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Debe

Poor mouse!
I hate killing anything but at least it didn't suffer much.

Tine

Even though I don't like rodents in my bedroom any more than the next person, killing that mouse would've killed me, too. Sorry you had to do that.

Can't wait for the Sophia pics!

Jenn

I'm always hoping that we don't get mice in our house because I don't want to have to do anything to them.

Annelise

I would have FREAKED THE HELL OUT. I don't mind mice in the abstract, but in person, no. Not even pet mice. Even gerbils or hamsters are kind of freaky with their scritchy little paws. I also can't handle dead animals of any sort, so my sympathies are with you both.

beth

Sorry about the mouse. I've been there more times than I'd like to mention. Our cat loves to chase the mice, and severely injure them, and then leave them for us to finish off. Birds too, it's very sad. I ususally make Rob do it, but there are a few times that he hasn't been around and I've had to take care of it myself. I wonder how it is that we feel that men are better equipped to mercy-kill small rodents?

Trista

Oh how awful! I really really feel for you. Once when I was still living with my parents, they placed mousetraps in my room (we lived in the middle of a large field and were overrun) I vehemently objected, wanted the kind that trap but don't kill, so I could release them back outside, but was overruled.

One night I woke to this this whacking noise, and I couldn't get back to sleep. I turned on the light and tracked the noise to the source and found a mouse caught by the leg, bleeding and dragging the trap behind it. Oh! I started crying and crying and my younger brother came out of his room and did the dirty (necessary) deed. I haven't been able to abide snap traps again.

Jo

Oof, yeah, I had a bad experience with a snap trap (not my choice) and a poor wood rat...it was my first mercy kill, and it was nightmarish.

wix

um, yeah, that's why we don't use glue traps. the mercy killing thing. i know you weren't involved with any glue trap here, but the fact that our one--or should i say NC's one, since i was sobbing in the other room, utterly unhelpful--experience with catching a field mouse in a glue trap (which we thought would be more humane! HA!) sounds a lot like y'all's experience last night.

quarter round, finish nails, and a good hammer are gifts from the almighty.

wix

okay, just read the two comments prior that mentioned snap traps, and i am now convinced that there is no reasonable way to catch a mouse in one's house.

rats are a different story. i know there are people who keep pet rats, and they don't squick me out one bit, but i have been nose-to-whiskers with a nasty, awful, ratty-rat, the kind that gives rodents a bad name, and i am here to testify that i will as soon kill a rat as look at it. preferably with a pie-shaped packet of poison that the rat drags back to its loathsome den.

i should also go on the record as being against having poisons in the house, but it looks like there is no other reasonable alternative, since traps (glue or snap) don't work.

Cecily

I hate it when that happens... Poor mousie.

Arwen

One night, years ago, my sister and I had a mouse caught in the radiator in our bedroom. We tried to scare it away by making a lot of noise, but we could still hear it scratching. We felt horrible when we turned on the light and saw that it was trapped there. It, too, had to be mercy-killed; we got Dad to do it. I still feel bad for the poor thing when I think about it.

And I have that same experience with clothes from Old Navy. I've been demoralised several times in a dressing room by suddenly finding I don't fit into my normal size. Then I just have to remind myself that Old Navy sizes are cracked out.

Shamhat

Once a vet recommended euthanizing a guinea pig by putting it in a plastic bag in the freezer. I figured that was good enough for the 16 mice we caught on glue-traps before we got a cat.

Of course, after that, the cat caught one and the kids rescued it and kept it in an empty aquarium for a few days before we found out, but that's another story...

Rosemary Grace

That vet sounds psycho!

Alas, in my household I would be the one required to deal out the euthanasia, because my first job after university involved "mouse work", so what's one more rodenty soul on my rap sheet? That would be my husband's argument at any rate, but it's the poor cute little mousies who drove me away from that job.

My dad made a great humane trap when I was a kid, it was a 12"x12" board with a box hinged onto it, the box would be supported by a toothpick with food on it, when the mouse pulls at the toothpick, the box comes down. Cheddar and Double gloucester cheese did not work, I think cucumber was the eventual sucsessful lure. We released the unharmed mousie in a local park.

wheelomatic

I had a rat that got in my bathroom night after night and chewed on my Ivory soap cake. Every morning there were new distinct double tooth marks. I would bathe and wash out the marks and every morning they were back.

I didn't mind sharing the soap but when he (I can't think of it as a she for some reason) began making sojourns in to my bedroom at night, that was pushing my limits. It finally stopped the day after Ratty-Boy walked across my legs in the dark. I kicked reflexively and there was an awful big thump as a body hit the wall.

My Landlord brought me a snap rat trap that was a big as my shoe (and I wear Doc Martens). We baited it with peanut butter and I left the house. Three hours later I crept back and peered in the corner and there was poor Ratty Boy, caught by the neck and dead dead dead, right down to the trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth. This was a Mississippi River Rat and he was about as long and thick as my forearm.

