The mouse that roared, sort of

Unwelcome signs of little creature litter the house

My day has just gotten off to a crappy start. I found a mouse turd lying on my desk between the TV remote and my column notebook. It wasn’t there an hour ago when I read morning emails an hour ago.

So where did it come from?

Granted a layer or two of this and that – notes, promotional letters from charities, file cards for requesting library books – litter my desk.

Yesterday I sorted through a two year collection of The Writer and Good Times collected on the bottom shelf of my Debbie Travis computer cabinet, piling them on the desk.

The turd could have been sandwiched in one of those, a holdover from the mouse that invaded my kitchen back in August. Maybe this morning I pushed aside a note exposing the filthy thing.

Wish I could carbon date this specimen. It would ease my mind if it turned out to be only a reminder of that mouse’s pre-hibernation visit mere days before I hosted three fishermen for a week.

You can bet I never raised the mouse as a conversation topic.

A western wag wily to ways of exterminating varmints suggests I bite this turd with my front tooth to test for hardness:

“Really hard means it is old; don’t worry about it.

Medium, the critter probably has been around a while, but not recently.

If the turd squishes rather than breaks, set out poison or a trap to catch it.

In any case like a good wine taster, do not swallow the turd; just savour it and spit it out.”

I’m not falling for that one. I refer to biting.

As a farm kid who battled many mice, I never met a mouse turd softer than granite, no matter how fresh.

Evidence left behind in August revealed that mouse roamed my bedroom, including my pillow while I slept on it, as well as the kitchen cupboards before trapping itself under the kitchen sink at the bottom of a tall plastic Safeway bulk bin too slippery for it to climb out of.

At least it displayed a normal healthy appetite for food.

This mouse nosed around my reference books – a Webster’s dictionary, Roget’s Thesaurus, and Bartlett’s Quotations. Hints this could be a refined mouse intent on acquiring culture? Or does it lack the street smarts to pick a path less visible? As long as it can’t read it won’t anticipate the mayhem I am planning.

I have three traps and plenty of poison left over from dealing two years ago with a mouse who shuttled from the compost box to the greenhouse. A well aimed spade ended his forays.

Could this invader have laid down a trail, like a bee or ant, that other mice can follow?

What is the average life span of a partnerless mouse? If it fails to find a mate, can I at least look forward to it dying of a broken heart? And if so, how long might that take?

Though this moocher has no pre-arranged rental agreement with me perhaps treating it like any tenant will hasten its departure. I can begin by posting a set of house rules modelled after landladies from my youth:

No noise after 10 p.m.

No overnight visitors.

No consumption of liquor.

No doubt I should include drugs.

Landladies often stipulated “Only three baths per week” or some such water restriction but this freeloader would never run the tap unnecessarily.

I’m convinced, regardless of the civilized behaviour of Stuart Little and other movie mice, real mice never drink. How else would they flourish to overpopulate grain bins or barn lofts?

Yikes! I found a second mouse turd beside the phone.

Claudette Sandecki listens for the pitter patter of mouse paws from her Thornhill, B.C. home.

 

Just Posted

Block party at Northern View Cannery Road Race

Terrace family top the podium in each of their racing categories

Stolen property recovered

Police briefs from Sept. 9-11

Terrace couple wins Lotto Max

Money to be put towards retirement and motorcycle trip

Skeena Paddle Club awarded $2K grant for youth program

Sessions teach residents how to canoe, kayak

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

Most Read