Country Living Series

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Misplaced compassion?

(See UPDATE at bottom.)

This afternoon while cleaning upstairs, I came across a baby mouse in a never-used sink.


Our house used to be three separate apartments (believe it or not), so we have a small half-kitchen upstairs. We don't have running water to this sink and it's never used. The slick stainless steel sides meant this little fella couldn't get out once he'd fallen in. How long had he been there? No idea, of course, but he seemed very weak.

I scooped him up in an old cup...


...and carried him out to the barn, where he started to crawl away.


But I couldn't leave him there. He was nearly falling over, and he had his eyes closed. So I gently put him back in the cup and brought him inside, where I ensconced him in a plastic container with a capful of water and a few crumbs of chicken crumbles.


He started nibbling at the crumbles right away.


I took a pipette and put a drop of water from the cap onto the floor of the container, which ended up soaking some of the crumbles. The baby seemed to prefer these (moist plus softer, I guess).


I'll let him regain some strength before releasing him into the barn.

I'm fully aware of what pests mice are, but somehow I couldn't let this helpless little creature loose into a strange place without at least a fighting chance of survival.

No doubt he'll grow up big and strong and migrate back into the house, father a dozen litters, and plague me for years to come.

Such are the dangers of misplaced compassion...

UPDATE: The baby died. Oh well, at least he died with something in his belly.

28 comments:

  1. I did something similar last year. I found two baby mice under our back steps so the kids and I caught them and released them in a field a few blocks away. Months later we got a mouse infestation in our house, complete with nests in the insulation of our oven. Have you ever smelled hot mouse urine? Never again.

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  2. Compassion is never misplaced....it was the right thing to do.

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    1. i agree with traci 100% - there is no such thing as misplaced compassion. and giving a creature of God a fighting chance to live is nothing to be ashamed of.

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  3. I don't think I could bring myself to harm a baby anything.

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  4. Have you made any progress with the porcupine quills?

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  5. And he may bring you "plague" for years to come.....

    However you did the decent thing.

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  6. Just keep it in a cage until it is old enough to survive and release it a few miles away, on the other side of a river if possible.

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  7. it is a hard thing to do-killing something that is obviously alive even though vermin. yeah, even i throw the critters outside. i figure they deserve life if they were smart enough not to find the baited trap.

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  8. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)September 9, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    He sure is a cutie! I think God makes babies adorable so they have a better chance for survival - even for the darn groundhogs. (But not spiders....)

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  9. You'll save a baby mouse but not a baby dear?

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  10. Guess I'm the heartless one. I hate mice of any size. I see a mouse and I think disease carrier. It would have been kitty kibbles at my homestead. Sorry everyone.

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  11. Get a cage and keep it as a pet

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  12. We had a similar experience during a neighborhood-wide mouse infestation a few years ago -- opened a drawer and saw the sweetest little face looking up at me, unafraid. She had a nest made of the cotton pulled from a box of Q-tips. Fortunately, it was still empty. I carried the drawer out and left it under a tree for a few hours until she left. During that time, I jammed steel wool into all the spaces around my pipes and put all my un-affected daily-use food into glass containers. We also checked weather stripping and re-seated some of that. Used a lot of clorox that day, too. Not sure what happened to miss mouse, but never saw her or any decendents again. She taught me a big lesson before it devastated our home and pantry.

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  13. Yeah, that's a tough one. We have a pack rat problem from time to time. They do tremendous damage, carry diseases, and tend to attract rattlesnakes. I've killed quite a few, mostly with traps. I've only had to dispatch one or two youngin's, and they're pretty darn cute. (To be honest, baby mouse sorta looks a bit rattish to me.) Hate doin' it, but they're vermin, the downside far outweighs the cute factor, and we just can't afford to let them stay anywhere near.

    Jeff - Tucson

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  15. You obviously are suffering from "empty nest syndrome". The nuturing instincts benefitted little mousy.

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  16. We are fighting a terrible mouse infestation at our cabin. Seven trapped in one night. I do not like these mice! But I have to confess, even I would have had a hard time not helping this baby. Even if it meant it would become a pest as an adult. I agree with an earlier post, compassion is never misplaced.

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  17. MANY years ago I was in the Air Force stationed on a bomb range 'way out in Mid-Kansas. Nearly every spring I'd have at least one underage rattlesnake baby striking at my boot upon first sitting at my desk. Unfortunately, I like snakes, and appreciate the vermin-kill rattlers do. So I'd shove it into an envelope with my trusty U.S. Gov pen, and go throw it out over the fence. The guys I worked with didn't understand why I did that, but I figured God was allowing me to build up good Karma for the long walks through rangeland and rattler country that was mandatory every fall. Saw lots of snakes...never got bit. 'Do onto others....'

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  18. I would have given it to the cat or if he was not around, I would have taken it outside and dispatched it. No sympathy for vermin. I have a live trap at the chicken house and if I catch one (sometimes 2-3), they get to go in the mouse "swimming pool" for a pool party.
    They carry diseases like the plague and hanta virus.
    Paintedmoose

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  19. I agree about compassion never being misplaced.

    I likely would have the same thing. Baby cuteness will get the better of us every time.

    Just Me

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  20. All God's children. I put everything outside unless it's poisonous or won't go quietly and then it gets dispatched, immediately. I would have fed that little critter and then driven it to the local forest, dropped it off in a cozy spot and sped away in a cloud of dust.

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  21. Only difference between me and Patrice, I'd now have a pet mouse...

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  22. I don't blame you for wanting to help the little guy, my first pet was a hamster and he's my first thought whenever I see a cute baby mouse. Alas, nature had its way, but no good deed is a waste. This little guy's last memory is having a final feast, many are not so lucky!

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  23. Aaah how cute! But why oh well. I would investigate further to why it even got there or why it died!

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  24. Aaah how cute! but why oh well when he died? I had mice when I was 10 I was crazy after Boo and Milly died investigating when there wasnt anything to investigate!
    if i was you i would look up the case in detail. omg im 28 a single mom and sound like im 10 and my mom was murdered

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  25. My uncle found three, what we are sure are shrews on the tarring outside my house, unfortunately one was dead, thought to be ran over and the other extremely close to death. We put them in the park across from us. One fortunately is alive and I'm taking care until it can survive the wild. Any tips and helpful ideas to keep it on its four feet? It is still a baby (younger than 14 day because eyes are closed)

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    1. My best suggestion would be using a small pipette and filling it with warm milk, then holding it to the baby's mouth in hopes he'll be able to suck it down. No guarantee it will work but it's better than nothing.

      - Patrice

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