Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Of Mice and Men...and Cats and Rabbits

A few weeks ago we started noticing a bad smell whenever we used the oven. Although the oven and broiler appeared clean, I wiped them down. I flipped up the stovetop and scrubbed underneath all the burners. Nothing I did seemed to help. Finally Dan got in on the act and was able to pull the oven away from the wall.

A hole! We concluded that a mouse was getting into the house, but if it was in our oven, where was it?

Dan got out his tools and went about the unpleasant business of taking the oven apart. What he found was a little mouse nest in the insulation between the oven and the panel underneath the stove burners. Fortunately he found no actual damage, and no dead mice - only droppings and urine. But he also found a little stash of acorns.

So...is my cooking not good enough for a mouse, that it felt compelled to bring its own food? Or are toasted acorns a rodent delicacy? (They had cracked and cooked in the heat.)

Anyway, the hole is now repaired, the oven insulation pored through and interior surfaces scrubbed with baking soda, so I should be able to resume baking as usual. All of this, however, calls into question the usefulness of our cat.

Pixel is eighteen years old and has long considered himself "retired" from such bothersome duties as chasing vermin, but we suspect our rodent visitor may also have been eating his food. Poor old gato. In his youth he would slip outside and catch squirrels and now he can't even be bothered to defend his food bowl.

Interestingly, it was Cadbury who alerted us with a thump two nights ago that the mouse had chewed through Dan's first attempt at blocking the mouse hole. Now if only Cadbury could catch mice...

16 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh mice can be such nuisances. Sonme people say that the smell of cat keeps mice away but I'm not so sure....

Our rabbit used to be totally blind to the mice that would sometimes steal her food.

Hef's Mom said...

Shadow caught a mouse once recently in a snow bank, want me to send her down to check things out?

Crabby McSlacker said...

I had no idea mice could get into stoves, that's a really, really creepy thought!

Good thing Cadbury is taking over mouse-guarding duties; sounds like kitty is ready for a restful retirement.

the Bag Lady said...

My old cat is also blind to mice in the house - outside is still a different story, though. He'll catch them and bring them to the house, laying them on the deck for my inspection!
The younger cat is only interested in birds at this time of year. (Had to rescue a bird just last night - again!)
We had a mouse in our pantry (the cats can be forgiven for not catching him with the pantry door shut) and when I cleaned the pantry and blocked the bottom of the door, the mouse moved to the stove.
Good for Cadbury for being on guard!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

If that mouse was under Cadbury's big thumping foot it would be curtains for sure.

Leah J. Utas said...

Cadbury is a full-service bunny.

Missicat said...

Good for Cadbury! My kitties talk a good game, but would probably flee terrified from a mousie...

Rabbits' Guy said...

Why do I think there will be some moe to this story. Why should a mouse give up on a good thing???

Lisa said...

Odd that the mouse wouldn't choose rabbit food over cat food...

We once had a cat bring a mouse IN to the house! Cats are funny like that. Who knows what they'll do or why.

Stay vigilant, Cadbury! Job well done.

Christina said...

My kitty dropped a LIVE mouse into my lap once. I am not normally afraid of mice but I almost pee'd my pants. We had a mouse get in last year. It was sitting in the bunnies litter box. Tango had her front feet propped up on the edge of the box just casually watching the mouse scratch around in her box. I tried to catch it, yeah right, like I would be fast enough. Steel Wool works great to plug openings. Mice cant/wont chew it.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Hi again--

And sorry this is totally off topic.

Could you email me? I don't seem to have your address. (I'm crabby mcslacker @ gmail dot com). I'm on FB under another name (have been lazy about posting but would love to follow you there).

Thomma Lyn said...

Hehe! If anybunny could catch mice, it would be Cadbury. :-D

Glenna said...

Go, Cadbury! You have to feel kind of sorry for the mouse and his little supply of toasty acorns (same reason I prefer the toasted sub sandwich?), but of course, they can chew your wiring and cause all kinds of havoc, so they have to go...

Glenna said...

Which reminds me, when they renovate old houses here, they will sometimes take the plaster off the lathe or the drywall off the studs and find vintage fabric in the walls where the mice have carried it to make cozy nests!

Annette F Tait said...

When I went to collect Zai, my first rescue rabbit, his rescue mum said that he lived with a mouse! (outside in a huge wooden wardrobe as a hutch...!)
I hope that Zai wasn't missing his little friend when he came to live with me, I have a soft spot for mice. Arabella is a little scared of them!

RoadBunner said...

Poor Pixel, to be ousted like this! Hee hee!

Hope the mice stay away. Also glad one didn't get cooked in the oven!