View Full Version : Mouse Control

09-20-2004, 04:28 PM
I'm sitting in my easy chair, watching a mouse race around in my kitchen. I've been aware of his presence, but have never seen him. Now he has to go. Since my lazy cats are not up to the task, does anyone have any suggestions? I'd like to live trap him and just move him out, but I don't know if that's possible. Anyone know?:shrug

09-20-2004, 08:05 PM
Why does he have to go?

09-20-2004, 08:23 PM
Mice are cute little guys but they can carry the hantavirus and outbreaks in the US are aren't all that rare.

Mice can also wreck havoc with home electrical wiring, insulation, etc.... One isn't all that bad, I suppose. The problem is that mice breed like....rabbits. <ouch!>

As for live-traps, call a local pest control outfit for alternatives. (Some of the large supermarket chains use live traps, so it can be done)

(Don't ask what the pest control guys do with the mice once they leave your premises. I have no idea, and probably don't wanna' know.)

09-20-2004, 08:25 PM
Chewed wires, for one thing, evan.

Don't know where you live, but if you live in a northern state or Canada, live trapping and moving the thing outside probably won't work. The mouse will be back inside where it's warm soon enough. (Unless the mouse enters someone else's house instead of yours.)

At the risk of sounding callous and mean, I wouldn't go for a live trap. And if I saw more than one, I'd go for an exterminator.

We try to be all warm and fuzzy about these things 'cause mice are cute. (We seem to have no problems like this when it comes to spiders or cockroaches...)

But mice in the house can also be a problem, chewing things up. If they get to electrical wires, it could even be dangerous.

09-20-2004, 08:52 PM
Get a "have-a-heart" trap. They works very well. Or get a cat, but the mice would die. If you don't want to kill these cute fellas, the have-a-heart traps would do the trick.

09-20-2004, 08:59 PM
Chewed wires, for one thing, evan

Sigh...You're right, of course. We have a cat, but she's good for nothing (currently laying upside down in my lap, looking at the bottom of the desk, and slowly sliding off the chair... )

It's a good thing we don't get too many mice, I'd be in a conniption all the time...

09-20-2004, 11:24 PM
I never thought about the disease factor, or the chewed wires, or I would have done something about him sooner. :smack And of course Liam is right, they breed.

I do live in a northern state (Michigan) which is why the little rat is in the house in the first place, I suppose. Given that, I think the only reasonable thing to do is to kill him as quickly and humanely as possible. And why is it, as Yesh pointed out, that I have no trouble stomping on the spiders that migrate into the warmth of my living room every fall, but can't bring myself to kill a mouse?

I did check out the live traps, but I don't think I can justify spending $20 to save the life of a mouse. My hubby would freak!

Thanks for the input, everyone. Most appreciated.

09-21-2004, 01:07 AM
I just heard a mouse scrambling about my kitchen a moment ago, funny I should read this now

I live in an apt building and lordy I can't wait to get out. (8 months to go!) We (the whole building) have tried everything but they come back no matter what. I have a little box trap thing under the sink but I think the mice are wise to us now. Never caught one !

There are these little pellets (I am sorry I don't know the name) the mice will eat them but it is like poison to them so they eat it and die and if they do happen to die in your walls whatever is in the pellets stops them from stinking.

09-21-2004, 01:42 AM
I have seen the poisons. I didn't know they prevented decaying mouse smells, though. I had one die in the ceiling of my office at work and man, I have never in my life smelled anything like that. Pew! I won't use poisons in my house, though, because of the cats and dogs. I think my best bet is the old-fashioned snap trap. It's fast and (relatively) humane.

09-21-2004, 01:53 AM
They sell these humane traps for $7 at Home Depot. I think it's much better than poisoning or crushing these little critters.

09-21-2004, 02:58 AM
I don't think I can justify spending $20 to save the life of a mouse
We did, but the cat keeps eating the cheese. :smack
Fortunately (for us, not the mouse) one of our two cats is a phenomenal mouser. I just wish the little rodents wouldn't pick 3AM to decide to send in the scouting party. Hopefully when none of them return, they'll get the message. :grin

09-21-2004, 04:37 AM
I only have one thing mouse-related. In my mom's office, my dad found a baby one get on the loveseat in the psychiatrists' office and go under the cushion. Dad caught him.

