Angel in “Escape to the Chateau”, with a wry grin on her face, says something like “Behind every dream there’s the reality” as she’s sweeping up thousands of dead cluster flies.
My “reality” behind the dream at the moment is mice. With the cold and post-harvest they are coming back into the house. The latest place they’ve found? The drawer with all the stock cubes alongside the cooker. They climb the pipe from the gas bottle I think. Trying to make chicken stew for tonight and finished up having to clear out the entire drawer, throw most of the packets away and only keep the still sealed packets that I had to clean. The drawer is now empty with a baited mouse trap in it and the remaining stock cubes are on a tray on the table - perhaps I should have used a sliver of chicken stock cube, but I think they prefer Nutella on top of a raisin. Supper will be later than I planned.
The ‘dream’ is that I have a business trip to the US next week, visiting with a company for whom I’ve done a lot of work developing new products and helping them establish a manufacturing facility.
My reality is that I often feel terribly inadequate, and that I’ll have to face a bunch of very smart individuals while trying desperately not to say something stupid. Also there are fears that there may be changes in regulations that make it more difficult to return home than it already is. It will all be fine, but that doesn’t take away feeling like a small boy sometimes.
Nutella, every time, and I use a Big Cheese mousetrap. Despite its name it is not a traditional snap but has an entry point and the bait at the end. To get to it they have to cross 2 metal plates and, as soon as they touch the 2nd one, they make a circuit and, instant electrocution.
By far the most humane I have ever found and very effective. We were overrun a few years ago and when I first used this I caught about 50 over the next week or so. Then we never saw another for about a year. Another, much shorter, killing spree then occurred but then nothing for ages.
It is always on hand now, unset, and as soon as I see those little droppings on the work top it becomes live again, for awhile. Till the next generation gets the message.
Huh! We too have the winter influx of mice. Unfortunately one or two of them have chosen to die in the ceiling space above our living room. Which we can’t access. So our living room looks like we are holding some bizarre seance, as our sofas are surrounded by scented candles. The smell is appalling!
We get one or two mice every year. We can’t work out how they get in, but we suspect that the very solid-looking 50cm stone wall could contain a small passageway leading from the outside to the shallow cavity between the downstairs ceiling and the bedroom floor. It’s in there that pipe insulation is being nibbled and we hear scuffling from time to time. We made a hatch to see inside, but we’ve never spotted the culprit. Never had the problem when we had a cat.
Ah, the mice are everywhere this year. Our “humane” traps now keep them alive until I remember to check on them, by which time they could have died of starvation and/or cold. Mostly field mice, some wood mice, and the occasional brown house mouse. They appear to be able to get in through multiple entry points, not least the roof, either from the guttering, or the aeration vent tiles in the roof. Preventing their entry would literally require sealing all air entry points around the roof. Opted for the lazy and cheaper solution with the traps. They get released more than 300m away from the house, usually in the morning before we set off for work. Fortunately, I’ve managed to bait 20 or so with a single walnut, which as yet remains uncracked and uneaten - result !
Cats! Since we got ours we haven’t had a single live rat or mouse in the house. Ok, there still may have been a few mortally wounded ones being chased around my library and I did remove a young rat’s tail and entrails only the other day (catapult them into the Lot so they can be eaten by the fishes rather than by other rats).
But, most importantly, I no longer need to deal with them as previous - incidentally, the record chez nous is five rats killed in one evening with a Zulu ebony knobkerrie - a very effective weapon.
When I first turned on the heating this year (GSHP) it didn’t work. Bugger I thought, just when I need it it’s broken. Took the front cover off the heat pump and where the mains went into the unit, behind the PCB, there was a very small mouse, very dead and quite dessicated. Must have crawled in there to investigate during the summer.
Unfortunately, our cat brings them in for us, sometimes alive. Usually at 3am. Trying to catch a live rat in the house at 3am is a trial. He doesn’t seem interested in helping us. Once he’s brought it in its our responsibility it seems. Maybe he’s trying to teach us to hunt. Probably thinks we’re useless and need some tuition.
When our cats were young and fit the brother of the pair killed a rabbit late one evening, then carried it to the top the 2 1/2 meter high fence and from there jumped over a meter with it to a narrow window ledge and finally through a quarterlight inside the house. My son, whose room it was, didn’t notice because he was gaming and my wife was asleep in bed. I came home later after rehearsing with a band to find the lower half and a pair of ears in a bloody patch on the bathroom floor.
That cat died aged 14, but his sister is now 21 years old, deaf, blind, has dementia and an inability to squat in the litter tray.
Nearly fifty years ago, myself, then girlfriend and cat went to visit my parents. The following morning we were informed by my mother (a woman who had a fearsome temper) that our young cat, whom we didn’t know was even old enough to be pregnant, had just given birth to a kitten on my infant brother’s pillow. The cat had then eaten its offspring in front of him. Brother’s now fifty-five years old and has never ‘owned’ a cat…
About 3 or 4 weeks ago I mentioned that I thought I saw a field mouse in my kitchen out of the corner of my eye…
A couple of years back I took an early morning photo of a field mouse waiting for me to open the door to my conservatory…I think it left once I opened the door….
I don’t know if the one I saw 3-4 weeks ago is still in here…I thought I heard scuffling for several days behind my freezer but as my collies were unperturbed and have remained so and there’s no evidence of droppings anywhere then I’m thinking it probably went out the way it came in….???
When my current cat, Odin was about 6 months old, I woke up one morning and came down the stairs to see him furiously attempting to pull something through the catflap. It was a large hare. He obviously didn’t catch it … it must have been road kill, but he was desperate to try to show me what he’d got.
Here is a picture of odin with his favourite prey.
Much as I love all animals, reading this thread I am so pleased that I have always been a dog owner, never a cat owner. I did enjoy the occasional visits of One-Eye our brave stray, who touched noses with our Rottweiler, but am glad that she didn’t consider us ‘home’.