scratch-mark

My Furry Little Mouse Friend Bit The Dust

I can’t be sure this is the same friend I saw one night up in the metal awning structure in my backyard well over a year ago.

They all look the same.

But maybe the eye contact wasn’t just generic. He looked at me for a bit, as if to size me up, then scurried off. I went and got a fresh fig off the tree, placed it where he’d been, and the next morning it was gone. I repeated that scene many times.

Never did it occur to me ever, to attempt to in some way to eradicate the mice that live in my awning. They were only a nuisance ever once in over a year, but always gave me a bit of comfort & pleasure whenever I would hear them scuffle about a bit. I’m not starving, my dogs are well fed, the mice aren’t hurting anyone and by god, it just gave me a little joy knowing they were up there. Silly, if you wish.

…Beatrice took off on another “girl’s weekend” this morning, leaving me with the two Rat Terriers, as usual. And, it’s Friday. ‘Round 2pm or so, I hauled out leftovers from the fridge: ribs, smoked chicken, pulled pork. I hauled out a bottle, too. Zero carbs and whiskey. Good afternoon.

Then I noticed who I like to think is my longtime furry friend. He was just out from the edge, from under the grill, only a few feet away—but on the patio, not the awning. He was bunched up like mice typically are. He’s brown. He lived his whole life, up until today, totally wild; relying on his own survival prowess that few humans actually possess, anymore.

Once I moved, he scurried under the grill, but his tail showed.

Mouse Tail
Mouse Tail

At this point I had no idea what was up. I probably ought to have taken note of the oddity of him being down here, exposed.

Nonchalantly, I got up, squared away to the kitchen, grabbed half a handful of my dog’s grain free and passible kibble food—Evo—and tossed it under the grill. Mouse didn’t stir.

Hmm.

I waited. Pretty soon, he came out into the sunshine again. But then, pretty soon, Nanuka (Nuke) my fierce bitch rat terrier showed up. She is absolutely vicious with squirrels and cats. She once got a squirrel in her teeth, wounded it, got blood on herself, and it got away. And she sniffed out this guy soon enough. initially got hackles up, barked, growled, and then…silence.

She backed off.

So now I have curious. I get on Twitter and after a few back & forhts with various followers, I decide to not interfere one way or the other.

Then I got bored.

After all, the grill the mouse is hiding under is artificial, my dog is domesticated, I’m domesticated—and fighting it—and the mouse is the wildest thing amongst us.

I roll the grill in a big sweep, exposing the mouse.

It just sits there. Nuke takes notice, but rather than pounce as I would have expected, she approaches with great trepidation. She gets up close. It doesn’t move. She sniffs it all over. It doesn’t move…and she backs away.

It’s not prey: It didn’t bolt. It didn’t try to escape.

Well, I don’t know shit about it, but it makes me wonder. Obviously, predators go for the weak members, but perhaps not the sick? I suppose they could scavenge if hungry enough, but my mostly raw fed dogs, while super lean (because I fee them just enough and no more), probably aren’t hungry enough to go for something that doesn’t put up a fight.

Dead Mouse
Dead Mouse

That was the scene only an hour or so later. He was dead. I got a paper towel, put him into a ziplock and so goes my furry friend—at least as I like to think of it.

Hopefully he left some offspring in the awning structure.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

19 Comments

  1. Tyler on February 10, 2012 at 18:19

    Psh. Cave men didn’t have compassion! KILL IT AND EAT IT.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2012 at 18:32

      Psh yourself, fuckhead.

      See, you’re no caveman, Tyler. You can can fantasize all you want, read all the Grok shit you want, but you’re not…Nor am I, nor anyone.

      However, in the area of reading comprehension, perhaps you have a point.

      “Then I got bored.

      “After all, the grill the mouse is hiding under is artificial, my dog is domesticated, I’m domesticated—and fighting it—and the mouse is the wildest thing amongst us.

      “I roll the grill in a big sweep, exposing the mouse.

      “It just sits there. Nuke takes notice, but rather than pounce as I would have expected, she approaches with great trepidation. She gets up close. it doesn’t move, she sniffs it all over. It doesn’t move…and she backs away.

      “It’s not prey: It didn’t bolt. It didn’t try to escape.

      And unless the meta-conditon (I can spell that out for cavemen, if they need it) escaped attention, I wasn’t hungry, nor was the bitch…though she did just chow down on some raw lamb.

      Listen, if you want to fuck with me, fine, but expect it in return.

      • Tyler on February 10, 2012 at 23:02

        Wouldn’t have it any other way, fuckhead.



      • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2012 at 11:08

        “Wouldn’t have it any other way, fuckhead.”

        Now that’s the spirit, Tyler!