(All three of us were there to take out the trash & generally clean up after we had gone to eat.)

He held the mouse by the tail and held it over his mouth like he was going to swallow it. The mouse was screaming.

It grossed me out enough that I thought I was going to be sick.

The mouse got flushed down the toilet.

But I don't recommend catching the mice by hand. :lol


09-21-2004, 04:48 AM
Why kill spiders? Most of them are harmless. They eat small insects that would otherwise infest your house.

09-21-2004, 07:19 AM
1. I thought spiders were good too, until I learned last week they attract scorpions.

2. Give the mouse a nice last meal: peanut butter on a spring trap. Don't use d-con; mouse will eat it and die up in your wall. The spring trap is fast acting.

Animal souls re-cycle. No harm done ;)

09-21-2004, 07:34 AM
There is another thing we used, it was a thin cardboard box opened at both ends that was sticky on the inside. You put a piece of cheese in there and the mice get stuck. Again, the mice seemed too smart for that, never caught anything, which kind of relieved me because the thought of a mouse squealing until...whatever we were supposed to do with it happened.

Those pellets I mentioned were pink, if anyone does know what they are called. They came in tiny bags. The manager just dumped a couple bags behind the fridge and stove.

Spiders do not bother me at all. They used to, before I had mice problems.

09-21-2004, 08:35 AM
I'm pretty good at catching mice myself, actually. I do have the aid of a cat or a dog, though. The cats carry the mice upstairs from the basement, then drop them and watch us run around to try to catch them.

Usually the mice will always run to a corner, or behind a sofa, etc. We have empty coffee grinder cans on hand for such situations and place a can at each entrance. Eventually, the mouse will run right inside, and we'll drop them down the road so the first house isn't ours, but our neighbors. :evil

I hate the thought of killing them. They're SO cute! The last one I caught was absolutely massive, though. I thought it was a hamster, not a mouse.

09-21-2004, 03:41 PM
Why kill spiders? Most of them are harmless.

In Michigan, it's rare to find a dangerous spider. However, the creepiness factor is too much for me. If I don't kill them, I spend the next several days feeling them crawl on me, usually just as I'm about to fall asleep. :ack

peanut butter on a spring trap

This is what we opted for. Just waiting to hear the snap! We use glue traps at work, and I find them to be the cruelest way to kill the little critters. Five or six times a year we come in to find one still alive but stuck on a trap. My boss has the job of disposing of them.

As far as catching them and letting them go, as someone else pointed out, this is not really an option in a cold climate. They'll either find their way into someone else's house (and most likely get killed in a trap) or back into mine. I hate killing the little buggers, too, but at least I have chosen (I believe) the least cruel of ways to eliminate them.

09-21-2004, 04:24 PM
The spring trap is the quickest way to kill. Make sure you don't fuss with it as it normally need to be left untouched with the same bait inb the same place of 3-4 days before they will take it. They only oyther effect methid is live trap and taking them at least a few miles away to bother somebody else ;)

09-21-2004, 05:55 PM
Somewhat of a mouse survivor here.... we had one who lived in our dish washer for six months.... and another one (maybe the same one) TOOK the humane trap w/him. Obviously, he was in the market for a Winnebago. Finally, we got an electronic device (around $10 at Home Depot) and they've all disappeared...

Spiders are our friends, IMHO.


09-21-2004, 09:14 PM
Clear -- my wife and I were just looking into electronic pest control. Did you use an ultrasonic device like this company (http://www.weitech.com/) sells?

09-21-2004, 09:46 PM
Speaking as an ethologist there is no way those things sgould work, maybe it's the power of positive thinking driving them out ;) (Control studies showed no effect if high frequency in mouse infestation).

09-21-2004, 10:30 PM
Dear Chunky,

Yes... the white, ultrasound device that plugs directly into a socket. Not only did it clear up the issue of our particularly ingenious mice but we haven't seen an ant in the house since plugging it in.


