Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Driving me mad

Oh dear, I'm having one of those days.
I loaded Oscar into the car - it's his grooming day again. I put my bags on the passenger seat but as I went to sit in the driver's seat something unusual on the car floor next to the peddles caught my eye.
It was about three inches long and an inch wide, brown and flat with a very ornate border.
I picked it up and turned it over in my hand and was surprised to see it was actually four pieces of a Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate bar that appeared to have been very evenly chewed around the edges. Very like the chocolate bars Kieran and Cameron had for their home-from-school treat the night before.
The complex edge design was very, very neat. The needle-like teeth marks were very regular.
Now regular bloggers will know I have had rodent problems with this car before. Twice a rat has chewed the electrical loom in the engine costing over £1,000 to repair and giving the garage a lot of laughs as the rats had a little store of cheese and biscuits to go with their wire starter.
But I'd never had a rodent problem inside the car. These teeth marks looked more mouse-like, too - although a baby rat could also have similar dentition.
I am a complete coward with regards to all things small and quick moving and the possibility of sharing my car interior with a mouse was likely to make my somewhat erratic driving just that little bit worse.
Tess the Springer seemed the obvious next step. She is a natural hunter.
Tess will look for stuff if you ask her and she did a great impression of drug sniffer dog in the car interior and she covered every inch of the car - but if Mr Mousey was hiding he wasn't daft enough to make a run for it with killer Tess on the case.
So as well as a mouse in residence I also now have the muddiest car seats imaginable!
I rang my husband who was on a train so unfortunately unable to come to my assistance. However, he called mutual friend Craig who very kindly rushed to my side to provide moral support.
Craig attempted the tactic I'd probably have tried with the kids - of trying to reassure me that it wasn't really a rodent that had chewed the chocolate, but probably a child using an implement. But that didn't wash as I'm sure someone from CSI could have easily rustled us up a three dimensional image of the guilty mouse's skull with those very clear rodenty teeth imprints. This mouse had one tooth slightly shorter than the rest and at a slight angle. I'd be able to recognise him anywhere!
Then Craig assured me that Mr Mousey had probably long gone, but I'd have seenhim if he had made a run for it through the open door. So that didn't wash either.
There was nothing more he could do - we realy needed a thermal imaging camera to convince me Mr Mouse had left the car.
My solution - apart from sell the car and call a taxi - was to drive very quickly and put the radio on very loud and encourage the children to finish their sweets in future.
Oh dear.
Was Mr Mousey working alone? Did he escape and will he tell all his friends about my car's well stocked larder of unfinished confectionery items?
Craig told me that his chickens sometimes catch mice.
Is that a solution, some hens for the car?
To be honest they probably wouldn't make half as much mess as the kids!!

2 comments:

Chapstaff said...

Would a mousetrap be cruel? Maybe a humane mousetrap.....?

I used a humane trap last winter to rid my garage of mice. One drawback was having to take a walk each morning to release the mouse in nearby fields.
I can't describe the feeling of picking up the sealed tube & tilting it slightly to find out if a furry critter was inside. It wasn't fear or revulsion - it was more pity for the poor thing stuck in a cold plastic tube all night.
So what do you do? I started putting warm bedding in the tube, but one morning I was in a rush & forgot to check the trap. When I looked later that day the poor mouse was frozen stiff ...so I decided a quick "chop" was kinder & started using the nasty trap.

I've caught half a dozen so far this winter...poor things :o(

Anonymous said...

Years ago my mum had a resident car mouse in her Mini. She left chocolate on the dashboard and noticed that the bar kept shrinking! [She even accused my dad of eating it] The mouse lived in the car all winter and departed (of its own accord) come spring. During that time it went to Bingo twice a week and Darts on Tuesdays. We lived in North london then so mouse experienced all the usual chaos of busy road conditions! We eventually found its cosy nest behind the dashboard!
Wendy