mumsnetBack along, my family and I swapped a house for a three-acre field in Devon and a leaky caravan where we lived off-grid for two years. Sadly, we failed to get the planning permission we needed to stay. We are now back within four walls, with a proper loo and everything in a cottage in Dartmoor. So this is now a blog about living ethically amid a fabulous landscape with our home educated kids while we adjust to being 'normal' - for a while... and what we plan to do with our land next

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A mouse tale

There was a mouse in my slipper yesterday morning - a live one.

I was, of course, oblivious to this at the time. I am not at my best first thing in the morning and so when something impeded the progress of my foot, I assumed it was a bit of a Lego Hero - because it invariably is.

I put my hand in and felt something hard and then squeezed the outside for a bit and decided, for some reason, that it must be a helmet.

It was at that point that I noticed two of the cats' dead victims on the rug - and wondered dimly if perhaps the thing in my slipper was also animal matter. So I gave it a shake and saw that there was a tail, which I pulled - but nothing came, and even in my befuddled state, I thought that was a little odd.

Matty took over and his head – being younger and less damaged by age, child bearing and beer – got to the nub of it much quicker. 'It's alive,' he yelled, throwing the slipper back at me.

I peered back in and saw that indeed the tail did seem to be moving, which would explain the reluctance of the rest of the body to come when I had given it a yank.

A field mouse
So, I took it outside and set it free, having taken the precaution of locking the cats in. I felt such an enterprising mouse deserved a sporting chance.

This constant stream of dead things is a hazard of living a semi-outdoor life. The cats bring their prey in the awning and then into the trailer through their own self-constructed cat flap. This reached a peak last week when an unpleasant smell caused me to investigate under our bed and remove a number of carcasses.

The next day I purchased a cat repellent spray and I am happy to report that it works very well. I myself witnessed Oscar flit in nonchalantly with jaws clamped around some unfortunate small mammal and head straight for under the bed - only to reappear seconds later with a disgruntled look on his face.

So now they put them in my slipper instead, which is much better, of course.

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