Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Mouse Hospice

Two nights ago I found an injured mouse on my front porch. I'm pretty sure it had a broken leg. I think maybe my downstairs neighbors caught it in a trap and just tossed it out there. It was directly under the porchlight in full view of any and all possible predators. It was cute (as mice are) and looked terrified.

I was thus presented with the following options:

1. By far the most sensible course would have been to leave it there and let something eat it: circle of life, weak and the sick, etc....

Of course I didn't do that because it was small and scared and furry and I am a dipshit.

2. Kill it myself. The second most sensible option, since it was probably going to die anyway and was suffering. But how? I briefly envisioned myself stomping it to death, then considered stringing a bunch of extension cords together and dragging my vaccuum cleaner down from my apartment and just sucking it up (would that kill it? I would it get stuck in my brand-new $89.99 Hepa-filter Hoover and gum the whole thing up?) I ran through other unworkable ideas...putting it in a bag and holding it up to the tailpipe of my idleing car, lugging one of the spare concrete blocks up from the corner of the basement and dropping it on the mouse's head....

3. Subcontract the job out to a professional, otherwise known as taking the mouse up to my apartment and feeding it to my cats. My cats would have loved this and it might have saved me a little money on cat food. On the flip side, I have no solid evidence that my cats would actually kill a mouse....even a gimpy one. They are well fed and domesticated. Would they have been any more motivated to kill and eat a mouse than I would be to to do the same and feed myself if someone gave me a hunting knife and stood me in front of an injured deer?

4. Take mouse to vet and pay for tests, surgery, etc. Would have had to wait until morning, plus I have no money, plus this would be patently ridiculous. Mice are vermin and, according to a not entirely trustworthy public health notice I once read somewhere (probably on MSN or similiar) might be carriers of the Bubonic plague (or was that squirrels?) Dropping $300 to rehabilitate a mouse that my downstairs neighbors would just turn around and trap again a week later would be soft-headed in the extreme. Like naming the cockroaches in my apartment and sewing them little clothes.

5. Put mouse in box and bring upstairs to either recover or die in relative safety. Problem here is cats, also plague. Mouse might escape from box only to crawl behind fridge and die.

6. Construct cardboard "mouse hospice" from empty box of teabags, cut open little door on side so mouse can get out but is nevertheless somewhat protected from rain, owls, etc... by cardboard roof. Fill wih shredded newspaper, breakfast cereal, and apple chunks (for moisture.) Pick mouse up with washcloth and stuff into hospice. Hide hospice in shrub so mouse doesn't feel so exposed and can escape into leafy cover if it recovers enough to make a run for it.

YES!! Clearly the PERFECT solution. Maybe the mouse will get better, maybe it won't, but, I reasoned, at least its somewhat safer and has access to food.

That was too days ago. The cardboard box is still there in the bushes but I've been afraid to check it. After all of that work, the mouse is probably still in there, dead.


Blogger Katy said...

Too funny. I wish you posted everyday.

12:57 PM  
Blogger jeremy said...

I would have put it in a box and then crushed the box with something. But, I grew up on a farm, where one is socialized to be willing to take up the God Mantle in such situations. And, afterward, I would have written a Brutally Honest Personal Ad about the whole thing.

1:56 PM  
Blogger dorotha said...

how many points would it have been to eat the mouse, jeremy?

i would have killed it, too, but i would have called 15 people first for moral support.

2:31 PM  
Blogger jeremy said...

According to the OWW site, a grilled medium-sized mouse is 8 points.

2:42 PM  
Blogger sep said...

a broom, deftly handled usually does the trick. i know this from growing up with a cat who's only hunting skills were to chew off the wings of little, helpless birds. since birds have next to no blood they simply hopped around the garage waiting for a merciful death. i gladly obliged.

but, good work on your end of things! i wouldn't look in the box either. that's a job for a husband :)

2:57 PM  
Blogger A+ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:49 PM  
Blogger A+ said...

Am I the only person who would have left the poor mouse on the stoop, and then cried all night with remorse, wondering if it was going to die that night?

4:50 PM  
Blogger knit wit said...

despite my cats (who I don't think would know how to kill a mouse but they would probably like to try) I would have brought it inside, in its mouse hospice, up somewhere away from my cats, and kept it until it healed or until it died. I wouldn't have killed it though- no matter how much it may make sense I would never have done it.

you should look in the box though... if it is dead then at least you'll know. (at that point I would probably bury it too)

5:09 PM  
Blogger astrid jane said...

After reading Jeremy's last post I have a sick feeling I know where my mouse went. Jeremy, perhaps, is neither well fed nor particularly domesticated these days...

Sir Edwin, how come when I make a joke about going straight you go all socio-feminist radical queer up one side of my ass and back down the other, but now you're telling me to go find a husband all of a sudden?

10:07 PM  
Anonymous siredwinpegasus said...

it was a JOKE for chrissakes! :)

geeze, you feminists have no sense of humor :)

9:08 AM  

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