A day in the life

March 10, 2011

of Opal.

Opal turned three last December. She has a keen interest in mice. If you like mice, don’t read any further.

Mice lovers all gone? OK. We can continue.

Farm fields surround the house we live in. Mostly alfalfa (which I was extremely disturbed to hear could soon become roundup ready alfalfa –more info here– thanks to the oligarchy or corporatocracy in which we live–but that’s a whole other topic that I am not even going to allow myself to get worked up about today.)

Because of all the fields, we have lots of mice. Lots of mice. Deer mice. Deer mice carry hantavirus and a few people in our area die of the virus every year. Consequently, we are super vigilant about keeping mice out of our house. The RNK goes around every spring and checks for holes around the foundation. If the mice made any over the winter, he pours Quick Crete into them so they can’t get under the house and into the crawl space.

We are very careful about keeping doors closed. We always have traps set, including a live trap in our laundry room, which seems to be the easiest point of entry for them. The live trap helps to ensure that we keep trapping even when we are gone and the snap traps are sprung.

We also have a cat. The ever-present mouse issue influenced our decision to get a rat terrier. Rat terriers are famed for their ability to kill small rodents. One, named Billy, was believed to have killed 2501 rats in 7 hours in a rat-infested barn. Opal isn’t quite that skilled and we don’t have quite as many mice as that barn had rats.

I simply tell you about Billy as a way to explain that Opal’s interest in mice comes honestly. Killing mice is part of the program. Her first job every morning is running the trap line. She alerts us to any mice in any trap with great excitement. She is extremely enthusiastic about helping me open the live trap to “take care” of any mice inside. She is a mighty mouser.

We found two this past week. I am not sure if it’s more humane to drop the mouse trap in a bucket of water and allow the poor dear to die a watery death or if it’s more humane to open the trap and let Opal snap it’s spine. Certainly, that’s the speedier death and a slightly more sporting option. Some of them do get away.

However, she killed both that we found this week and now that she’s killed two in as many days, she is very focused on the trap. She tried to convince me a mouse was in my office. I moved the trap in there for a night but no luck. I think perhaps, she just wanted it closer to her bed so she could keep an eye on it. I wish I could have captured the quivering on camera. There was a whole lot of quivering going on.

Just loop through those pictures about 8 dozen times and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how Opal spent yesterday. The trap is now back in the laundry room. I couldn’t stand all the quivering.

(Weird. I thought this posted last week, and then I came to post a new post but this one hadn’t posted. So I published it and it published with the errors I fixed before I thought I posted it last week. Go figure. Anyway, here’s last week’s post and maybe next week you’ll get this week’s post.)


3 Responses to “A day in the life”

  1. kimberly Says:

    Very funny! Opal is such a darling!

  2. pencraftco Says:

    Hi Kim, Thanks for reading and commenting!!!

    I don’t know if I am going to make it in today. I will get that book to you sooner or later. I’m sure you would find it to be a quick and enjoyable read.

    I got a speeding ticket yesterday and it ruined my whole day. LOL Now I’m mega-behind on work. Oh well. Anyway, my Iphone arrives today or on Monday. 🙂 And, Richard bought me my Ipad this morning. I’m pretty excited. He thinks I’m a real Apple geek. 🙂 Funny thing is, he’s been telling me he wishes he wouldn’t have bought his netbook now because he would rather have a Macbook because he likes mine so much. 🙂 I told him, just sell your little netbook (I think he could get $100 for it) and buy yourself what you want. But, he’s feeling a financial pinch right now because of my expensive present. 🙂 He’s so funny. He makes enough money to buy himself a 13 inch laptop easily. Maybe I should take a hint and be more careful about spending. Maybe he’s right.

    I’m sending that copy of the article on Alexander to my mom in St. Louis. Richard did have one suggestion. He wondered about contacting our senators and representatives in Colorado to let them know that we are disgusted that state funding isn’t doing it’s job to protect children. I think it’s a good idea and will try to put an email together. Not that Scott Tipton, the ass, would do anything. But, Bennet might. He might take an interest. Maybe you’ve already done this. Let me know if it’s a dead end.


  3. Stephanie Says:

    My cat has been a little bit like that lately: we’ve had two mice under the couch since last May and sometimes she just stares at the couch as if there were a mouse, or as if she wants one to be there.

    And I just hope that that doesn’t mean there *is* a mouse.

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