Thank God no more came after him. Not sure I could have taken any more of those.

Brooklyn Mama

Oh, man, I would've been sobbing too. Poor you guys. And poor mouse.

One of my high school jobs was doing "lawn maintenance" for the college in my town over one summer. Basically, I was a weed-wacker. The worst - worst! - day was when I accidentally maimed a mouse with my weed-wacker. Oh, it was SO sad. One of my "co-workers" - a no-nonsense farmboy - put it out of its misery. Very sad.

Christine

Any vet that recommended putting an animal in a plastic bag in the freezer is a fucker. Hate to speak ill of my colleagues, but ahem. We have drugs for that procedure.

Sorry about the mousie. They carry horrible diseases. Does that make you feel better?

And for what it's worth, it's not even funny how many times I've had to treat dogs who've ingested rat poison. Some lived; some didn't. If you have other pets in the house, be really really careful with that stuff.

martha

Oh, I'm sorry about the mouse. Mercy killings are awful. We have a cat that brings everything in the house (birds, bats, snakes, lizards, gophers, mice, and once a rabbit), but we try to get them out alive whenever possible. The division of labor is that I do mammals and birds, husband does snakes and lizards. And he does all the mercy killings. They're very upsetting.

DoctorMama

I have a soft spot for mice too. I used to insist on the live traps, until I forgot about one once and when I found it there was a mouse in it who had starved to death. (Well, he probably died of thirst, but whatever.) I still feel guilty and evil.

Tine

Holy crap, wheelomatic! I'd be in the loony bin if I'd had the rat experiences you described. *shivers with horror*

I live VERY close to the Mississippi River. You've got me thinking about the scritchy-scratchy noises I hear sometimes. Perhaps they're not squirrels? Eeeeeee!

wheelomatic

Tine,
Technically, I guess it was a Yazoo river rat. I was living in Greenwood, Mississippi, about 500 feet from the banks of the Yazoo.

And the nerd in me says it was PROBABLY a Norway rat descended from those brought over in ships' holds in colonial days.

But the main this is: it was a RAT!

Yeah, it was ok as long as the only eveidence was just those teeth marks. Then I could tell myself it was just a cute wee mousie. But once I felt how BIG that sucker was *personally* ... it had to end. GAH!

Did I metion it also stole my washcloth? CREEPY>>>>

Tho' I admit to liking pet rats. Clean and smart and portable. Much better than a Chihuahua.

candletree

Hi Jo, new reader here. Great story from start to finish.

Mercy killings are the worst. No matter how you tell yourself it is the right thing it is never less awful.

I had to put an end to a dog that dashed out from a ditch and right under my tires on a lonely country road. It's back was obviously completely broken and other stuff I will spare you. There was no hope. All I had was a tire iron (or my bare hands).

The only thing that gave me the strength to do what had to be done was my anger at the owners for letting the poor thing run loose.

I put the dog in my truck bed and took it to the closest house and asked if it was theirs. The woman admitted it was, sighed and expressed dismay at having to tell her kids. But no real remorse at the loss of the dog, an obviously well cared for pet.

There were so many emotions, I had no words. Not one. I silently put the dog on her doorstep, got in my truck and drove away.

I don't know, may be it is a farm thing that they don't get so attached to their animals. But about 10 miles down the road I had to pull over and sob. I still grieve for that dog over 20 years later.

I am sorry you had to go through that and I hope it is the last time, ever.

Kristine

Oh you have such a big heart! I can't find much sympathy for things other than my children who wake me up from my precious sleep.

Jen

We have had a similar issue except its with our 130 pound dog being a mouser. We keep trying to tell him that he is NOT allowed to be a mouser, but he just doesn't get it. It could be the greyhound part of him. Our two cats are terrified of mice, but the dog? LOVES THEM. It would have killed me to have to do that. Sorry you had to deal with that.

karyn

My husband had the World's Worst Mercy Killing of a mouse.

We dispatch them with regular traps here, as it is rather more humane (if we set them free, they will just keep coming back in), but this one managed to catch itself by the leg and was alive and unhappy when we came across it. My husband decided to put it out of its misery. "What's a peaceful way to die?", he thought to himself. So he dug out a tub and filled it with water. He put the mouse in it, thinking it would quietly slip away into the depths. Well, shortly after the mouse completed its fiftieth lap around the tub while dragging the trap behind him, my husband decided it needed a little assistance in the drowning. So he found a metal pipe and, well, brained it while it was still swimming.

Luckily I did not have to witness this, as I cited 'extreme delicacy' due to pregnancy as a good excuse. But my husband managed to traumatize himself in the whole sordid process.

Joy

Jo, I just wanted to tell you that I'm a regular reader, and you are such a compelling writer. I really enjoy your site. :)

Joy

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