09-21-2004, 11:26 PM
Thanks Clear! :thumbs

Now we just have to make sure the widget won't bother our cats. The manufacturer claims that no one has had a problem with the models intended for rodents. Guess we'll see when we turn it on!

09-21-2004, 11:29 PM
Our cats never even noticed it --- and the most they could do with the mouse was shadowbox (even though they have their claws)....

09-21-2004, 11:50 PM
Our guy Casey pounces on them and bats the poor things all over the house while his brother Finnigan follows him around to see what's going on. Get anywhere near Casey and he clamps his victim in his jaws and you get the low throat-growl of the mighty Carpet Cougar on the hunt!

Once we get the intruder away from Casey -- gently of course, we don't want to make him think we don't appreciate all he has done to protect us from these horrifying beasts -- we have to get the carpet cleaner out and do the carpets because of the blood. All of this at two or three in the morning when we should be sleeping.

Here's hoping we have the same success as you. *fingers crossed*

09-22-2004, 03:51 AM
I got one of those ultrasound thingies. It certainly scared the sh*t out of them, going by the increase in evidence, but it didn't get rid of the wee buggers.



09-22-2004, 09:33 AM


There are these little pellets (I am sorry I don't know the name) the mice will eat them but it is like poison to them so they eat it and die and if they do happen to die in your walls whatever is in the pellets stops them from stinking.

If you're going to use poison, check and make sure that if a mouse eats it and dies where a cat can get it, that the poison won't affect the cats...

I'm not too keen on poison, because it doesn't magically disappear once it's in the mouse, or rat, or whatever...

And some cats can be good mousers, but judging from my experience and the stories from li'l mac and others, 2 or 3 a.m. seems to be about their favourite time for mousing, and being considerate beasts, they always seem to want to show their owners how efficient they are at their jobs... :ack

09-22-2004, 10:34 AM
Mice are nasty.

According to a book I read, you can incinerate a mouse corpse in a coffee can and spread the ashes around your house. that will drive out the little beasties for a while.

But it's temporary. A more permanent solution is to capture a mouse alive and then kill it slowly, tape recording its screams. Then you have a tape you can play on a loop that will drive other mice away, as long as you keep the tape.

I've never tried either option. :)

09-22-2004, 10:46 AM
HConn, that second option is truly disgusting.

09-22-2004, 03:07 PM
Dear Chunky,

Here's wishing you the same success I had. BTW, is the second "C" in your name for cheese? That might be your problem! :b I have no way of accounting for why the device was effective but I do have to reiterate that we had extremely creative mouse squatters. Everything in the pantry was taken out four times, re-boxed, and we even switched the food side with the housewares side.

The mouse in the pantry is the one who TOOK the harmless trap. Took it!!! It had to have been at least equal to his body weight. My husband took apart the dishwasher six times, trying to catch the critter or block his entrance/exit. The mouse who lived in the dishwasher apparently liked saunas.

The gizmo worked for us and here's hoping it works for you. :clap Please let me know.


09-22-2004, 04:26 PM
HConn, that second option is truly disgusting.

I have to agree. Glad to hear HConn has never employed this method.

On a related note, I was talking about this to a friend of mine yesterday. He's had an ongoing mouse issue in an out-building for a couple of years now, and he's found that snap traps are only good for one or two mice. After that they all start to avoid the trap. Makes me wonder if they can smell death.

09-22-2004, 07:48 PM
Reph and Cindy, I agree.

09-22-2004, 10:10 PM
I've ordered the gadget, I'll let you know, Clear.

This thread reminds me of the kids movie 'Mouse Hunt'. Here's hoping it doesn't get that bad. :b

09-23-2004, 12:46 AM
And some cats can be good mousers, but judging from my experience and the stories from li'l mac and others, 2 or 3 a.m. seems to be about their favourite time for mousing, and being considerate beasts, they always seem to want to show their owners how efficient they are at their jobs...

Ruth, you're absolutely right. And my whole family has decided it's not so much that the cats enjoy showing off the mice they catch, they enjoy it as we freak out and run around the house trying to catch the little guys ourselves after they drop them on the floor...

