We moved lots of things out to make room for gardening activities. Lawn furniture, that sort of thing. I was digging in my cupboard drawers looking for some wettable sulfur when my nose picked up a less than delicate scent. Yuck! Stinky mouse pee in my potions and lotions drawer!
Now pay attention. Stupidity sets in here.
I am grossed out thoroughly but figure I better do the cleaning today as it won't get any better with time. I start to pull things out and set them outside for bleaching and hosing. Most things are in bins so it's easy to do. The bottom drawer has the foam sheets I used for wrapping trees. It's really stinky and I pick it up by both ends so no pee spills out.
I make it to the door before I realize that wasn't what I needed to notice.
- the pee smell was fresh - very fresh
- foam is soft and easily chewed
- mice had been there for some time - why?
So at the door the well chewed bottom drops out of the pile of foam and a mass of chewed foam, a mother mouse and a whole bunch of baby mice drop on the doorstep. OMG!
Mother picks up a baby and runs to a plumbing pipe lying handy by the door. She stuffs baby in and then turns to glare at me. I'm horrified! The babies seem too young to move on their own and I figure the best I can do is to put the group back together in a safe and warm spot. DH is fetched from his workshop and brings a milk carton with an old towel. I scoop mice into the carton, push it over the mouth of the pipe, dump seeds next to it, cover it with other bins and insulating layers. I'm still horrified, but recovering. I feel so bad! Poor little family!
Back to the cleaning. I mix the bleach really strong (I hate to admit I even own bleach, but there are times when nothing else will do). I spray everything in the bins and let it sit while I go back to the drawers. There are cardboard tubes in the bottom drawer I haven't yet moved and I decide they need to go. As I reach for the first one, it moves.
Add to the 'need to notice' list above:
- the babies seemed to be in two groups - older and younger
- this might indicate more than 1 mother
Mother #2 pops out of the tube, checks me out and scampers over the drawer wall - and then who knows where? I am a home wrecker and a family breaker upper!
I clean the drawers and the bins. I no longer smell bleach, it's just what the world smells like, I think. I left the door open all day so maybe mouse #2 can come out and find her babies again.
The mice here are really quite cute. They have round little bodies, they don't bolt and they hop. Really quite adorable! As DH has had them climb his legs on 2 separate occasions, we call them pant mice.
I can only imagine what they call me.
And yes, we do figure the baby she grabbed first was her favourite. Every mother has one.