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Tony Grist

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Mice [Jul. 18th, 2007|09:42 am]
Tony Grist
Rene next door is being plagued by mice. She hears them scampering about in the attic and it terrifies her so much she's been sleeping on a couch downstairs. If this continues, she says, she'll put the house on the market.

We have mice too. Well, this is a terrace and there are gaps in the walls and if one house has mice they all do. In the old days when we kept cats it was a common occurence to find little, chewed-up corpses on the kitchen floor. Since the cats died out the mice have been bolder and every so often we'll catch sight of one. Our attitude is, "Aw look, how sweet!"

I had a toy mouse when I was a kid. He was about two inches long and my best friend. His name was Mouse. He lost an eye in a lawnmower related incident and I loved him all the more.  My sister and I had real mice too. They were called Archimedes and Jeremiah. 

Mice have always been among my favourite beasties- those soulful eyes, those whiffly noses.  I've never understood why some people hold them in such horror.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-07-18 10:06 am (UTC)
They eat books, for one thing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 10:27 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought of that.

We caught one on a bookshelf once. It was hiding behind the books but hadn't done any damage.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-07-18 10:31 am (UTC)
When I was in grad school we had mice--and I still have some of the mouse-chewed Japanese books.

One the mice also crawled up my nightgown. So I think my reasons for hating mice are pretty well founded!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 10:33 am (UTC)
Obviously you've had some bad experiences.

My experience of mice has, on the other hand, been entirely pleasant and amusing.
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[User Picture]From: momof2girls
2007-07-18 12:22 pm (UTC)
I think they're cute. And Younger Daughter's nickname is "Mouse."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 02:02 pm (UTC)
Now I think of it, I had a friend in primary school (first grade?)whose nickname was "Mouse".
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2007-07-18 01:12 pm (UTC)
Well, out here, they have the potential of carrying a particularly nasty strain of the Hantavirus:

http://www.cdc.gov/Ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/FAQ.htm
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 02:04 pm (UTC)
That's nasty. So far as I'm aware we don't have that problem in Britain.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2007-07-18 02:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, they are cute but they do carry diseases and to find their droppings in the food cupboards is not particularly amusing or appetizing. As long as they stay outside they´re fine with me but inside? Not in my bookshelves, please. They shred the paper for nests!

My icon is a hamster, not a mouse but it´s the closest I´ve got to a small rodent at the moment.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 03:15 pm (UTC)
I had a hamster once. Her name was Sheba. And lots of gerbils. I guess I'm a sucker for small furry things.

And now I've upgraded to rabbits.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2007-07-19 04:49 am (UTC)
I´ve had hamsters, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs and rabbits as pets. I actually like rodents quite a lot.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2007-07-18 02:55 pm (UTC)
I had three little pet mice (live) years ago. They were adorable. One was black, one white, and one tan.

However, I really wouldn't want wild mice near my food or in my clothing either. They would not cause me to move away though! I do hate those trap things... they seem incredibly cruel.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 03:18 pm (UTC)
The most effective mouse repellent is a cat. We've told Rene this- and that we'd look after it when she goes away. I don't know why she's hesitating.

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[User Picture]From: mummm
2007-07-18 03:26 pm (UTC)
That would be ANY cat but our Rudi. He doesn't repel anything! *hee*
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From: amritarosa
2007-07-18 05:02 pm (UTC)
When we moved into this house, there was a family of mice living in the stove base. Which would have been ok with us, except for the smell every time we warmed it up- heated mouse urine! (And for the possibility of roasted mouse if one accidentally happened to get trapped in the heated chamber- no!!!)They'd steal Twayn's cotton balls and pee on them and make nests out of them. Such a big smell from such a small creature!

We ended up pulling it away from the wall a bit and allowed the cats to "encourage" them to move. The cats only got a couple of the young ones, the other two moved on. They haven't multiplied to the point of being a nuisance at all, and we occasionally catch sight of one in the yard or in the basement.

There are loads of little nooks and crannies, and little tunnel nests among the rocks in the front garden, and plenty of places in the basement (where the cats aren't allowed most of the time) for them to be.

We like our little furry housemates.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 06:53 pm (UTC)
Our mice haven't been any problem. They show up once in a while and that's it. Sometimes we hear them scrabbling about in the walls.

Like you I enjoy having wildlife around.
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From: amritarosa
2007-07-18 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I really enjoyed the last couple of poems you posted. they are really quite good :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: le_oef
2007-07-18 06:09 pm (UTC)
i love mice too and am also totally baffled at why people hate them. i had a number of mice as pets a while back. one was very ill and i put him in a jar and held him up to my car's muffler. I thought he'd peacefully doze off into eternity but i'm pretty sure he just asphyxiated. poor mouse!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-18 06:54 pm (UTC)
Poor little thing.

My pet mouse died suddenly of a heart attack while playing on his wheel.
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