Thursday, September 5, 2013

Of Mice and Moving

Yesterday was a cray day.  It started out normal enough.  I spent the morning blogging, working on stories, working on the next Dragon and the Wolf video (which will be coming out on the 15th), playing with Kevin, cooking, and cleaning.

However, about 3 p.m. (I have to put the p.m., because this week I've been up helping Grig get to work at 3 a.m.), I got a text from our neighbor.  As a side note, this neighbor is the one whose daughter (Angela) we've been babysitting.  They were moving out and they needed help.  The mother is pregnant, and the grandmother who lives with her had knee surgery a few months ago.

Grig's brother, who is living with us, was the only help I had.  I put on my baby backpack, stuck Kevin in, and he and I went to work.  We started moving out all of their stuff.  Here's a neat thing that happened though.  A couple weeks ago, we pulled all of the boxes from our house that we'd used to move in.  We broke them apart, and put them in our trunk.  We kept meaning to take them to the recycling center, but it never happened.  Turns out, that was a blessing.  Our neighbors really needed those boxes.

However, Grig was at work until 3:30, so I told them that they would have to wait until Grig brought the car back home.  She said that was fine, and so my brother-in-law and I took out what we could until Grig came home.

Except he never came!  It was 4:00, and he still hadn't shown up.  Kevin was getting tired, thirsty, and sweaty from being in the backpack.  I was thirsty as well, so we went up to get a drink.  Do you know how hard it is to help a baby drink from a sippy cup when they're on your back?  We did a rather complicated dance for a while, and then I slipped off one of the shoulder straps, and we succeeded.  Luckily, once I get the cup to him, he can hold it alright.  At 4:10, I checked my phone.  Grig had texted to tell me he wouldn't be home until 4:30.  We kept working.  Finally, at 4:45, he came home.  My brother-in-law had needed to eat something and Grig had just come home from a twelve hour workday, so I told him to go shower, and I left Kevin with my brother-in-law while I went to get the boxes.

The boxes were stacked in such a way that it was easiest to carry them if you had two people because then you could grab the biggest one together and all the other boxes sat on top.  That's how Grig and I carried it out.  However, I didn't remember that until I got the car pulled up to the side of the apartment.  So, it ended up taking me three trips to get all the boxes up.  There wasn't much more we could do at that point, but I told them to let us know when they needed us to help haul boxes down again.

About a half an hour later, after Grig and his brother had left to run a couple errands quick, Angela's mother knocked on my door.

"Look what we found in my ex-boyfriend's shoe," she said.  She pointed down to the ground and there on our stairway were four baby mice.  She explained that her ex had some to get his stuff, and as he loaded his shoes, he'd seen something in the bag.  He'd opened it and a mouse had run down the stairs to the outside world.  Then he pounded out his shoes and out came the baby mice.

They were so cute!  Their eyes weren't even open, and they were shaking.  They were at that adorable stage where, when they try to move, they just kind of wobble.  Their skin was a light gray color and they were so tiny.

Here's the dilemma.  The mother mouse had run away.  I couldn't hand feed baby mice.  We didn't have the tools or money to provide for them.  If we didn't do something, they would just starve to death.  Or...we have a pet snake.

I was quite a bit torn about this.  They were really cute, and I really love animals.  I've killed very few in my life (one mink actually, and that is an interesting story that I will tell another time.)  However, these mice were going to die anyway.  I felt like at least if they fed our snake there would be a purpose to their death.  So, I scooped them into a tupperware that we use to thaw out the mice that we feed Oryx (our snake) and I left them in there until Grig got home.  I really hated to kill them.  I called my dad whose advice I trust and told him the situation.  He recommended that we freeze the mice so they wouldn't spread diseases, just in case.  He also said that freezing was a pretty humane way to kill them.

From what I've heard, it's really cold for a while, but then you feel warm and you just go to sleep.  So, when Grig got home, we talked it over and stuck the mice in the freezer.  Grig thinks we might need to boil them after to freeze them, just in case.  We'll see.  We both felt pretty bad about it, but it was comforting to know that their deaths would at least have some purpose.

Okay, so maybe we're weird for worrying about killing a couple of baby mice.  Or maybe we're cruel for killing them.  Regardless of your opinion, we were trying to make the right decision.  Maybe it would have been more humane to just smash them and put them out of their misery, but I couldn't do that.  I feel like we made the right choice.  The only question I had at the end was this:

Where's a cat when you need one?  

Anyway, when Grig and his brother got home they finished helping them move while I got the kids out of the way for a while.

So, it was a good day.  Crazy, but good. It's always nice to help out a neighbor, and we really appreciated the opportunity to help them.  We've been trying to be good neighbors and we're sad that they're moving, but she's pretty excited about it so we're happy for her.

And that is the story Of Mice and Moving.    


  1. I'm not even sure how to respond to this. I think I'd be with your neighbor, running up the street to get away.