Sunday, March 6, 2011

Magnificent Mr Maus

I have a mouse who lives in my house. (Oops...sorry...that was an accidental rhyme...honest...) Although, technically, I have a mouse who lives in my stove. I call him Mr Maus. There is really only one word in the English language that is befitting of this fellow-exquisite.

Just in case you require photographic evidence;


His side profile is quite fetching too (apologies for the insipid yellow look);


And now for an action shot;


And one more for good measure;


And here he is, diving down the "mousehole";


Check out that goofy foot, how cute is that;


But this could be cuter;


If I had a video camera, I'd make Mr Maus a star on youtube, because he does this crazy little head bobbing thing, where he bobs up and down out of the element, often more than ten times in a row, presumably psyching himself  into making the trek across the stove to retrieve his tasty morsels. To the right of the picture is his dinner plate where these scrumptious offerings reside, so as you can see, he doesn't really have far to go. Guess he just has a bit of a nervous disposition...

How did Mr Maus and I meet? Now there's an interesting tail...

I awoke early one morning, around the 5am mark, to a commotion that I assumed was being made by an intruder. Armed with a letter opener (yes, I realise how tragic that sounds), I had little choice but to investigate. A quick glance at the lounge chair confirmed that the noises weren't being made my cat. He heard them though. His ears were on alert. Luckily, he wasn't intrigued enough to launch his own investigation.

Perplexed would be a good word to describe my response to the scene I encountered. An empty soymilk container, one of those rectangular ones, was thrashing around on the kitchen bench. Seemingly unaided. I'm not used to seeing inanimate objects in states of animation (or, I'm not used to admitting to it, at least). Especially at that hour of the morning. Took me a while to process.

On closer inspection, I noticed a suspiciously mouse-like bottom and tail poking out of the lid. Mr Maus had somehow managed to squeeze his head, shoulders and most of his body through the hole, and then got stuck.

I did a bit more processing. Then I picked up the container with attached rodent, took it out to the verandah and pondered my next move. Despair quickly set in. How on earth was I going to free the little mousie? I couldn't pull him out, in case I dislocated something. I couldn't cut him out either...in case I accidentally cut something else.

It didn't occur to me at the time (hey, it was 5am, remember) that because the container had been flattened, in preparation for recycling, interior air molecules would've been in short supply. Just as well I didn't realize, cos I'm pretty sure that would've sent me into a mad panic. Things never turn out well when that happens...

Luckily, I didn't have to pull or cut anything. Somehow, Mr Maus wriggled himself out of his predicament. He looked a bit shaken by his ordeal though. He sort of ran/staggered/lurched off the verandah into the garden beyond.

My cat went back to sleep, I went back to bed, and the next night, Mr Maus came back. I didn't see that coming. I guess he probably realised that I had the perfect opportunity to hurt him when he was well and truly wedged, if hurting little critters was something I was into. But I didn't, so I wouldn't, and he was right. My cat, however...

A few nights later, I was woken once again, in the wee small hours, by a very loud thud. The first thought that went through my mind was, "OMG! That sounds like the kind of thud my cat would make when he jumps onto the stove to try and get Mr Maus!" Luckily, Mr Maus's reflexes were a little faster than those of my geriatric cat.

Just so you know, I did try to stop Mr Maus from getting back in, as I was terrified I would be woken early one morning by the sound of my cat crunching on mice bones, on my pillow, but mouse features has proven himself to be a very industrious individual. One who likes his new abode far too much to consider relocation.

I still find it hard to believe that a mouse would live in a house (oops...sorry... another accidental rhyme, or AR, for short...just in case it happens again...probably won't...but it's best if you prepare yourself) where a cat also lives, but hey. My cat was very old--sadly the use of past tense is now required--and I guess Mr Maus noticed, and decided to take his chances.Occasionally my cat did spot Mr Maus doing his head bobbing thing, but I would just convince him he was hallucinating again, and...well...he bought it. He was very old...

I decided the safest option for everyone was if I just put a plate out for Mr Maus, right next to his porthole. So he wouldn't have to go looking for sustenance. That way the likelihood of him getting caught by the feline of the house would be kept to a minimum, and I wouldn't have to mop up puddles of mouse wee from my bench. And this arrangement has worked for all concerned, for over a year. And just in case you haven't picked it yet--I'm smitten.