I think the best chase we've ever had was when one of the cats found a chipmunk in our basement...

09-23-2004, 12:54 AM
Four mouse/rodent stories to relate (not sure if any of it will help, but it could be entertaining):

#1 - Years ago, when my husband was still living at his parents' place, he had a bag of cookies in his room. One night, he woke up to the sound of rasping paper. It was a mouse who had discovered the tasty treat of island fruits and nuts and was gleefully chewing through the bag. This was at 2 am, and you can imagine how disorienting it all was.

#2 - Our old cat Miss Faye (who has since gone to kitty heaven as of this April at the old age of 18 - RIP) was a mouser when it suited her. One night (probably around 2 am as well) we heard this ungodly sound of banging going down the stairs. It was the cat with a mouse trap in her mouth taking a treat to chew on under a table. Bang, bang, bang, went the trap on the stairs. Also disorienting...She did like to chew on the heads when it suited her...

#3 - A few years ago, I wasn't using my car all that much, so a rodent decided to move into my dashboard. We found out by turning on the heater one day to have fluff and stuff come flying out at us through the vents. Icky poo. Snap trap took care of the visitor (probably a vole, not a mouse, but I didn't look too closely at the body).

#4 - This summer, we were having problems with our lawn mower. Hard to start, smoked every so often, eventually set itself on fire (that was exciting...) After we hauled the carcass to a repair shop to see what happened, the guys told us that a mouse had decided to live in the mower and its skeleton was still there. So we cooked the mouse and the mower. There goes $700 for a new one - !@$*$%)(# mouse!!!

I encourage the neighbourhood cats to patrol in case they get lucky in our backyard.

A side note - I let spiders live, as long as they aren't on my bedroom ceiling. Can't stand rodents!!

09-23-2004, 03:41 AM
:rofl Allion (except the cash part -- bummer)

Entertainment is job 2 around here. (writing is job 1 -- I think)

09-23-2004, 04:11 AM
"Everything in the pantry was taken out four times, re-boxed..."

Reboxed? There's your problem. Cardboard is no proof against rodents. We repackage food in canisters, jars, bottles – anything with a tight lid. Even so, ants once got into the brown sugar in an apothecary jar with a heavy top.

Speaking of that, may I make a side trip, not entirely irrelevant, from the kitchen to the bathroom? Toothpaste is cheaper in a big tube, but the big tube takes up more shelf space. So today I squoze toothpaste into a nice little glass jar into which trusty old Sonicare can be dipped. It makes a pretty pattern, too – those green and white stripes curving lazily along the inside of the glass.

I suspect that I'll never live down having said "squoze" on Absolute Write.

aka eraser
09-23-2004, 04:35 AM
You're right reph. I'm more surprised than pleased, I must say. "Appalled" may not be a stretch.

Everyone knows the past tense of squeeze is squizzled.

09-23-2004, 05:02 AM
So -- which is right:

I have squoze.


I have squeezen.


(can't hold it any longer) :grin

09-23-2004, 06:12 AM

What a wonderful word! :grin

I have squizzled...

It's got a ring to it.

09-23-2004, 06:18 AM
(can't hold it any longer)

Well, then, Chunky, you'll have to squize harder.

09-23-2004, 06:40 AM
It's "squids," bois and gurls.

09-23-2004, 06:59 AM
Two gross mouse stories, both from living in a house with my husband's grandmother, who overfed her dog and was overrun by mice (until our cats arrived):

1. When we moved in, Grandma was away for a little mini-vacation. I noticed that in her spotless house, she had many many little boxes of mouse poison positioned here and there. Didn't think anything of it, until we tried to cook dinner that first night. After the oven warmed up, the smell of dead mouse was horrific. Worse than horrific; we both got sick. My husband asked, "I hope that's not dinner?" I opened the stove and found a dead mouse on the floor under the oven...and another in the grease trap under the stove top...and another between the oven and the wall. We left and had dinner out. The next day we had the stove repair guy in. He pulled the stove away from the wall and found another couple, took the side panels off the oven and there it was...a winding trail cut into the insulation of the oven. Imbedded in the trail were the bodies of 3 more mice, and a cache of tiny pellets of dog food that the mice had been storing over the months. By sprinkling pure Lysol syrup in the insulation, (inbetween gasping trips to the open kitchen window for air (in the dead of winter) he was able to get 80% of the mouse smell out. It persisted, however, every time we turned on the oven for the next year.

