Have you ever wondered what goes on in a Mouse House? Believe it or not, I have. Although I’m not particularly partial to sharing my house with mice, I do think they are quite adorable and ponder their little lives.
If I suspect mice have taken up residence in my house, I set live traps and, if caught, I take them out to fields, always making sure to set them free in the same spot, so they can reunite with long lost siblings. In another house, in another lifetime, my house was against a large woods. Every fall, when the winds were laced with the heady scent of autumn, field mice began inspecting local real estate to find the perfect place to winter.
Knowing this, one Fall I had set out a trap, and caught a beautiful brown mouse. I put him in an old aquarium, and reset the trap. Five minutes later, there was another mouse with gray fur. I left the trap out the rest of the day. I figured I’d catch a few more and release them together. While I waited, I couldn’t be a rude hostess, so I offered my little mousey friends some food and drink. And I listened to them chat.
The next morning, when I hadn’t caught another mouse, I decided I was ready to take these two cuties for a ride to the country. As I looked at the mice, I noticed one was signaling me closer. I pressed my ear against the glass, and I swear I heard him say, “Nice lady, could we possibly stay with you this winter?” When I looked into his beady little eyes, how could I say no? The preschool class I taught would be starting in a couple weeks. Couldn’t “George” and “Gracie” become class pets?
But, oh… although I would gladly keep two mice, it’s been my experience that at least 50% of the time you wind up with more than 2 mice! That would be a problem. Then I got a brilliant idea! As an aside… it’s also been my experience, that many of my brilliant ideas… AREN’T.
I listened as the phone rang.
Her: Good morning. Timberline Veterinary Clinic, may I help you?
Me: Hi there. This is Kimara Wise. I have a question.
Her: Hi, Kimara. What’s up?
Me: I just caught 2 field mice and I want to know how much would it cost to have them neutered?
Me: Excuse me, are you laughing?
Her: I’m sorry. I must not have heard you correctly. Did you ask me how much it would cost to neuter 2 field mice?
Me: Yes. Is there something wrong with that?
Her: Oh, honey, I don’t even know where to start!
It was then explained to me that they didn’t have equipment small enough to perform surgery on field mice, that the cost would be prohibitive even if they did, and that field mice had a very short life expectancy. I was also told about all the potential diseases field mice could carry.
Her: But, if you like, ((tst)) I could have you ((snicker)) speak to ((giggle)) the vet. ((chortle))
I thanked her for her time, and then explained to the 2 mice, without the snickering and chortling, that I couldn’t keep them. So, I threw together a little snack for them for to nosh on later, put them in the car, and took them for a drive.
After that, I’ve often thought of George and Gracie. Wondered how they faired, where they settled and how many children they had. I wondered if Gracie kept a tidy home and if George was partial to reading the paper after dinner.
And, I tried to ignore the snickers and the back of the hand suppressed giggles that greeted me each time I took my pups to Timberline Veterinary Clinic.
Her: (Whispering to the new intern.) There’s the lady that asked us to neuter 2 field mice!
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