Having said that, I am a little cross with Mr Maus. I'm worried about his cholesterol. And other aspects of his nutrition. He simply refuses to eat his vegetables. And fruits.

He wasn't so fussy in the beginning. In fact, not long before we met, I noticed that a piece of apple peel had somehow ended up over by the toaster. I thought this was a little peculiar, but just assumed, for want of any other plausible scenario, that I had accidentally flung it there mid peel. Happy with this explanation, I thought no more of it.

I um...I actually found a pool of yellowish liquid on the bench one day, that smelt strangely wee like... My explanation for that was that I must be hallucinating...Yeah, I know, I'm not the sharpest tool in the toolbox. And in case you are wondering, no, Mr Maus is not responsible for the discoloration of that second photo...

But back to Mr Maus's vegetable avoidance. When I first started feeding him, he even supplemented his diet with potato peelings. Or at least, he tried to.


Guess mice don't carry pocket knives...possibly because they don't have pockets...or because they kinda have inbuilt ones...knives, I mean...but maybe he decided this morsel just wasn't worth the effort...

Anyway, Mr Maus is no longer tempted by tomatoes, apples, carrots, raisins, or even strawberries! Outrageous! What is a mausmaid to do? He just prefers peanuts. And lots of them. Sometimes he'll take the pumpkin seeds if the peanuts are in short supply. Sunflower seeds if he's desperate. But I sense his reluctance.

As you can see in the photos, he's quite a sleek and slender fellow, which is surprising given his nut fetish. It makes me wonder if perhaps he has an entrepreneurial streak. Maybe he sells the peanuts on the rodent black market. Assuming there is such a thing... And I have no reason not to...

Maybe there just isn't much demand for perishables, like strawberries...or perhaps some other creature has that side of the market cornered...my garden is home to at least one--rather rowdy--hedgehog...and quite a few wild strawberry plants...

I'm pleased to report that Mr Maus appears to be a confirmed bachelor. I haven't heard any collective chatterings coming from inside the walls that suggest a murine harem. Phew. Guess he knows he's on to a good thing. One too precious to share.

It wouldn't surprise me though if he's a bit of a ladies' man. I can picture him wooing many a young mousie, he's got the x factor thing going on, that's indisputable, and if you combine his charms with an offer to share a delectable nut nibble, how could a mouse-maiden refuse? He's just sensible enough not to invite them to stay the night. Either that, or he's had the snip...

Of course, I may have overestimated his prowess. He might just be waiting for Miss Right...That is kinda sweet...I'd like to think that he might find "the one." Of course, that would complicate things...given that one plus one equals population explosion, in mouse terms...hmmm... He'd be a good provider though...

I forgot to mention that his head bobbing thing is accompanied by sound effects that are just as endearing. Think along the lines of cur-clunk. And I really hope you've noticed his perfect little ears. (Just scroll back up, if you need to.) Did I mention that I'm smitten?

And don't worry. I NEVER turn on the actual oven. And I never intentionally turn on the element his little head pops out of. Um...admittedly, I have turned it on by accident, once or twice over the past year, but only for a matter of seconds before panic sets in.

But don't worry, it's not the kind of mad panic that prompts me to do something stoopid. I just turn the element off. And thankfully such lapses in concentration have not yet had any adverse consequences. Double phew. In fact, I might go and stick a note on the knob for that element while I think of it. Just to be on the safe side...

Update: I have cleverly attached a twist tie thingy to that knob. It's enough to remind me to stay the hell away from it, but--hopefully--not enough to encourage visitors to ask what it is doing there. If I had opted to attach a note with "Mr Maus's porthole" written on it, chances are I would forget to remove it next time the landlords visit, and my instinct tells me that would be bad...very much so...

Of course, I also make sure that any soymilk containers awaiting recycling, have their lids firmly on...

Now, I don't won't to get ahead of myself here, or get your hopes up, but I'm quietly confident that one of my future posts may include an interview with Mr Maus! Still in the negotiation stage, few contract details to fine tune, you know how it is, but I can say it looks very promising! Until then--AR alert--be nice to mice!

2 comments:

Crash said...

this post deserves WAY more comments! ... hugs.

Holly said...

On behalf of Mr Maus, thank you.

May 24, 2012 at 1:30 AM