Guguaah!

I have never experienced something truly disgusting without also experiencing an immediate desire to tell someone about it.

Fortunately it’s the best kind of news to share.

Think about it.

If something really exciting happens, of course you want to call someone and share the news, but you probably think for a moment before dialing. There is nothing worse than a wet blanket of apathy thrown over a great story.

Terrible events, or even just bad days are the same. You want your audience to sympathize with you in “the right way” when you are grousing about how your day is awful and the world hates you.

But disgusting news? That’s universal.

For instance:

I stepped on a dead mouse that was on the garage floor.

With my bare foot…

…and it POPPED!

It was all wet and slimy even before it popped (I think my dog killed it.)…

… and when it popped it’s intestines stuck to the bottom of my foot!!!

Then I had to use a barn scraper to peel it off the floor and get rid of it.

Guguahh!

Just writing that gives me the heebeejeebees all over again as well. But- it also gives me the evil satisfaction of knowing that I probably gave you them as well.

See! Even this marmot thought my story was icky!

Even this marmot thinks my story is slightly horrifying!

Disgusting news is fun to share!

How about you, what’s your best heebeejeebee inducing story?

 

 

Good Kitty


Despite the fact that Gypsy is the worst food thief of the bunch she’s still my favorite of the cats.

She purrs, she snuggles and last night she killed a mouse.Gypsy in a box

What a good kitty.

It’s been years –years – since a cat of ours caught a mouse. Fiona, our oldest, has never caught one. I’ve seen her disinterestedly look at one but that’s as far as she ever went. Henry, our old cat, has been gone for years but he caught mice…. kinda… Perhaps you need to read about Henry’s mouse catching to fully appreciate my excitement over a dead mouse.

For a story of the worst mouser ever (not to mention pictures of a tiny Ivy and Piper) read Henry the Cat.

And then, you will perhaps better understand why I am oh-so-happy to have a cat that kills the mice!

It’s On!

This is my favorite cooking utensil. It has no equal and I don’t even know what to call it. It is made of bamboo and came with a wok as a wedding gift, sadly its brilliance went unnoticed for the first few years of married life. But now… now, I know this thing, (what ever it is called) is perfect. It tapers to a fine point on the end, perfect for scraping up things like scrambled eggs. Its odd shape makes it perfect for stirring the entire bottom of a pan of sauce. It’s perfect for stirring pasta. It has no equal when sautéing onions in butter in cast iron. It can serve things like rice just as well as a spoon.

I love it.

When I cook at other peoples houses I always wish I had brought it with me. When I wash the dishes I never put it in the dishwasher because it would take too long to get clean and I might need it. That’s how much I love it.

Or should I say loved it.

My beloved bamboo, thing (Help? What is it called? Anyone?). Now looks like this:

And the mouse war, it’s ON!

Sadly the mice are already winning—-

–We interrupt this post with breaking news!—

Upon going to check the mouse trap set previously in the day when the damaged “thing” was found Jessie discovered a rat under her sink.

—We now return you to your previously scheduled post.—

Earlier today I set a mouse trap under the sink. Shortly after starting this post I checked on it – tripped and empty. So before relaying by how much the mice were already winning I went to check again…

…and there was the rat.

The rat was facing away from me in the cupboard under the sink, I was peering in the door and we were both frozen. I had a rat, not moving, and I couldn’t come up with a good way to kill it. So I did what any self respecting house wife would do. I grabbed the rolling pin off the counter and tried to smash it while it ran around in circles under the sink, then screamed like a girl when it came out by my bare toes. Now I had the rat corned in the kitchen and my toes were feeling awfully vulnerable. It was time for reinforcements. PIPER! Had the dog out of her warm bed under the covers at a run. Piper skidded into the kitchen and when I yelled “GET THE RAT” to my amazement, she did! When it was dead she accepted my praise, followed me to the garbage outside to see it thrown out, barked once at the night and then went back to bed.

My dog rules.

So now the mouse and rat war is on.

Trouble.

We’ve beaten the mice in winters past.

The rats are on a winning streak.

But they chewed the wrong kitchen implement this time, I’m serious now.

It’s on rats, ITS ON!

Good Mousers Needed!

Yesterday I watched a mouse run across the kitchen floor right in front of Clara and our cat Fiona then dash under the dishwasher to safety. Only Clara tried to catch it. I already wrote about how our cat Henry (above in orange) was the worlds worst mouser but Fiona(black) is right up there with him. Henry was awful because he could catch mice, never did anything to them and would eventually let them go. Fiona just seems to be lacking any hunting instinct whatsoever.  I have never, ever, seen her with a mouse. And believe me, in our house, there are plenty of mousing opportunities.  The worst performance by Fiona was about two years ago on a dark and stormy night. OK probably it wasn’t dark and stormy. In fact I really have no idea what it was doing outside, I’m not even sure of the season but I suspect it was winter since that’s when the mice really invade. Whatever was going on outside, inside John and I were both in the kitchen when a mouse ran across the counter and hid behind all our liquor bottles in the corner.

– A note on “all our liquor bottles in the corner“:

We used to keep these all in the pantry before a home improvement disease took over our house.  Now our pantry has no shelves, and things are stacked on the floor or kept in Rubbermaid bins, not a good place for glass bottles so the bottles were relocated to the counter. Now, when I use the word ALL it seems like we are crazy party animals with a full bar but they are actually a strange collection of mostly empty bottles that are  a minimum of 4 years old collecting dust next to one bottle of whiskey. There is no dust on the whiskey.

