“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10 2010

Some stories you just can’t make up…

Living on a farm, we get a lot of field mice that make their homes in the stable, hay barn, chicken coop and garage, living off the various animal feeds and stored seed. We never did mind it when the mice would only take a bit here and there, because we don’t mind sharing a bit, but when the mice began to take everything they could, leaving us nothing, we changed our minds.

Kath and I set off to the animal shelter and adopted two cats that the people there said were unadoptable cause they bit and clawed people, making them perfect specimens to roam the barn and put some meaningful balance into the ‘mice give and take’ problem.

We set the cats up in the tack room as their new home, and let them roam as they saw fit, which was mostly at night. They did their job, and did it very well through the summer and into the fall. By that time, we had a new balance of more cats than mice.

But then it began getting close to winter and Kath got to worrying that the cats would get too cold in the barn. So, she brought them in the house. One wouldn’t come in the house on her own so I was dispatched with a burlap bag to catch it with and bring it in! And so I did. I do what my wife tells me. It saves trips to the hospital.

At first, Kath was only going to bring them in for a few hours to warm up. The next day it was for only going to be for the night. That turned into every night. Then nights turned into days, and days turned into… well they are house cats now, and I have to catch them with a burlap bag to get them outside.

Fast forward a year and it is summer. (Actually it is last summer.) In the garage the pasture and buckwheat seed I store there have become an eternal Thanksgiving Day for the 43 living generations of field mice who are casually multiplying there.

So Kath gets a bright idea. She waits for a few mice to crawl over the lip of one of the seed bags, reaches in and catches two, then places them in a small glass aquarium. Then she brings them in the house. Why? “So the cats can watch them!” and then “Later I will let them go a few miles up the road”.

“Later” did not come soon enough, as one mouse escaped from the aquarium Alcatraz and made a dash for freedom and safety under the recliner. Of course, the cats didn’t miss the sprint, but being fat and out of shape, they collapsed winded at the side of the recliner, realizing that their only chance at closing on this opportunity was to wait and paw at the chair. And meow. All day long. And I mean all day long…

It was then that the realization hit me like Victor trap!

We’ve come full circle! Two years ago, we were bringing barn cats to the mice, and now we are bringing the barn mice to the cats…..

Like I said, you can’t make this stuff up.

1 comment:

  1. This story made me laugh out loud! And you photo is just sooo sweet - who could resist that sleeping beauty. I understand why Kath let them stay in.