Friday, May 6, 2011

Nature In My Living Room: Kittehs Catch Their First Mouse

I'm about to recall the gruesome death of this poor mouse and then some.  Read at your own risk.

Consider yourself warned.


At 1 in the morning, I hear Yoni growling and making a noise I had never heard before.  I looked into the hallway to see Mencken in our bedroom doorway and Yoni with her dilated glowing eyes.  It looked like she was heaving.

Out of concern, I thought that perhaps she had vomited or something.  As I proceeded to turn all the lights on, she runs into the living room.  I don't see any vomit anywhere, so I figured she is probably about to puke.

Then I realized she had something in her mouth.  At first, it looked like a leaf.  But then I realized that she had a MOUSE!!!

I immediately work up the boyfriend.  He wanted to make sure that we give a lot of praise to the kitties for catching it.  But Yoni wasn't done with it yet.  In fact, it was still quite alive, if moving slower.

She would growl when Mencken would get close to her, and yet she would drop it and push it about.

This went on for the rest of the night.

At one point, the mouse got away.  I thought I saw it scurry under our front door, but Mencken knew better.  After a bit of digging in our shoe area, he recovered the injured mouse and brought it straight to Yoni.  He, having always been an indoor cat, had never done anything like this and wasn't sure what to do with it.

At another point, they make their way into the bedroom.  It was almost 3 in the morning at this point, and I had to wake up in an hour and a half to get ready for bootcamp.  But I couldn't NOT pay attention to Yoni's growls.  She ended up under the bed at some point.  I was NOT going to be okay with a mouse carcass under our bed!

Here's why:
About 2 years ago, before our kitties were even in this world, we had quite a problem with mice.  They were attacking anything they could, regardless of being sealed in a plastic bag.  I could hear them in our walls, and scurrying about in the middle of the night.  It was horrifying. 

We started putting out traps and putting everything in our fridge.  We cleaned and we even put out some traps with poison in them.

One random Summer day, I noticed these HUGE flies flying around our living room window.  They were HUGE, I tell you.  Huge and slow.  Thus, they were relatively easy to kill.  However, they just kept showing up.  At first, I would see them flying over to the opposite wall, but they were mainly in the window.

I closed our windows and asked our Super to come look.  He couldn't figure it out either, and he hadn't gotten any other complaints from other tenants.

I noticed that the flies had these weird white lines on their thorax.  Naturally, I Googled it.  What I discovered was horrifying.  They were called "flesh flies."  Go ahead, go to the Wikipedia page and learn about them.  I'll wait....

Gross, right??!?!?

Since they were mainly in our window, I figured something must have died right outside it though we couldn't smell anything.

We must have killed over 20 of them.  Yes, I was counting.  It just made it more disgusting.

About a month later, I was cleaning around a pile of clothes and pillows that we were planning to dispose of.  As I lifted a pillow, I spotted a dead mouse!!! It must have been crushed underneath the clothes and pillows.

Suddenly, the stench of dead mouse and the memory of the flesh flies came flooding back.  It was horrifying, and the smell was not going away.

At that point, the boyfriend was picked up by a friend to take him to a birthday lunch.  And I was left with the smell.  I ended up leaving the house with the windows open (though I remember it was a torrential-rainy day), and went to the movie theater.

So, you can see why I was not about to let the cats just leave a dead mouse somewhere for us to find it later.

And I sure as hell wasn't going to take a live mouse and dispose of it myself!  I had already done that a couple of years before the dead mouse/flesh fly episode, when I was living with 2 roommates.

The mouse was stuck on a glue trap, and the most humane way I could think of disposing of it was to kill it quickly.  So, we took it on the glue trap outside in a plastic bag and grabbed a shovel.  My two roommates couldn't do it.  And since I insisted on the quick death, I had to do it.  It took a lot of thinking and yelling, and I'm sure the neighbors were about to call 911 on us.

I was so traumatized by that that I had to talk about it with my work supervisor.  And you better believe that I was re-traumatized by the flesh flies and shared that with my work supervisor as well.

But let me get back to today.
Eventually, the growling stopped and we heard Yoni munching on her cat food.  We assumed that Mencken ate it.

I went to bootcamp and returned to a knocked out boyfriend and kittehs.

But as I was getting ready for a phone interview and the boyfriend was getting ready to leave for school, I spotted the mouse again!  It was barely moving, so I pointed Yoni in its direction.

She took it under or kitchen counter table, and when she reemerged the mouse's body looked truly lifeless.  That's when Yoni started playing with it.  She would toss it in the air and push it about on the floor.
Mencken gets a hold of the mouse
Eventually, Mencken got a hold of it, probably thinking about how fun it looked.  But when he tossed it in the air, it would really catch air.  I was shrieking in my corner behind a blanket, scared that it would get launched in my direction.

But I had to do something.  I couldn't be shrieking during my phone interview!  After asking friends on Facebook, I came up with a plan.

We have way too many tongs, so I grabbed the crappiest one with a stray sock that ended up in our laundry (but wasn't either of ours) and a plastic bag.  After throwing away the bag complete with sock and mouse in our basement, I Wet-Swiffered the hell out of our floors.

I'll be honest.  I think pet mice and pet rats are cute.  They're a lot cleaner, though they still pee and poo everywhere.  But when it's a strange creature invading your home, it becomes a different story.

There was something both frightening and intriguing about the kittehs doing what nature intended them to do.  I couldn't take my eyes away for fear that I would lose track of the mouse, and yet I can't even eat without getting a bit nauseous.

There's a part of me that wants to bathe the kittehs clean, but I know that they do that on their own.  So, I'll just keep washing my own hands throughout the day.  I also made sure to praise them and give them some treats for their good-job-done.  Perhaps we'll feed them some tuna tonight.

If only David Attenborough was narrating, though I don't think that even his calming voice will prevent me from being traumatized from this for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Well, hello there! What's on your mind?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...