Once we caught the little rascal it was time to figure out juuussst what to do with him....
So, when in doubt, google.
We came to find out that if we were to send him off into the cold, wintery weather (it was sub-zero and the wind chill was a teeth-chattering negative twenty degrees) alone he would probably die, since mice store food and make warm nests in preparation for the wintery months. And since we had caught him and were transporting him to some far-away land (where he didn't build a nest or store food), he probably wouldn't last long.
So we decided to make Earl a Survival Kit.
First, we gathered some mouse food. Mice like to eat crackers, peanut butter (as we found out), and dry uncooked oats. We had a whole tub full o' oats (this girl loves her oatmeal in the mornings), and put a small amount in a ziploc baggie for Earl.
Next, we needed something warm that the mouse could make into a warm fluffy nest to wait out the winter. So we grabbed some paper towel squares off a roll and that was that.
Finally, we needed to find a place decently far from houses and buildings, with some rocks or bushes that Earl could hide in and wait out the winter. This was the hardest part, as we live in the city and the weather wasn't ideal for driving any long distances (we couldn't keep him in the trap for very long, either, because apparently mice can dehydrate very quickly and die). We thought about it, and remembered an overpass bridge next to a stream along with a park and bike trail, where there was shelter under the overpass and an area with bushes and a wooden retaining wall. Bingo.
So we grabbed up Earl and his Survival Kit and we all bundled into the car (even Barley came!).
We drove up to the the park just as it was getting dark (and colder... brrr!).
We found a spot in the wooden retaining wall that was sheltered from the wind (and probably predators, too), and decided that this would be a good spot for Earl. We ripped up the paper towel sheets and stuffed them into the crack, and then poured in the oats.
Then it was time for Earl to be released!
Tom opened one of the doors and he flew outta there!
Goodbye Earl, and good luck!
Then Tom and I ran back to the car as fast as we could - it was FREEZING!
So that's the story of how we caught our unwanted houseguest and safely released him back out into the world, where hopefully he will make it through the winter. We rest easy knowing that he's not scurrying around our house anymore (and scaring the bejeesus out of me!) and chewing holes in things. And while the trap wasn't exactly cheap, it was what we wanted (humane), did what we wanted (caught the mouse), and best of all we can continue to use it for years to come.
What do you think of our little adventure? Have you ever had any "Earls" of your own? How do you deal with them if you do? Or do you think we're just plain nuts for going through all this trouble just for a little mouse? What would you have done?
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