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What the cats bring in

October 1, 2010

Living with two cats can be quite lovely but devastating to the local environment. Yes, I know we should keep them as indoor only cats, but our current household situation doesn’t quite allow it. I have great guilt over the issue of allowing cats outdoors. Growing up with an avid birdwatcher and nature conservationist makes an impression. Years of reading Audubon magazine also increases the guilt.  Once George passes, then things will change.

Nigel is the most active hunter, bringing in and consuming a select variety of 4 legged critters. He is forced to wear numerous bells to deter his bird interest (which it does!), but it doesn’t seem to change his lust for voles. Me Me is more cantankerous and slips every single collar or crunches up the bells. For the moment, I’ve given up tagging her.  Their daytime and evening/night forays into the wild and woolly backyard allows ample opportunity to capture mice and voles. Rather than just keeping their “special treats” to themselves, they bring these new friends home to populate our abode.   Not good. The extra friends can create enormous destruction and head-aches. Setting snap traps has not proven terribly effective. Poison is not an option in our home (plus being exceedingly cruel and I won’t even recognize the sticky traps…. eugh!), but the Tin Cat has greatly helped. Below are two photos of a recent “mouse friend” anticipating it’s release.

Yes, that is it’s little nose sticking out of the jail.

Placement is everything for capturing these guys. Mice have the habit of running along next to solid objects. I place the trap in a possible pathway, the mouse runs up a ramp into the tin box and voila, it can’t get back out.  Some of my friends wonder what happens to these little guys after capture.  No, I don’t kill them. They are released on the outer perimeter of the property. The trap is easy to clean and non complicated to use. We had to order ours on the internet since no one in the area carried this option. Warning, make sure you check traps on a daily basis. The mice can starve or die from dehydration.  Yes, we found out the hard & smelly way. Nothing like coming home to a putrid decaying mouse after vacation! Yummy!

As to the household damage, well, I’ll be posting images of our recent demolition due to the furry friends not captured.  One thing is for certain, we will continue capturing more mice the cats bring in until the dog/cat door is closed for good.

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