Mice And Bunnies And Puddles And Guns


Orange juice behind plastic and glass
— photo by Me, June 07, 2007

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“Blown Wide Open”; Big Wreck
Let me know if the YouTube isn’t available.


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I’ve been writing my second post about my relationship with my mother, her parents, my father and his parents but I’ve got a mouse in my cupboard and it’s driving me nuts… so I needed a break.

I had mice two years ago, when I first moved upstairs to this apartment. They lasted about three months using my pasta as sustenance. I don’t like killing things, but when I finally had enough I bought these spiked seeds that gives mice ebola or something. Basically they have an anti-clotting agent which turn mice into haemophiliacs. I’m still not sure if that sounds cruel or not.

I get these little visions of baby mice asking their mommy why she’s bleeding out of every orifice.

One summer, when I was about twelve, I found a mouse in a “humane” trap my grandfather had left out in the back shed of his farmhouse. My original idea was to release it, but when I reached into the trap to pull it out the thing bit me. So in what must have been my first instance of adolescent cruelty I threw it against a rock, it was either dazed or broken but it kept chirping so I stamped my foot on it but it kept chirping, so I started to panic and dropped it into a giant puddle in the field out back. But it turns out it’s actually very hard to drown something. So I picked it out of the water and its heart was still beating so I threw it as far into the field as I could.

Three years later there was my only other moment of animal cruelty, against a bird… but I don’t like thinking about that one at all. It was stupid and ugly and I’ve never talked about it, ever.

I did shoot the tail off a bunny. My uncle’s best friend, a serious Mountain Dude, took my younger brother and I hunting on a wet Fall afternoon. I might have been… ten, maybe. We got under a pine tree and waited quietly until a rabbit hopped up. When it was about fifteen feet away Dude gave me the gun, told me how to aim and I squeezed the trigger until Bang… no bunny. It took off with some shot pellets in its ass.

Dude, to his credit, tried to track it down, but no rabbit. I think my little brother was crying at this point and I felt sick… city boys with guns.

I spent my summers for about six years working as a farmhand so I’ve seen my share of killing. The weirdest thing I ever saw during that time was the absolute red-eyed hatred the farmers have around here for groundhogs. The little beasties dig massive holes in the fields which will easily break the farm equipments axles in half.

One farmer had the idea to soak them out by flooding their den, then shooting them as they popped out. But those dens can go on for a hundred yards. Then there’s the lengths they’ll go, three times I had my life put at risk because of a farmer trying to run down a groundhog.

Once we were coming back from a field, and while I was hanging on the back of the tractor the farmer jerked the wheels around and drove us through a ditch after one of the little demons. Fucking farm dude scared me right out of my dick. Once we were back on the road he skids to a stop, turns around and points to the groundhog and says “go see if it’s dead”.

It’s pretty obvious it most definitely was not dead because its front paws are twitching and its teeth are chattering like it’s really pissed off. But its back end is about an inch thick from where the farmer had guided the wheel and there’s guts everywhere. I tell him the groundhog is still alive so he tells me to finish it off. I ask “with what?” and he tells me to kick it to death… so I put my toe under it and flicked it into the tall grass like a soggy soccer ball.

I’ve decided I like groundhogs and not so much farmers.

So I figure my mouse/mice have another week left to find another home before I buy some of that ebola seed. Maybe I’ll wait until the snow’s gone, maybe they’ll piss off then.

But, really, I barely like it when people come over… and I absolutely hate weird noises when I’m writing. Like right now it sounds like something’s moving around behind my fridge. Maybe I’ll tuck the ebola seed into some sugar water or something…

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Clinical Depression, crazy people with no pants, Depression, Health, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Poverty. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Mice And Bunnies And Puddles And Guns

  1. bromac says:

    Ahhhh, mice. Mice and birds, birds and mice. Moles sometimes too. And snakes, black snakes. All the little friends my cat used to bring into the house.

    See, the cat has two cat doors: one from outside into garage and one from garage into house. Cat used to be able to come and go as she pleased. But she kept bringing home friends. And letting them go; presents I suppose.

    Had a pair of mice living in the insulation on top of the dishwasher. They made the mistake, after months of fattening up on dog food, to show their faces through the stove eyes. Pissed husband and trapped mice in stove top does not end well. Or smell well.

    Found a bird living in my xmas tree one year! Damn cat. 2 snakes in day, once. Actually, I think it was the same damn poor snake, caught two times in one day.

    We finally closed up the cat doors. I don’t mind mice and I don’t mind birds or snakes. I don’t like mice living in my house, shitting everywhere, though. Especially when there is a wee tot.

    We mainly try to catch them and let them loose in a field across the street. Sometimes, like the most recent who was living in the wall in the garage, we just have to poison them.

    Oh, and the shit of it…..now that the cat is rendered unable to move in and out as she pleases, she prefers to eat her prey. WTF!

    Last thing, promise. Wierdest things cats in my life have brought into the house: one cat brought in a hare. Yes, a hare. Not a rabbit, but a big fucking hare….alive. And it ran. In the house. And one cat brought in a bat once. It was dead, though. Whew~

    (sorry, this one was a rambler)
    Good Luck!

  2. thordora says:

    I’m right about the cat you know…you’ll have no mice if you have a cat ( in theory).

    We had them once in Toronto-we were living in some slum near Sheppard and Bayview (when it WAS crappy on Sheppard) and because I had a rat in a cage, dude tried to tell the rental tribunal the mice were mine. This was after we had to clean the sty up when we moved in.

    Fuck I hated that guy. We won, but I never bothered to get my money. Watching a woman call him on his shit was payment enough.

  3. markps2 says:

    The mice also do not know of your time schedule.

    The simple solution is metal containers. In the days past I think we put the food mice liked to eat in metal and ceramic containers. Like a cookie jar with a heavy lid.

    With no food source the mice might relocate.

  4. Gabriel... says:

    So far these ones aren’t into my pasta supply, but even so I’m not sure where they could relocate with the snow wall surrounding my apartment building. Even with the last ones it wasn’t the food, it’s the scuttling noises while I’m writing or if someone is over… maybe I could make little foam shoes for them. Let me know if you’ve got any shoe-making suggestions Mark. If anyone would I’m pretty sure it’d be you Dude.

    Thor… Sheppard and Bayview, I worked there. Benchmark Communications before it moved to Eglinton. Did I mention already how we seem to be following each other around this planet?

    Bromac you can ramble here as much and for as long as you’d like. Years ago we had a cat (The Cat) who brought home a baby bunny with a little pug nose, but it was our dog who we found playing with it… the bunny survived, I think. Mom said she put it back in the forest…

  5. thordora says:

    Please tell me you weren’t actually IN Bayview Village-I worked there for awhile, getting dog food for snotty rich women.

  6. giannakali says:

    just a suggestion in order to save your little house guests.

    If you use a humane trap the idea is not to stick your hand in to release them…no no no….of course they are going to bite you.

    You release them by opening the trap and flinging them off into some wild open land. No touching.

    I hope you choose not to give your mice ebola!

    We’ve had repeated mice problems and gotten rid of all of them with humane traps.

    And don’t wait long…they will breed then you’ll have many more mice to catch.

    good luck.

  7. Gabriel... says:

    Well… in my defence the one that bit me bit the me that was twelve (or younger…), and he didn’t know any better. The problem right now with a humane trap is I’d be releasing them into twelve feet of snow and until Mark solves the snowshoe problem I don’t see that as a solution. They haven’t made any noise in almost two days so I’m hoping they moved downstairs. I think my next step will be filling in any holes with steel mesh and plaster…

  8. markps2 says:

    steel mesh and plaster…

    good plan. and I think I read you like to write with a pencil? I sometimes have mouse sounds here, maybe I got superhearing or I’m crazy but the sound of the carbon pencil rubbing/writing on paper, is similar to the noise of mice in the walls. no?

  9. Gabriel... says:

    Close… it was in a return comment to Nurse Myra in the “Anatomy Of A 504 Panic Attack” post from last week. Good memory, though.

    “In order to write I have to have the right pen and the proper sized notebook. I can’t, for example, EVER use a pencil. The sound of a pencil on paper drives me freaking nuts.”

    When I was a young teen playing D&D I was a big pencil user, but once I started writing in notebooks, forget it… it’s that first, kind of sticky rub that drives me nuts. You’re right, they are similar sounds.

    Mice are not the primary annoyance in my apartment, however. The recent warming has woken the flies. Mice I can put up with for days and weeks, bugs must die.

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