2. Years earlier, when the house was only used for summer, the family came down for a fall holiday one year and picked chestnuts to saute on the stove. It got a little smokey, so Mom turned on the stove fan above the skillet, and out fell a NEST of tiny, pink baby mice into the frying pan of chestnuts. Yerrrrghhhhh. STILL can't eat roast chestnuts!

Snap traps are best. Your'e just asking to rotate the supply by releasing live-catch, and it's cruel to use sticky traps. Really cruel. Poison makes them hemmorrage inside and die in the walls, leaving a fragrant reminder of their passing for months. (Been there, done that) Having the feces around (especially in kitchen areas and cabinets) is asking for health problems if you try to clean it without gloves/bleach.

09-23-2004, 07:48 AM
Leave it to a writer to pick up inexact word usage! :) :grin

Things in the pantry were already in glass jars w/heavy lids or in tins. Cooking isn't a big activity here so staples have to stored to last.

I'm quite certain that the mice carried their own tool boxes.

09-23-2004, 04:10 PM
Apryl, if I hadn't already decided on snap traps over the catch and release method, your story would have cinched it. :ack

09-23-2004, 06:19 PM
Having given up on ultrasound, I got 'humane poison' and put it out. It was Friday (my night for staying up late and indulging in alcohol) and when I wandered into the kitchen for a top-up, to my horror, found a mouse lying in the middle of the kitchen floor, its wee chest heaving in its last throes.

The online advice ranged from stamping on it to put it out of its misery to scooping it up on a shovel and casting it out into the night. Since I didn't fancy the first option I opened the back door, but it was freezing and rainy and I just couldn't bring myself to throw it out to die in the wet and cold. Instead I picked it up and put it in a wee box with some paper tissues, to die in comfort.

Next morning I noticed the box had moved, so I shoved it back in the corner to deal with the corpse later. A couple of minutes after, not only had it moved again, it was shuffling its way across the floor.

I took it up the garden, tipped it out and the 'corpse' staggered off into the undergrowth groaning 'I'm never doing drugs again!'


09-23-2004, 06:24 PM

aka eraser
09-23-2004, 09:15 PM
aq :rollin

09-23-2004, 10:11 PM
Jeez -- makes me glad my parents didn't pick me up with a shovel and throw me out in the cold when they caught me drunk....

09-24-2004, 03:41 AM
Well, unless you're mouse-sized, they'd have needed to find a bloody big shovel!


09-24-2004, 04:05 AM
I'm Canadian, we have HUGE shovels. :grin

09-24-2004, 06:35 AM
If it's not too late, you should trap the mouse, then bring it to an animal shelter. It won't come back to your house, and you don't have to kill it :-).

09-24-2004, 06:46 AM
you should trap the mouse, then bring it to an animal shelter

Just to be clear, what do you think they would do with it?

09-24-2004, 08:21 AM
Feed it to a snake?

09-24-2004, 04:38 PM
As a non-domesticated species it would be too stressed to keep as a pet and something of a health hazard. I think relocation to a rural area is the only no-kill method with any chance of success -- and that still leavexs an urban mouse in a niche it doesn't know much about.

09-25-2004, 12:35 AM
As a non-domesticated species it would be too stressed to keep as a pet

Been there, done that. Our poor mouse died within a few days. (And we do know how to care for small rodents...)

09-25-2004, 12:54 AM
and that still leavexs an urban mouse in a niche it doesn't know much about
Yeah. Look what happened to Joe Pecsi in "My Cousin Vinny". :grin

09-25-2004, 06:03 AM
Ah yes. Town mouse vs Country Mouse. The town mouse likes to lie around scoffing Sugar Puffs while the country mouse is off up stalks eating healthy raw oats instead.

