a mouse!

  5. Beer is sort of a humane way to kill them, they get drunk and drown in it.

  6. Yes, go for the beer trap and give them a good send off!

  7. You can fill any further tunnels with scrunched-up wire wool . Mice don't like scrabbling through that either . Youngest Daughter .... and a few million other Amsterdam* inhabitants .... swear by it .
    *The city is , obviously , as much of a magnet to rodent merrymakers as it is to their human counterparts .

  8. How cute! The little girl, I mean. Mice are cute too, but they leave their calling cards which are definitely NOT cute. And they are destructive. They make an awful mess in our bird aviaries, but we do laugh at the hens - they will chase a mouse around their pen until they catch it. Then they pick it up in their beak and shake it furiously! Truly!! I would never have believed it until I saw our own hens do that!