My little family of four has recently become a family of many more. We have had mice move into the crawl space between the second and third story of our house. Not only do I find this disgusting, but it is disturbing my sleep. Our mice friends like to come specifically between the hours of ten and midnight and scamper above our heads. They run, they scratch—they are apparently having a party between the ceiling and floorboards of our second and third story. I suppose I should be grateful they have not shown their furry little faces in our actual living space.
This has been going on for about a week. Yesterday, my husband called several ‘mice specialists’ who told him the cost to come and analyze our problem would be anywhere from $200 to $600 dollars. Obviously, I should have been a mouse expert instead of a poor writer. I would be sitting much more comfortably right now. Anywho, after picking the perfect specialist we had him come out. The first thing he told us is that we should get a cat.
I pointed down to the specialist leg where my orange tabby Gandalf had just come up to claim the human as his. The specialist scratched his head and said he didn’t understand why we had a problem. Cats love mice. Cats instinctually kill mice. Cats are the best weapon against the ‘war on mice’.
I had to allow a little snicker to escape. That may be true of most cats, I informed the kindly but sadly informed ‘expert’, but Gandalf was special. My eight-pound tabby believes he is human. He has seen a mouse before, but he chose to run the other way and hide. I think the mouse scared him.
My kitty is witty. He escapes outside almost daily by stalking the front door until one of us poor unprepared humans lets him slip past us. I know this is not so unusual for a cat, but it is his pattern once he escapes that has always baffled me. If it’s too cold, say anywhere below 65 degrees, Gandalf will immediately meow to be let back inside the house. If it’s raining, you can bet he will turn around and dash back in before the door has even shut on his escape attempt. And he will always demand to come back in when he has to use the restroom. Going outside in the ‘wild’ of suburban Vestavia Hills is beneath my darling. He needs privacy and the scent of cat pine. Seriously, I am not making any of this up just for your amusement.
Gandalf won’t sleep anywhere that is not cushioned, nor will he eat leftovers. If I fill his bowl up with food and some is left, he refuses to eat the next morning until he has a nice new meal served to him.
I explained all this to our ‘mouse expert’. Given our ‘special’ cat, the expert decided to set traps and put out poison. This is phase one of the war – The Johnstones versus The Mice. If this fails, we will have to give away more of our money, perfect timing in December, and move onto phase two, which is chemical warfare. I can’t help but look at Gandalf now with a little good natured irritation. If he would just embrace his kitty nature, we would save a bundle. I explained this to him and offered rewards for good kitty deeds, but so far he has stubbornly refused to see that four legs does not a human make.
If you have any good pet stories or advice on getting rid of mice, I would love to hear about it.
Have a wonderful day!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem