Although I was city-born and raised, for the last fifteen years we have lived on an island in the Great Lakes. Don’t be too impressed. Access is by car ferry, but the trip across only takes two minutes. From the tip of the island, the Detroit skyline is clearly visible.
I have what I consider a live-and-let-live attitude about the wildlife here. When I am outside, I give them the space they seem to desire. In return, I ask that they not invade my space. We have coexisted this way for the entire fifteen years – except for the bat that lived inside for a few days. But that became a successful catch-and-release.
Late in this summer, we had a cricket infestation. I discovered what happens when the sole of a shoe is placed in the exact right place on a cricket exoskeleton. It isn’t pretty.
This natural invasion of my space has moved up to a whole new level, however, with a mating pair of mice and their litter. At first, I just saw one mouse. Not being overly familiar with them in a house, I expected that one was it. Ha!
We set some traps which we purchased at the grocery store. Two traps. It seemed enough. Bait them in with peanut butter, and their hunt for water will lead them outside to die.
Yesterday was a mouse rodeo. Mama and babies, scurrying willy nilly.
We have a greyhound. Sheik. Greyhounds are supposed to be from the canine category of “sight hounds”, meaning that they see something and then chase it. I watched the dog stare down a baby, then walk away. Totally disinterested. No chase. No help.
A bit later, while cooking dinner, I saw the mother mouse, either dead or dying. With my compromised immune system, I decided to leave it for Bob to pick up. A short while later, however, a baby came to the mama, and tried to nurse.
I was devastated by what I saw as a tragic scene.
And immediately became aware of my hypocrisy. I’m not “live-and-let-live”. I’m passive-aggressive. Passive in their environment. Murderous in mine. Frankly, I still want them out of my house, and the only way to achieve that seems to be a rather ruthless death.
But I can’t get the picture of the baby trying to nurse from a dead mother out of my mind.
This morning while making the coffee, Bob found the daddy mouse, dead or nearly so. He gave it our version of a Viking funeral. All water, no fire. The question now is, how long before any remaining babies begin an incestuous relationship with each other, and we start this process all over again? How many more babies will I witness try to nurse from a dead mother.
When will I get over myself and overthinking?