Mouse droppings and global humanity

When you live in a 200 year old structure with a stone foundation, you share your life with mice.* It’s just a given. I draw the line when and if one of two things happen: I find teeth marks in the butter or I catch the smell of dead bodies.

Mice like pistachios, it turns out. Note to self: put the bowl of nuts away at night.

Weeks of catching whiffs of that distinctively fruity and repulsive stench of death got me going. There I was down in the basement sniffing at the joists and lifting up the sump pump well cover to stare down into its depths with a flashlight. Nada.

But this morning, my hound-like powers of detection pinpointed the source of the stench. It was coming from under the fridge. We pulled the appliance away from the wall to a horror show of dust and grime and mouse droppings, urine stains and yes, pistachio shells.

No dead bodies, though.

A thorough cleaning has not eradicated the smell. Could a few little grey corpses have slid along the undercarriage of the fridge when we pulled it from the wall?

Ugh. Now what?

Meanwhile, I’ve been piecing up a whimsy (when I should have been folding up the ironing board and putting some of my piles into closets to get ready for company).

But hey.

I’ve picked up our 15 pound organic, free range turkey from across town and stirred up the brine. And my apron is on and recipes located for candied yams and maybe? — a chocolate pie (others are bringing pumpkin and apple). Before I get to it, you might like to hear this.

Today’s Indivisible Group tele-call became dispirited with news regurgitation. We’d somehow strayed from the more usual constructive format of sharing possible action steps or venues for education. One member said, “I can’t take this. I get enough with the news. I’m going to sign off”.

I piped up that I completely understood but could she hang on a minute more if the talk turned positive? Then I shared about International Peace Day … about love being the answer and peace pins and peace leaves and about making peace a daily conversation. My voice shook, for some reason.

But here’s the thing — the tenor of our call was radically transformed. I have many of you to thank for that! I sent links to some of your websites to the group and to my own and for the first time wasn’t compartmentalizing political and artistic work. Until this morning, I hadn’t even realized I’d been doing that. It was liberating, somehow.

In that positive second half of the call, this event came up: starting on December 2 there will be a 24 hour global vigil for humanity. You have to register but it’s free and you can show up for any part of the 24 hours.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! This week, love and food will be the answer — especially if that food is made with love.

P.S. I’ll take this moment to be grateful that most of my family doesn’t bother reading my blog (who says they should? but then again, why don’t they — at least once in a while?). With this post, it’s probably a good thing in terms of keeping their appetites for Thursday’s dinner!

*autocorrect turned my first attempt at typing “mice” to “love” … Does that mean even when dealing with a mouse infestation that love is the answer?

18 thoughts on “Mouse droppings and global humanity

  1. grace Forrest

    the live trap….TIN CAT…on amazon or your local feed store. a peanut butter cheese cracker.
    then you have to drive them at least 2 1/2 miles away to release. But they don’t
    die and smell stuff up. You can hear them chewing on the metal when you catch one, so
    they never die in there.

    THANK YOU for the Peace Visualization. I will not be internet connected, but will be with Heart and Mind.

    1. deemallon

      These mice are dying on their own. Not because of traps or poison. But I hate killing them. I really kinda love mice. So thanks for the product reference. Will try.

  2. Mo Crow

    (((Dee))) I love pumpkin pie have a good Thanksgiving! mice… I once found a nest between the second & third blanket many moons ago when I was living out in the bush on my own, learned to shake out the bedding every time I change the sheets after that!!

        1. deemallon

          But they are tiny creatures. I can see how. Though I’ll bet it wouldn’t escape notice to you now.

      1. Mo Crow

        those were the wild feral years in my mid twenties, I lived in an open shed that had been used 50 years earlier for milking cows with no electricity or running water, a mad horse for transport or thumb for hitching a ride…

  3. annalisa

    We had a mouse problem once and inadvertantly found that a 5 gal plastic bucket with a little birdseed in it placed next to a table leg or something climbable will work as an impromptu live trap.
    They can get in but they don’t get out. Do be sure to release them a ways away though or they will follow you home (live and learn 🙂

  4. ravenandsparrow

    I, too, have a house that cannot be mouse-proofed….the old summer house that is now my studio. When we lived there the mice ran across our feet while we watched TV. I lost it when I found mouse droppings in the silverware drawer. Then there was a time I brought Mike’s old bathrobe over from the old house and found a dessicated chipmunk in the pocket.
    Good work on turning the spirit of your Indivisible call.

    1. deemallon

      Oh ugh that chipmunk! Our beautiful Tyler the cat used to now and then deliver the gift of a half chewed mouse body to K’s side of the bed where invariably my husband would step the next morning.

  5. jude

    mice dye in the walls here sometimes. takes a while for the smell to go away. But we spent a lot of time finding all the places they might enter and plugging holes. Just a garage is an issue now. I also have the soul-o cat, keeping watch.

    1. deemallon

      Fortunately their bodies are little and the smell goes away pretty fast. The only issue right now is that company’s coming and I don’t want to gross them out. K did put some steel wool in the copper pipe hole so hopefully they won’t come in under the fridge anymore.


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