Sheltered Islander

Mouse Friends on Shelter Island

I’ve had a little mouse now for about a month. He comes up from under the sink around 8:30 p.m. and crosses the kitchen over to the living room and runs along the wall until he gets behind the TV. I named him Terry. He’s about the size of a walnut, and except for the little crunching noises I hear, because he’s found a Cheerio my granddaughter left, I never hear him at all. The expression “quiet as a mouse” is quite accurate.

I’ve been trying to think of ways to humanely excise him from the premises. I don’t want to kill him. He’s just a tiny little fellow looking for warmth and a raisin or maybe a cookie crumb. How can I be cruel? Mousetraps will snap his back. There’s also this blue cake thing that I can leave for him by the sink—It makes him super thirsty, and when he drinks water the blue cake will just expand in his stomach until it kills him.

I’ve tried to have discussions with him. Sometimes when he crosses the living room from the TV to under the couch, he stops near a toy and looks at me. It’s clear to me he’s trying to communicate. He does squeak sometimes and I assume he’s making an appeal to live out the winter with me. I have to say, it’s intriguing. It does get lonely at night and he is awfully cute and strong. I was so surprised when he managed to drag a plastic spoon with peanut butter residue from behind the toy box to his hideout behind the TV. I didn’t know mice could drag things.

Mice can also pop straight up about 12 inches when startled. I never knew that either. He was crossing the living room one evening and I dropped something, accidentally, not to scare him, and he popped straight up! I felt awful that I had scared him so bad. Poor little guy, just looking for a Cheez Doodle and I practically give him a heart attack.

I have also learned how fast mice are! I usually am aware of Terry just as he disappears under something. Small, fast, agile, no wonder we have to set traps for them, you could never catch them.

Terry’s begun to get a little bolder with time. He runs closer to me than when he first got here. I haven’t deliberately given him any food. I don’t want him to think that’s it’s totally okay with me that he’s here. He really should go live in the woods with his friends. He should realize that no matter how hard we work at it, our friendship would be very limited by virtue of being different species. No matter how cute he is, and even if he could learn to squeak once for ‘yes’ and twice for ‘no,’ he just doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to keep up with me. I’d have to constantly pause Dancing With The Stars and explain everything to him. And how could I understand mouse life? I’ve never been able to flatten my body to half an inch and get under doors. And one pretzel does not a
meal make.

And there’s another issue, which has only recently come up. When Terry first got here, I told him that he couldn’t have any friends over. However, about three nights ago, I thought Terry was really active because I kept seeing him in the kitchen and, a second later, I’d see him in the living room. Well, you guessed it—he invited someone over against my expressed rules. I know it’s just one more little mouse, but if I let him get away with this, where does it stop? I don’t want my house to be party central for mice. Unless they’re going to make me a dress, like they did for Cinderella, they cannot hang out here.

My daughter said she’s getting mousetraps. She thinks I’ve become too emotionally involved with Terry. Well, it’s possible, I suppose. I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned putting a string of Christmas lights under the TV for him…

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