A guess I've always had an idealized view of mice. Some people see a pest, but I see a small, furry creature who loves to snack, requires very little upkeep and generally adds a note of cheer to the house. I keep thinking of Stuart Little, so cute and endearing.
So when I learned that we had a mouse in our basement, I immediately named him Timothy. Okay, he's not a movie star mouse but he is cute.
And I have no idea how he took up residence in the basement. I heard him snacking one day, eating from a dish of dry cat food. In case you're wondering how any mouse could survive in a household of six indoor cats, just remember that only one cat is allowed in the basement. An older, geriatric cat who has zero interest in Timothy. Oliver spotted Timothy eating his dry food, yawned and walked away.
Of course, the immediate problem is: what to do about Timothy? My plan was to let him live out his little mouse life in the basement and come and go as he pleased. He must have access to the outside because he disappears for hours at a time.
I planned on treating him to a buffet of foods he would enjoy...
And I toyed with the idea of buying him an exercise wheel...
My husband has a different plan. He bought a Have a Heart trap, baited it with peanut butter and hoped to capture Timothy and put him outside. But Timothy was too wily. He ate the peanut butter and evaded the trap. So my husband bought another humane trap. This one seems more elaborate, but once again, Timothy outwitted it! But my question is: why should we trap Timothy at all?
My husband tried to persuade me that Timothy probably had a family waiting for him and would be happier rejoining them in the woods. He also hoped to convince me that if we kept Timothy, we might end up with Timothy's whole family moving into our basement! We'd be overrun with mice! Is this a realistic fear? I have no idea, but people tell me it is.
So at the moment, we have a détente. Timothy has managed to evade two traps (after snatching the food.). As far as being overrun with mice, I have to confess that Timothy brought a smaller mouse to dine with him. A girlfriend, perhaps? A sibling? Who knows.
In case you're wondering, I never did buy that exercise wheel. Wiser heads prevailed and convinced me that I was making it WAY too attractive for Timothy to live here. The weather is finally getting warm and sunny here in the northeast and I figure Timothy will be moving outside full-time. I haven't seen his girlfriend lately, so maybe it was a casual relationship. A spring fling.
I'll keep you posted on Timothy's story. Will he return when the weather gets cold in October? I don't even know how long a mouse lives. Will he tell his relatives about the B and B I seem to be running? If you have any ideas on "The Timothy Problem," I would welcome your advice.