January 28, 2005

Sonny & Cher

There's this couple. Friends of ours. Wendy picked the nicknames I will use for them. Here they will be Sonny & Cher. The origin of said nickname is a remnant of an evening of karaoke. I got you babe. Yes indeed.

Sonny & Cher are a middle-aged married couple. No kids. Yet. They live in the suburbs. Guinea pigs currently serve as their cross between pets and children. Oh sure, I could weave a long backstory as to the who what where when why of guinea pigs filling that role, but it doesn't really relate to this tale.

This tale is about mice. Hasn't everyone had at least one mouse-in-the-house experience? I think I've had winter mice in every house in which I've ever lived. Figero has always politely asked them to leave. Figero is such a good kitty. But Figero doesn't live with Sonny & Cher. They don't have a cat. They have guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are not known for their mousing abilities.

A trip to the local hardware store netted Sonny & Cher one of those nifty humane traps. Not a snappy mouse killing kind of trap. A humane trap. A trap where the door closes behind the cute little mousey who has been lured in by a blob of peanut butter.

"I got you babe!" warbled Sonny the morning he found the first mouse slumped in the corner of the humane trap, bloated from eating all the peanut butter.

Sonny & Cher did not wish to unceremoniously dump the mouse into the harsh conditions of the winter outdoors. It was far too cold. And snowy. The mouse would be cold, hungry and uncomfortable. That would never do. They opted to put the mouse in an aquarium furnished with a bit of guinea pig bedding. He'd be quite cozy until spring.

Currently Sonny & Cher have an entire herd of mice living in that aquarium. That humane trap did a bang-up job. In case you are wondering how many mice make up a herd, it's four. Four mice per herd. They also have a large box of mouse food purchased at the local Petsmart.

And a baby. A baby mouse. The most recent bounty yielded by the humane trap. At first, Sonny & Cher put the baby in the aquarium with the other mice. The other mice were not pleased, not pleased at all. They attacked that little baby mouse.

Sonny & Cher were horrified. They did the only thing responsible mouse-catching pet lovers could possibly do. They set up a separate aquarium home for the baby mouse. A bit of internet research revealed adult mice often treat foreign baby mice that way. Who knew?

Cher confided she chats to those mice. And why not? Everyone needs somebody to talk to. Some of the best conversations I've had have been with my pets. (That's normal. Totally. Someone back me up here!)

Their plan is to release the mice into the wild come spring. I wonder. Will they? Release them? After months of nurturing them? Confiding in them? If they release them, will the mice come right back in the way they came in the first time? Do mice prefer freedom over regular meals in a confined warm nest?

Does anyone else have fond memories of The Mouse and the Motorcycle? I read it countless times growing up. Good times.


Pisces75 said...

I loved the Mouse and Motorcycle book as a youngster!
I do not, however, like real mice. The double we currently occupy had the worse mice infestation the first winter we lived there. Our Dog, Nellie, was like the mouse watch dog. She was on guard all the time...and I mean all the time. She started to get a bit obsessed and neurotic about it. So we set out traps. Not those nice traps...but the whack'em traps. I went back and forth of whether to use the humane traps, but then I feared I would end up like your friends and not be able to put them back out in the cold. So I figured they could play a little cheese roulette. There were a few who got the cheese and didn't get whacked. Must have been the smart female mice ;-) You will have to update on whether they do part with them or not...

Katie said...

I can't believe the humane trap worked! We got one, and it was awful. The peanut butter or bread, or whatever other delectable treat we left in it every night would be gone in the AM, but alas, no mouse. We had to resort to poison, which was really awful, but the mice were ruling the garage, and we were putting the house on the market in mere weeks. It was hard on me too, since as a child, the only pet I had for awhile was two mice.

I bet your friends keep them. It's too hard to get rid of them. Even at our new house, I found a momma mouse in the garage, with five babies a-feeding from her. Even as I took her to the back of our property on a beautiful sunny summer day, I felt guilty about casting her out.

Yeah, my best bet is your friends keep the mice. Maybe you should run a betting pool. (Mouse and Motorcycle-- thumbs up, but I also was a Stuart Little aficionado.)

TexMexSol said...

ok, you have to let us know how many mice they have in about a month. I'm talking about ones NOT caught in the trap! Yeah, when I was in high school, I went to a pet store and bought a couple of mice. The guy at the store told me they were both female. Well, after about a month, we figured out that only one was a female and she had 5 babies! And since we had no access to the internet back then, we didn't realize that you have to remove the male right after the female gives birth, otherwise, she get's pregnant again, right away! Needless to say, another litter popped out about a month later. Good luck to Sonny and Cher! Their herd is going to be huge!

PS....if they give them to a pet store, they will more than likely become food for a snake.