John and I closed in on the mouse and then tried to figure out what to do. I thought, ” We’ll get the cat, brilliant!” (this was clearly before I knew she was one of the two worst mousers in the world) I ran and got Fiona and put her on the counter next to the bottles.  Then while I tried to keep Fiona focused John slowly started removing bottles.  When we were down to just three or four in the corner (we don’t even drink them I swear they just show up and never leave!) the mouse poked it’s head out and Fiona saw it. “AH HA she’s got it!” we thought, but we were wrong. Fiona went up and tentatively poked her paw behind the bottles.  The mouse stuck it’s head out the other side, Fiona never noticed. John put on an oven mitt (we were in the kitchen after all) and poked the mouse, the mouse ran and stuck it’s head out by Fiona, she poked it back to John…. You get the idea? After this went on for many minutes (while I helpfully laughed in the background) John brought Storm into help. Now Storm is a hunting dog, she has hunting instinct, she is even what is known as a versatile hunting dog, but she is NOT a good counter top mouser. The mouse went back to hiding behind the bottles. Finally John ripped all the bottles out and smashed the mouse with his oven mitt clad fist.

Every now and then John talks about getting another cat. My new criteria is that it has to be a better mouser than he is!

Henry the Cat

While we were at the feed mill today Ivy started playing with one of the mill’s cats. This started a discussion between the owner and I on how cats have been their most effective form of rodent control, better than poison, which got me thinking of our own rodent problems, and that got me thinking of Henry. …Because he was the worlds worst mouser. In addition to being a horrible mouser he also bit, ate everything (and I mean everything, he ate newspaper bedding once), was constantly escaping or getting into places he wasn’t supposed to go, and was in general incorrigible. His big redeeming factor was that he was great with Ivy. Ivy could do anything to him. The cat that would hiss, spit and bite when you threw him off the counter would let himself be dragged around the house, pet and generally mauled so long as it was done by someone under three feet tall. It will be two years this summer since we had to put Henry down. My foot has lost the auto blocking reflex I used to have when opening any exterior/pantry door but sometimes, when Fiona runs away from Ivy, I miss him… and then I remember how used to bite my toes under the table! Fiona’s main expertise is the art of camouflage so now days some visitors don’t even realize we have a cat, and as nice as Fiona is she’s nothing to talk about, she’s got no crazy escapades to tell. Henry, now that was a cat with stories, he must have been trying to pack them all into to his short little life. Here is my favorite of his “I’m the worse mouser in the word” stories.
Henry and the Freezer Mouse

One night when I was home alone and John was working second shift a squeaking noise got me out of bed to investigate. It was, of course, Henry with a mouse. Part of Henry’s completely horrible mousing skills had to do with the fact that he never, ever, in his life killed a mouse. Sometimes he would catch them but they always escaped him in the end. So the desired action when he would catch one was to try to take it away and kill it so that it didn’t just escape back into the house when he got bored with it.

So, I got out of bed and found Henry with a very lively mouse. Henry was holding the mouse and growling at it because the mouse was biting him. Then Henry would let it go, the mouse would try to run away and Henry would catch it again. Over and over and over. I grabbed an empty coffee can and tried to overturn it on the mouse, I completely failed to catch the mouse, and instead spilled bits of straw and feathers that were in the can (it was my egg collecting bucket) all over the kitchen floor. To make matters worse now Henry knew I was after HIS mouse. We raced around the downstairs of the house until I locked us all in the office.

There we were sitting on the floor, Henry growling at me through his mouthful of mouse while giving me the evil eye as I sat waiting with my coffee can. Then the mouse bit him again, he dropped it, I tried to catch it with my coffee can, missed and Henry grabbed it again… This went on with slight variations (mostly involving a bookshelf) until I finally caught the mouse. Then I didn’t know what to do with it. I had a live mouse under a coffee can what was I thinking?? (I’d like to add here that I was quite pregnant with Ivy at the time so I was probably tired and not thinking) It was at this point that I called John at work for advice. His advice, flip it over with a piece of cardboard and shake the mouse into a plastic bag and throw it in the freezer. We had finished off quite a few of Henry’s mice by throwing them in the freezer. I know that sounds kind of odd but we also froze and saved mice we caught in traps to give to REGI for the birds there so it’s not that odd. Anyways, I took Johns advice and using a folder to trap the mouse in the can, flipped the whole works over.

I didn’t hear anything.

I had expected to hear some sort of little thud when the mouse hit the bottom of the can. So I slowly peeked in the top, and fast as lightning Henry swooped in and grabbed the mouse back out of the can. And we were back to fighting over the mouse. Finally I trapped it under the can again. Deciding I had had enough I put three huge books on top of the can, threw the cat out of the office, closed the door, left a note for John to take care of it (it was his *#@ cat after all), and stomped back upstairs past the straw mess on the floor. John came home and dumped the mouse in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer.

The End

Just kidding…

Nobody thought about the mouse again until three days later when I went to condense my mouse bags. (Alright, fine, having bags of frozen mice is odd but it’s for a good cause!) It was easy enough to identify the bag the mouse had been in from the hole chewed in the corner… But, you guessed it, no mouse. That started me on the unpleasant task of looking for a dead frozen mouse somewhere in my freezer. I found it quickly. (Or should I say, it found me quickly?) The mouse had been hiding in a plastic bag, and when it stuck its little nose out at me the very first thing I noticed was that it was most definitely not dead and frozen! Startled I slammed the freezer door, spent a few minutes wondering how I get myself in these situations and then set a mouse trap in the freezer.

Snap traps have always worked better than cats in our house.

The End (of both the mouse and the tale)
Mousing is just the beginning of the Henry stories, there was the chocolate milk, the almost getting flushed down the toilet, the reason he got de-clawed… the list goes on and on. We love Fiona, but she’ll never have the tales to tell that Henry did. And perhaps she likes it that way, she is the queen of camo after all.