Monday, June 23, 2014

Squeak Attack

We acquired two adorable stowaways when we were tied up to the dock at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet. It began when Isaac was laying in bed staring up at the hatch in his ceiling. He saw what he thought was a rat skitter across. The next morning Pika sat, staring at a classically-shaped mouse hole in the the cupboard beneath the sink. Her vigil couldn't even be broken by breakfast. I felt pretty sure at this point that whatever had scurried across Isaac's hatch had found its way into the boat. A search of the cupboard turned up nothing but we took note of the hole that led down to the bilge. We checked the bilge but turned up nothing. We noticed mouse poo up on deck and we all speculated how it could make its way into the boat. The following night was spent on a mooring ball at MacDonald Island. While laying in bed reading we heard rustling in the salon. Jason got up and shined a flashlight into the galley. There, frozen in the light beam, sat a tiny mouse. He came back and reported he had good news and bad news. Bad news, we had a mouse. Good news, she was the cutest mouse he had ever seen. We devised a series of plans of entrapment that all got discarded when Isaac came to report that he just heard the mouse skitter overhead on deck. How on earth had she made it up on deck so quickly? So Jason headed up top with a headlamp and an empty plastic spinach container we had pulled out of the recycling. I pointed out many times that there was no way he was going to be able to capture a mouse with a lousy spinach container. He spotted her up top but as he moved toward her she vanished into the chain locker. He poured several buckets of water down there to either wash her out or scare her up. Meanwhile Pika, who we discovered is an amazing mouse locator, listened and stared at a spot in the corner of our bed. On the other side of that wall is the cockpit. Several minutes later Jason spotted the mouse in the cockpit, made a mighty lunge and captured the mouse under the spinach container....unbelievable. How does someone spot a mouse in the dark and manage to capture it? I don't know. I quickly grabbed a piece of cardboard from the recycling, we slid it under the spinach container and the mouse (along with an almond for a snack) and taped it up. At this point it was 11pm and we were all huddled around her squeaking with delight at how cute she was and remarking that she was distinctly not wet (was there another one?). She is definitely the cutest mouse we have ever seen but a pet mouse on a boat was not an option. We threw on our life jackets climbed into a kayak and paddled to shore. We debated if we should just set her free on the dock (since that seemed be her natural habitat) or bring her to the grass. The grass seemed nicer to us so Jason brought her up. When he set her free she immediately ran to the dock and clung to its vertical edge, Spider-Man style. As we paddled away under the half moon we swear we heard her let out the saddest squeaks we have ever heard. We knew that could only mean one thing...we had separated her from her mate. Oh boy.

Back at the boat we settled back into bed when something skittered over the boys again. It was Mr. Mouse. Jason hopped out of bed, grabbed the spinach container and headed up top...this time, without a headlamp. I guess he felt he needed to step it up a notch because maybe we weren't thoroughly impressed with his last performance? I must admit that I was secretly thinking there was no way someone could possibly catch two mice in the dark with a spinach container. Mr. Mouse was much friskier and acrobatic than Mrs. Mouse and he skittered about wildly on deck. Down below, we would each call out as he scurried over our heads. I heard him sprint down the side deck to the cockpit. I called out and Jason came running by and I heard him lunge. I am thankful he didn't go into the water. At this point he's shouting "Headlamp! Headlamp!" I grabbed it as quickly as I could and shined it into the cockpit. We had Mr. Mouse cornered. He jumped about wildly, trying to make it up onto a seat that would lead him to freedom but Jason clamped the spinach container down before he made it. No. Way. How does someone manage to catch two mice in the dark with only a spinach container? I still don't know. But I think we may have discovered Jason's super power. We repeated the previous steps to seal the container but did notice that Mr. Mouse was not nearly as cute as Mrs. Mouse and he did seem perhaps a little wet and disheveled. We took a second moonlight, midnight paddle to shore to reunite Mr. Mouse with Mrs. Mouse so they could live happily ever after, not on our boat.

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