Sister used to have a horse, and kept its oats in the garage, so we had both. The town mice were inside, drinking martinis and having all-night raves and the country mice were out in the garage having barn dances in the sack of oats.

Just to confuse matters, I had a couple of white ones as pets.

It was a veritable mouserama!


Btw, Chunky - what exactly do Canadians need HUGE shovels for?

09-25-2004, 06:26 AM
what exactly do Canadians need HUGE shovels for?

That, and the stuff that comes out of our politician's mouths. :grin

09-26-2004, 04:03 AM
Well folks, the great ultrasonic mouse repellent experiment is over. The moment I plugged the doodad in, the cats freaked. Both got low to the ground with their ears twitching and began a slow prowl around the room like when they are fascinated by something unknown but are ready to bolt at a moment's notice.

We unplugged the thing and they immediately stopped and sat up straight and looked around the room like they were confused. We waited a few minutes and plugged it in again and they instantly reacted in the same way.

Footnote: further research on the net uncovered these facts:

Frequency range of some of these devices like the one we bought is from 32khz to 65khz at 105db (rock concert volume)
Hearing range of average cat tops out at roughly 60khz

Therefore these gadgets produce piercing sound audible in the upper range of cats with normal hearing.

So much for that. I'm not going to torment my cats into a nervous breakdown and/or acute hearing loss on the off chance it'll scare off the mice. Oh well, there was only one way to find out and that was to try it.

09-26-2004, 05:16 AM
My lord, Chunky, I'm so sorry .... my cats had absolutely no adverse reactions. I'll check the brand and make sure we're talking apples to apples here. wow....

09-26-2004, 10:31 AM
I've never had mice. But the houseflies briefly attacked us again a few weeks ago. I don't know how they squoozled in!

09-26-2004, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the pic, Chunky. You've made your point! Mind you if we go by politicians we all need huge shovels!

Bad luck about your sonic device and the @#%$ cats.


Lori Basiewicz
09-26-2004, 07:40 PM
I'm gearing up for the annual lady bug invasion.

09-26-2004, 08:33 PM
Oh no, Lori, now you remind me. And the Japanese Beetles! Last year there were like 3000 in my house.

09-26-2004, 09:50 PM
Clearr ... it's very likely we used two different brands of device. The same site I found the hearing range info says mice hear all the way up to 100khz, so it's very possible the one you used spits out noise up above what the cats can hear. Unfortunately, all the ones I could find are in the same 30 to 60 odd range.

And Maestro -- Japanese beetles in the house? :ack :ack :ack

09-27-2004, 12:13 AM
Ladybugs are good! They eat aphids.

Jenna said "squoozled." Tsk, tsk.

Lori Basiewicz
09-27-2004, 12:46 AM
They come in the house in the winter, CC. They are used to overwintering in cliffs, but if there aren't any (I'm on the plains), they come inside to find nooks and crannies to hang out in until the weather gets warm again. Then, in the Spring, they leave whatever hidey holes they've found and head back outside.

Yes, Reph, they are good for gardens, but let the swarms stay outside in the gardens where they belong.

*Should start selling the little buggers on e-bay.*

09-27-2004, 05:52 AM
Weird thing about ladybugs. I bought a box of 'em last year to put in my greenhouse. Couldn't wait to open the box and spread them around, 'cause they're so cute and all. But you know what? When there are a couple hundred of them in a box crawling all over each other, they don't look cute at all! They look creepy and beetle-like! I had to just put the box down and leave because they were giving me the heebie-jeebies. They all squishled out just fine, though.

09-27-2004, 06:28 AM
They're good for the gardens, EXCEPT rose gardens. They eat my roses, so they're bye bye around there.

09-27-2004, 07:04 AM
Jenna, I'm relieved to hear you didn't squozzle any ladybugs flat just because they grossed you out.

CC, aphids eat roses.

09-27-2004, 10:12 PM
CC, aphids eat roses
I think you mean Maestro.... :grin

PS -- and not that Maestro eats roses.... :grin

09-27-2004, 10:28 PM
Lady bugs are good for roses because they eat aphids. However, not so Japanese beetles. They actually eat the roses themselves (I read it in a rose care book).

