Of mice and burglar alarms

There’s a mouse in the house

Rear end of a rabbitWe keep a cat.   A large, active Maine Coon who despatches substantial numbers of rodents and leaves them (or bits of them) on the back doorstep. Or in the kitchen if we are fool enough to leave the door open.

So why was my sleep disturbed by a scuttling sound which, in my semi-conscious state, I took to be a bird on the roof (I was too tired to open my eyes and therefore didn’t realise it was still dark) but I now know was a mouse under the bedroom floorboards? The reason I know it was a mouse is that shortly afterwards, at 3.15am, it chewed through a burglar alarm cable and set off the alarm, which is programmed to assume that a broken cable means the house is under attack by wire-cutter wielding miscreants.

The one with the muddy feetTo be fair to the cat, there isn’t room for him under the floorboards and even if there were, it would be unwise to let a 7kg (15lb) animal walk across our 100-year-old lathe and plaster ceilings. When we bought the house the building surveyor said we were on borrowed time with these ceilings, and that was 30 years ago. We fiddle with them at our peril. We have cautiously laid a few mousetraps under the bedroom floor but have yet to catch anything, although the bait has disappeared on occasion. Today I heard the mouse scuttle overhead while I was working downstairs, it is plainly still in residence. The cat looked up with interest at the ceiling and then went back to sleep. I have threatened him with short rations but he takes no notice.  He prefers sleeping or sitting in trees watching the world go round.

The only good thing to come out of this was that I found a slug in the middle of the kitchen floor when I went down to silence the alarm. (My dear husband was busy looking for non-existent burglars, which seemed a fair division of labour.) We’ve seen slug trails across the floor for months but haven’t been able to find the culprit, presumably because it had the sense to keep its head down during the day. The score is therefore Wildlife 1, Us 1. But we have traps. And a cat.

Madeleine-style bag

Tartan bag I’ve finished the bag I posted about a week or two ago.  A casual, cloth bag is perfect for the sunny weather we’ve enjoyed this weekend, although there were blizzards at the beginning of last week so it’s too early to say that Spring has sprung.

This bag fits neatly under my arm and has enough pockets inside to keep all my bits and bobs in order.  It won’t be a lot of use in the rain, although I suppose I could spray it with Scotchguard to give it some protection.  I was planning to give it away but I might just have to keep it for myself.

Tartan bag

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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