The Mice Saga

The last blog “Dilemmas” was broadly about taking care of the world we are given, but in doing so decisions have to be made which play off against each other.  Chopping down a tree reduces the amount of living green matter which produces oxygen.  However, it does give other plants a chance to be healthier…

In terms of faith, in the creation narrative in the book of Genesis, God gave people “dominion” over creation.  Dominion has been mistaken as domination and, from the vantage point of the present we can look back at the way much damage has been done to the creation as people have dominated their world.  Today, hopefully followers within Judeo-Christian traditions are at the forefront of conservation efforts taking seriously that people do have dominion and with that comes a responsibility of care.  This is conservation week and so hopefully we can all plant a tree, pick up some rubbish or do something this week which is good for the environment.   I planted some celery – does that count? 

This mouse story is related to caring for creation – somehow.  One philosophy is that everything has its place and that we have to learn to co-exist with all of creation.  Sounds ok – maybe.  How about mice? To the mouse I say ‘you can exist, but NIMBY (not in my back yard).’  Actually, its alright to live in the back yard, but not in the house or in the garage!   Firstly, we had mouse poo in the kitchen cupboards.  For several nights we put peanut butter onto 2 standard traps and each morning the peanut butter was gone.  Sometimes the trap had been sprung, but at other times the tasty treat had been consumed without setting the trap off.  Eventually, we got one mouse and that has stopped the deposits of poo – at the moment. 

Next, out in the garage we noticed that holes were being chewed in fertiliser bags and different fertilizers were being spread all over the place.  Again, night after night, peanut butter was taken and no mice were caught – did catch half a tail one night.  So, the humble field mouse has evolved sufficiently to know how to get the food and avoid being killed in a mouse trap.  Did I do the sensible “co-exist” thing and put the fertiliser into containers so the mice couldn’t get to it? NO! I wanted those mice dead. 

Enter Effie the cat.  She has now learned what cat-flaps are used for and so she comes and goes as she pleases.  Great – except, she found a nest of mice and started bringing them in.  Maybe one died from exhaustion, but she’s not interested in killing; it’s a play thing and a friend.  She’s had a ball, putting them down, letting them run a bit then catching them again.  Picture also, Xara the Beagle trying to catch it in her mouth as a snack and me trying to urge Effie to take it outside, then trying to contain it and remove it outside.  There have been a number of episodes which would have gone viral on youtube, if had they been recorded.    

A week on from getting two predator traps designed to catch rats, but sensitive enough to catch mice, one mouse has been caught, but otherwise, every couple of days or so, guess what? The peanut butter has gone! The mice are seriously winning this tussle!  It is interesting that the care of creation, involves the attempted extermination of harmful predators (which are a part of creation) to save other plants and animals.  Its a good thing we have a constant supply of peanut butter in the house.  

Arohanui (but not to mice)


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