  2. Razwell on February 10, 2012 at 18:49

    I have nightmares sometimes about rats in my house or yard , Richard. They scare the shit out of me, and always have. LOL !

    Mice are somewhat scary, too. I can take snakes, roaches etc.

    But rats are very , very scary to me. That tail and those beady eyes. I have heard stories of rats the size of cats in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Holy shit.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2012 at 19:05

      Funny, I used to have an aversion as well, because of the snake like tail, actually.

      But some years ago, probably almost 10, my wife had a pet grey rat and I just kinda got used to it. It would just crawl on you, find a place to settle in, and that was it. My male dog, Rotor who was young at the time (now 13) also got used to it. The rat would even cuddle up to him.

      They can be quite interesting, domesticated, as of course can dogs & cats.

    • Sean on February 11, 2012 at 11:02

      We have these river rats here in Prague, I dunno what they are, the Czechs don’t call them rats (krysy) but something else. All I know is that they look like giant rats and they give me the willies.

      At least there’s no roaches or black widows here, cause I can’t stand them either. And if some Aussie tells me one more time how many dangerous critters they have and redbacks are just a minor nuisance I swear I’m going to shoot Nick Cave, and let’s face it, Nick hasn’t written a decent song in ten years anyway.

  3. Lute Nikoley on February 10, 2012 at 20:40

    That’s strange, your mom and I were a Sips this afternoon indulging in some wine when the subject of mice came up. Everybody around me exclaimed that they didn’t like mice when I commented that I thought they were kind of cute, you know, like a chipmunk. By the way, I’ve never seen a mouse in or around our house here in Modesto.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2012 at 21:06

      How were you at Sips? I keep seeing FB posts from Dave or Dawn that you are with them on the road in Texas.

  4. Bay Area Sparky on February 10, 2012 at 20:42

    You lost me at the end.

    You picked up the mouse, put it in a bag and asphyxiated it?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2012 at 21:05

      No, it was dead.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2012 at 21:23

      Robert, I thought I might have missed something in the post, given your comment.

      The photo was captioned “Dead Mouse.”

      Anyway, what I suppose I did not include was how I sensed this was the inevitable end for a couple of hours prior.

      • Bay Area Sparky on February 11, 2012 at 12:22

        Sorry… didn’t see the caption.

        I’ve actually had a wild vole in a meadow in Alleghany State Park (New York) allow me to pet it (my finger on its head as it trembled)… and had a wild deer mouse near the Kern River feed from my hand.

        Of all species, it’s amazing how tame and unafraid of humans wild mice can be.

        On the other hand I’ve witnessed the demise of a city rat (dying of poison I believe) and I think that I recognized the moment when life left its body. It was convulsing and that was not a pretty site. I’ve seen an Eastern Cottontail die before my very eyes also.



      • Bay Area Sparky on February 11, 2012 at 12:24

        To finish my thought, in the case of the vole and the mouse, I could have easily killed them… they were at my mercy.



  5. marie courious on February 10, 2012 at 21:56

    How sad, I’m sorry. If you fed it, perhaps it was seeking your company at the end. Yes, I know, it could just as well be seeking easy food because it was too weak to get it’s own by then (or even just have been disoriented)…but it’s that original eye contact that gives one ideas, yes? Similar situation with my young daughter and a squirrel, it was the only time it came right up to the back porch, it just lay down and that was it. She had been leaving nuts for it (and popcorn?!) on its tree that summer.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2012 at 22:03

      I think it’s cool to have some sort of connection to a wild animal, when you’re not hungry and your dogs aren’t hungry. 🙂

      I don’t know for sure if this is the same little guy who I’d see up in my back porch metal awning (it was in the gutter areas nest and all, which I have never disturbed), I just like to think it was.

      Sometimes I would wake up a 2, 3, 4 in the morning, get up, don the robe, and go out on the patio in the cool air with my iPad. And there, often enough, thee he was, up in the wurks.

      Yes, this is all very silly and such is life with gusto.

  6. Uncephalized on February 11, 2012 at 07:42

    I totally get the love for the mouse. As long as they’re not in your house eating your food (and paleo-people don’t have as much mouse food in their houses, generally, as SAD people) and shitting on your floor, they’re pretty darn cute. And so entertaining to watch! We had some living in the bushes outside the student union at my university and I used to go find them and watch them living their mousy lives during lunch sometimes. I got kind of attached to them too.

  7. rob on February 11, 2012 at 12:23

    If mice laid off the grains they would live another 2, 3 months

    • Sean on February 11, 2012 at 12:55

      Ok, this made me laugh.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

YouTube1k
YouTube
Pinterest118k
Pinterest
fb-share-icon
40
45
Follow by Email8k
RSS780