Saturday 9 August 2014

Memories of going batty and the catch-and-release program

Meadow Vole

Get me outta here!
Yesterday, Dorah brought me in a field mouse. "Look what I found, Mummy!" She meows to celebrate her catch.

At this point, I've caught more rodents with my butterfly net than butterflies!
She brings her prey into the house, still alive, to play with it. She isn't hungry, well-fed on her big sister Sadie's hypoallergenic, vet-prescribed, expensive cat food. Just sayin'. They come and go during the day from the cat door in the Muskoka Room. She's brought us a chipmunk, duly released, but mostly her favourite field mice.

Buster brings his prey into the Muskoka room, or on the back or front porch to eat it. He is our nocturnal hunter, happier outdoors away from the
deerflies of the daytime. He'll leave the kidney or liver or something, the part they don't like to eat! They are good mousers outside. Unlike the fearmongerers who cite that cats catch billions of birds, mine catch very few birds, preferring to sit in the grassy fields and watch for mice. The older cats watch the feeder, but they don't bother running, experience tells them the birds will fly off before they get there.
Meadow Vole are big guys!

 Even with a house full of 4 cats, we get deer mice in the attic. I've got a cat carrier, baited with peanut butter, and I've been catching the mice at night, usually around 9 p.m., once dark falls.

Putting the traps in the cat carrier means that I don't have to worry about catching any cat paws in them.
I put a spot of peanut butter
 in the doorway to lure them in.
I've trapped 11 this way.

I've never seen the mice in the kitchen, only climbing up the brick wall to the attic. So far, I've caught 11 mice in the traps.
It's a shame they cannot stay outdoors!


Yesterday, there was a bat in the house. Again. They come in through the chimney, escaping the heat of the night to get into the cool dark safe spot.
This time I opened the sliding screen door, and it made its way out.
Last year (2013) I wasn't so fortunate. The bat went round and round the bedroom ceiling fan.
I went on Twitter and had some helpful suggestions. Eventually, it landed and I used the butterfly net. In 2012 one landed on the chimney brick in the dining room. I caught it with the butterfly net.

The 2012 Bat event
I'd forgotten about the video. It really was quite an event. Daisy hung in there, watching it go around. The poor bat was exhausted. I did release it.


As I was sitting doing my blogging, a bat flew into the room. They come in through the chimney, when a hot night changes into a hot morning, around dawn. It went into the bedroom, where Buster was happily sleeping off his midnight carousing. It promptly began to fly in circles. It became tired and reversed direction!

Bat in the bedroom from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Now, having turned off the light, it has gone behind the painting on the wall. I'm not sure what to do next! Daisy and Buster are intrigued.
The dilemma: | The rescue: |
Visit more critters:

Saturday's Critters #36


eileeninmd said...

I do not mind seeing bats, but would prefer they be OUTSIDE.. The field mouse is cute! Great critter post.. Thanks for sharing your post with my critter party.. Enjoy your weekend!

Olga said...

I am not sure what I would do if a bat got into my house. Probably check into a hotel. Maybe sleep in my car.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

I would prefer Bats to be outside however good post for today's meme. Have a great weekend.

TexWisGirl said...

the fat field mouse is very cute. :) i'd prefer the mice stay outdoors, too. we used to get bats in the old farmhouse in wisconsin where i grew up. eek!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love bats as long as they stay outside! That's a very big mouse you have!

Roan said...

I don't like bats! They scare me. A few years ago a boy caught a bat with his hands. Its teeth are so tiny he didn't know he was bitten until he came down with rabies. We sometimes have them in the courthouse. We always wait until they are hanging somewhere and capture them in a coffee can with a plastic lid. It isn't legal to kill them so they are turned loose outside to come in again.

Unknown said...

Both the bats and the mice are cute critters, but it would be better if they stayed outside.

Nancy J said...

You are so brave, I have the jeebies about mice, and have not seen a bat here, they are very small, with a wider wing span, Lovely video, guess the cats were giddy too, Cheers,Jean.

William Kendall said...

My aunt and uncle lived in an old farmhouse for some years. Every once in awhile a bat would make its way inside. My uncle would calmly have to use a net to catch it and take it outdoors. My aunt is terrified of them.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Oh yes I recall the bat incident! ...and that's a lot of mice no matter where you are!!! YAM xx

Anonymous said...

There are lots of bats in the area where we live but I have not seen them. My husband was biking and the bats returned to the bridge where they 'hang around'.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

We get mice in the house every winter. Basement and kitchen so I have 4 traps with peanut butter. I put them behind things against a wall so the dog can't get at them.
All part of country living I suppose. Glad I don't have a cat bringing mice and releasing them in the house.

Red said...

I's good that you've got some bats. Here bats seem to be common in one area and completely absent in others.

Debbie said...

i have bat and mice stories, they always take a dip in the swimming pool but that does not work out well for them ;)

Karen said...

Mine are big on mice and chipmunks too! Miss Kitty is a totally indoor cat so she catches them in the basement. Fuzzy catches them outdoors and leaves misc. organs on the back porch, or a rear end, or a leg.
I saw bats flying around the back yard the other night. I was just tickled to see them!!
Our milkweeds are almost defoliated by the caterpillers now too.
And honey bees in the oregano.
I just cannot get more thrilled with the crittes!

Kay said...

Gracious! Bats and mice? I'm glad you're so calm.

Powell River Books said...

This year we didn't have as many bats living under the tin roof for some reason. Usually they make quite a racket from June through September. Even the one that would hang out in our propane shed only came by a few times. I've had a terrible time with mice in my float garden this year. I tried trapping by it isn't safe outdoors with all the birds that go into the garden to eat bugs. Once they head south I'll get going so I can clear them out before next spring. I did dig up one nest when I tore out my old asparagus patch. I bet there are several more tucked around under the soil that I don't know about. - Margy