Respect for defenseless animals…even pests

I know I’ve called the mice in the house ‘bastards’ many times.  They are pests, here, unwelcome guests that leave ‘gifts’ everywhere.  Everywhere.

But when you see one dying, it’s another story.  Here’s a brief account of what happened yesterday.

And it is pretty sad.  The poison causes internal bleeding, from what I remember.  Just to see the field mouse go in and out of consciousness…defenseless.  It would otherwise be cute if you didn’t know it has only minutes left on its life.  It unknowingly made its presence known to me by shifting around in the newspapers laid on the floor (the papers—a practice that came with the leaks in the house, and all the water damage…).  Some time later…

It moved on its own, almost willing to get somewhere, but it kept falling asleep.  Low blood oxygen will do that.  Once outside, my mother just turned over the tissue box, where the mouse plopped into the snow.

As an adult who suffers from undiagnosed medical issues and pains every day, I’ve said, I don’t want anyone to suffer.  Now I may have been a little cruel in the past, taking my misery out on other invaders in the house, but not anymore.  Just witnessing the mouse react to the cold, the snow, and drag itself forward, where I knew it would freeze to death—it wasn’t particularly horrific, but it was horrible enough.  So I nudged it back into the box.  It accepted.  Afterward, its breathing became sporadic.

The box was set near the corner of the house away from the back porch.  I checked outside some time later to find the interior of the box wet from splashes of water (it rained Friday).  The mouse was long-dead.  I thought about burying it for a moment, feeble as the thought was.

I take no pleasure in this.  I’d rather it/they not invade the house in the first place.  But once it’s done, it’s done.  Death happens, and life goes on.  Animals don’t understand the concept of death nearly as well as us, but they certainly move on.  Life can happen so fast, too; our bodies kill countless invaders within our blood all day long, where we get zero notification.

So we are all mortal here.  We have to protect ourselves, our family, our property, etc.  But cruelty to animals, even pests?  No.  No, you can count me out.

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25 thoughts on “Respect for defenseless animals…even pests

  1. Your reaction shows that you have a conscience and that you’re a caring person.

    Mouse traps are quick. I had to use them in 2 different houses when my children were growing up. I didn’t want to kill the mice either, but with small children in the house I had to consider health issues

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    1. A conscience, maybe, but I know I’m not nearly as caring as a veterinarian.

      There once was a trap laid—not a conventional one, but one with a black plastic case, thinking one of them would crawl in there. Sigh.

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  2. I couldn’t look at your pictures because, well I think it would upset me. I am exactly like you in the respect I can’t stand to see an animal suffer. Sadly back in 2012 when we were(still are) recovering from Hurricane Sandy, our house was greeted by mice. I bought those little boxes hoping they’d go in. Nothing. Resorted to the old traps which I felt was cruel but no choice in the matter. I feared every morning checking them, hoping none suffered. I’m the girl who saw a squirrel hit by a car and tried saving it, calling vets offices on a Sunday night to no avail. I hate seeing animal suffer but when your own health and safety are in question sometimes we have to do what we don’t want to do.

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    1. Witness to a car hitting a squirrel—there’s something brutal in that.

      I wouldn’t have put the pictures up if you could actually see the suffering. (But the mind will see what it knows, so might as well avoid them anyway.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I was a bit fearful opening the link… just in case. I didn’t think you’d show them suffering (based on the entire post and well you) but I didn’t want to see the after effect if that’s what it might have been. Yes the mind does play tricks on you…

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      1. Well it takes a big heart – that compassion, sympathy and sensitivity to even see things that way in my opinion. I agree as well, we can all make a difference – might be overrun with vermin, but we’re doing our part!

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  3. We’d had mice getting into the house two winters ago. We did end up catching them in humane traps and setting them in the (detached) garage, less pleasant but still livable enough. A few kept getting back in and one we wintered over in a cage. Him we let out in the garage once spring arrived. This seemed to work out well enough for all of us.

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    1. A cage is still a small cell. And mice don’t live very long—a few years; a season would be over 5% of their life (probably over 10%). We don’t have a garage. Ideally, they’d be let out in a field…they are field mice after all.

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  4. Mice. Oh… me, too… I want them gone, but I don’t want to hurt them.

    Mice bring so many problems into the house. Little black droppings everywhere are the most obvious, plus chewed up important papers, stinky nests in your boots, and chewed-through electrical wiring, which is Really Not Good. But the very worst things about mice are things you can’t see.

    Did you know that mice do not have bladders?! Look it up, they really, truly have NO BLADDER, which means their pee goes straight through them all the time everywhere they roam! ICK!!!!! But what’s even worse than mouse pee everywhere, are the diseases they carry, especially here in New Mexico. Every so often we get a story in the news about another person succumbing to the bubonic plague that is carried by rodents. (No, the Black Death isn’t just a Dark Ages thing, it’s right here, right now. And with a mortality rate of about 50%, it is a particularly horrible way to die.)

    We cannot share our abodes with wild mice, no matter how cute they are or how charmingly they squeak – not if we want to be healthy and clean and save our boots and important papers and electrical wiring. But OH… the poor little things!

    My husband, despite having been a big macho U.S. Marine fearless warmongering machine – or maybe because of it – is like Dr. Doolittle with animals. He loves all animals and they (mostly) love him. When we first found signs of mice in our house, he bought some humane traps that did not hurt them, but only held them inside with a nice yummy snack until he could take the mice out into the woods and set them free. Problem was, the mice my hubby set free turned right around and came back and brought friends. It really did seem that way, because most of the mice that showed up after this knew not to go inside the humane traps, no matter what kind of fresh mice-tempting treats we put inside.

    He kept trying with the humane traps, though, buying new ones in case maybe the used ones had a distressed scent which warned off other mice from entering. But then one of the mice bit my husband on the hand as he was trying to set it free and my big macho Marine screamed like a girl. After that, he bought a bunch of old-fashioned killer mouse traps. Now, our house is mouse free.

    It’s sad, though.

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    1. Rodents brought the Plague to Europe, and they brought it here. Great. And now I know urine’s all over the house, besides dung. Ugh. There’s got to be a way to deter them once and for all, but they’re too intelligent.

      Wild animals that invade know they’re crossing boundaries. Getting bit makes that perfectly clear. They must be told NO, with traps, cats, ☠… Domesticated mice are cute; wild mice are invasive.

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      1. When my son and his family were here their 2 well-fed cats would catch the mice, play with them, then set them free unharmed. Apparently you must starve a cat if you want him to be a good mouser. More animal cruelty, not cool.

        It helps to go around your house and put steel wool in every little hole and cranny and around every pipe where it enters through a wall or floor. Mice can flatten themselves into a pancake and squeeze into the unlikeliest places..

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      2. Oh, I know the mice can squeeze through crevices. Just when you thought the back door was closed, at least one managed to squeeze in the bottom corner (part away from hinges).

        Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

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