It’s official. I have a mouse … or more precisely, mice. (No one ever has just one mouse!)
I started letting Crystal-Kitty come with me to the feed room a few weeks ago. She immediately developed a keen interest in a small pile of spilled birdseed. After filling the bird feeder a year ago, the birds took nearly a year to discover it, so the birdseed bag was in the feed room for a long time. I suspected we might have a mouse when I saw seed spilled out, and Crystal confirmed it for me right away. I was busy measuring feed into buckets and mixing it when my dear sweet kitty walked over to me … and dropped a mouse on my foot!!!
OK, I did good. I didn’t scream, or freak out or anything like that. But it DID surprise me! Of course, I told her she was a good kitty and I disposed of it. She was really very upset with me about that. Apparently I was supposed to give it back to her? She searched for it for a long time!
She’s never shown any inclination to hunting before. In fact, we used to have a pet gerbil when we first got her. When he would escape, she would follow him around and sniff him, but never offered to hurt him. Well, her attitude has changed!
She’s suddenly become much more serious, having a new job now. She patrols the entire house on a regular basis. In fact, soon after she killed the first one, a mouse got into my kitchen, and she almost caught him then. Mousie quickly vacated the house and moved back to the feed room, and I plugged the hole behind the cabinets with steel wool. I can always tell now if mice are around because Crystal will sit and stare at the place they are hiding and wait for hours for them to come out. So far she’s keeping them out of the house. And today, I found another one she’d killed in the feed room. She placed it in exactly the same spot where she dropped the first one on my foot. I’m glad for that, because I was afraid if she caught another one, she might bring it to me wherever I am and drop it. Heaven forbid I should be asleep in bed!
Still, mice in a house are not a good thing. Neither are mice in my feed room. So far they are not bothering the hundreds of pounds of whole wheat and oats, the alfalfa, corn, barley, and all the other feeds I have stored out there, but if they get into them, it could become a big problem.(Not to mention, having so much feed available surely encourages them to reproduce quickly!)
But now that my cat is hunting them, I’m more worried about how to handle it. I’m not a big fan of poison anyway, but I’m not willing to poison my cat if she catches a mouse that’s been poisoned. And as far as traps, I’ve unlocked the cat door to give Crystal free access between the house, garage, and feed room, but I don’t want to catch HER in a trap. So today I came up with a plan.
I’m going to put the baited trap (with some birdseed nearby!) in the feed room near where she is always watching for them, and I’m going to put a milk crate upside down over it. That should allow the mice free access, but keep Crystal out of the trap.
We’ll see if it works. I’ll keep you posted!