09-28-2004, 12:03 AM
and not that Maestro eats roses

No, no! Maestro eats bugs... :grin

Around here, the Japanese beetles have only been around for a few years -- and they eat our day lilies.

Not nice bugs at all. :teeth

09-28-2004, 12:30 AM
And they bite people!

09-28-2004, 06:05 AM
Maestro bites people? :huh

09-28-2004, 06:15 AM
Ooops! That was supposed to be a secret~ :smack

09-28-2004, 08:22 AM
Stop spreading rumors already!!!!! I don't bite.

I nibble.

09-28-2004, 09:13 AM
Yes, CC, I did mean Maestro's aphids. But if you have aphids, I mean if your roses do, if you have roses, they'll eat yours too. Maestro will only nibble on your aphids.

11-22-2007, 04:24 PM
One morning, Matt said there was a mouse in the Larder. We’d mouse proofed the larder after the last infestation but I remembered that an integral piece of wood had slipped and I’d put it back. The mouse had got in but now it couldn’t get out again.

I was still in my dressing gown at the time, but I wanted to catch it alive and let it go outside. I would take charge of the Evacuation; after all, mice were my area of expertise. I’d spent the most time watching them and I was well ahead in the oowing and ahhing stakes.

We had to empty the larder first. Loads of food would have to be thrown away. We only have a small kitchen and soon it was filled with the contents of our Larder. Chase my brave Dobermann had lost interest in what was going on and had taken himself off to the front room for a kip on the sofa.

The larder was empty and there was a little mouse. Petrified, and all alone in an empty larder.

I was very efficient. Matt had a bad knee but I still sent him off for a Tupperware dish and something to slide under it. I stayed and watched the mouse looking for signs of weakness or anything that would help me catch it. Matt returned with a dish, a sheet of paper, and a torch so that I could see once I was inside the larder.

Bravely I stepped into the larder, and shut the bottom door after me. I just about filled the larder. With the aid of the torch I captured the mouse under the dish but the paper was far too flimsy. I send Matt off for a piece of card. He limped off. Chase remained asleep on the sofa. Due to the lack of Larder space I had to shift a little and the mouse escaped. It was terrified and obviously didn't believe my intentions were good. It was running up the door and wall.

They can’t half jump high.

Then. Horror of horrors. It ran up my dressing gown. I had nothing on underneath it. All my good intentions evaporated and turned into uncontrollable hysterics. I screamed like a banshee and shouted for Matt. He didn’t arrive.

By then, I had vacated the larder and was having hysterics all over the food in the kitchen. I was still alone despite my screams for help. The bloody mouse was running all over the place. It was in my hair and down my sleeves. Every time it got near daylight it shot back into my dressing gown.

I was beside myself and looked as if I was doing some kind of tribal dance accompanied by loud screaming and indecipherable lyrics. I was still on my own though. Why wasn’t there any help?

I was becoming more and more hysterical. I might like mice but that only goes as far as watching them scurrying around outside. It does NOT mean I like them scurrying around in my dressing gown. I’d reached the passage to the garden and I was still accompanied by the now hysterical mouse. People have said to me since that it must have been petrified. Bollocks. It was moving pretty fast for a “petrified” anything and if it was more frightened than me it would have had to be dead.

I reached the back yard still screaming as loud as I could for aid. The mouse was moving faster and seemed to be everywhere at once. In desperation I ripped off my dressing gown and shook it. The mouse fell out and ran into a run full of collies. They watched it as it ran round and out again toward me. I leapt up out of its path, and it ran onto the Patio and disappeared into some of my yellowish flowers.

Strange. Matt was leaning on the Patio wall.

Had I missed seeing him there?

Had he been about to help me?

My God I was standing in public view naked in the back yard.

Why was his body shaking so much?

The bastard. He was helpless with laughter. He couldn’t even stand up he was laughing so much. If I hadn’t been so weak I’d have hit him with something. When he could breathe again he helped me back into the house and made me a nice cup of hot chocolate. We had to wake Chase up and move him so that I could sit down. Wonderful bloody guard dog he was. He’d slept through everything. I could have been being killed, and he would have slept through it.