Tahlequah Daily Press


December 10, 2012

Warm weather may be to blame for mousy behavior

TAHLEQUAH — If you are easily nauseated, you should skip this week’s column. If you insist on taking the plunge, I suggest you get a bucket.

A rancher friend of mine told me the mouse population has exploded, and he attributed it to the unseasonably warm weather. I probably should have checked with Roger Williams over at the Extension Service before I embarked on this topic, but at the time of this writing, I’m sure he had already gone home for the day, and would not relish a phone call from me.

He told me a number of field mice have fallen prey to his brush-hog in recent weeks. “With all the gore, it kinda reminded me of that Tom Cruise movie, ‘War of the Worlds,’” he said, and then added, “I knew it wouldn’t bother you to hear about it, ‘cause I read that column you wrote about how you and your cousins flushed mice down the toilet.” I didn’t bother to point out that jettisoning a small mouse into a septic tank or sewer line is a rather sterile and tidy procedure, not in the same league as shredding a far larger rodent with the blade of a brush-hog.

Many folks depend on a house cat to rid them of the occasional unwelcome house mouse. Until recently, our excuse for a feline, Zeus (known in some circles simply as “whitecat”) showed no interest in disposing of rodents. He often toyed with them until I took them away and pitched them outside. Otherwise, the critter would have crawled off and died where we couldn't reach it, but its stench could reach us.

There was that time my husband and I were in Palm Springs and our son was home on break, and he called to tell us Zeus had killed a rat that had gotten in through the garage, and then placed the carcass in front of the sofa. Perhaps the cat figured if he didn’t dispatch the interloper, it would compete with him for food.

One morning last week, the cat decided to get serious. At around 4:30 a.m., I was awakened by a squeaking, like someone was rubbing a couple of pieces of Styrofoam together. This was followed by a crunching sound, like – well, like a cat devouring a mouse. I turned on a lamp and aimed it at the cat, who was on the floor near the foot of the bed, head cocked, gnawing on something with studied determination.

I looked more closely. I wished I hadn’t. Dangling from the cat’s mouth were a tail and a hind leg. “Hey!” I yelled, hoping the cat would take his meal elsewhere. Instead, he increased the speed and volume of his chewing until the last vestiges of the mouse had disappeared.

When we got home from work that evening, I found what I first thought were two lozenges of cat feces on our clean flannel bedsheets, surrounded by a grease spot the size of a volleyball. I summoned my husband, because everyone knows if a cat defecates on your bed, the animal is sending a clear message that you’ve done something to offend it – and I figured the offending party must be my husband.

He looked at the mess, and said, matter-of-factly, “Those are mouse-fur hairballs.” Gross, I know, but that wasn’t the worst of it. The next morning, the cat began to retch right in front of me and deposited, on the living room carpet, something small and oval – with ears.

I thought I’d reached my mouse quotient at least for a few weeks, but a couple of days ago at work, the gals up front began to shriek. A mouse had been spied in the breakroom, and it had run behind the pop machine. Every time the critter popped its head out, more screams erupted, and the guys in the newsroom rolled their eyes. I would never scream at the sight of a mouse (I reserve my chick behavior for bugs, which prompts eye-rolling, too), so I got a broom and waited. When it poked its head out, I stabbed it with the bristles. We haven’t seen it in a few days, so maybe it expired. Then again, we haven’t smelled it, either, so maybe it has migrated to another part of the building.

If the warm weather is causing the mouse infestation, I’m praying for snow. Otherwise, I’m thinking of calling D-Con to see if they need a new spokeswoman. Mice disgust me, too, and I have no problem proving it.

Kim Poindexter is managing editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press.

Text Only
  • Wild West pits U.S. government against “We the people”

    Unless one has been living under a rock over the past week, one couldn’t have missed the recent standoff in Nevada between a rancher and the U.S. government. It’s only one incident in many that has the government of the people pitted against the people.

    April 16, 2014

  • Bodily functions don’t belong in job interviews

    For all you soon-to-be college grads who will be trying to join the rest of us suckers in the workforce, I have a word of advice: Don’t pass gas during the interview.

    April 14, 2014

  • As Moore tornado anniversary nears, documentaries ask, ‘Where was God?’

    But one question put to readers in a publication that crossed my desk was a bit confusing to me. It asks its readers: “Where was God?”

    April 9, 2014

  • A pound of bacon is better than a pig in love

    Whatever happened to the cavemen in the Geiko insurance commercials? Those were some of the least-offensive TV blurbs I’ve ever seen, and they were original. But like any other good idea, this one fell victim to the kind of corporate tampering that always insists on fixing what ain’t broken.

    April 7, 2014

  • Escape from Auschwitz: To the 21st century

    One would have to question whether our world has gone mad in this, the 21st century, or if we are doomed to repeat the historical past.

    March 30, 2014

  • Volunteers needed to ‘Clean up Tahlequah’

    There’s a movement afoot that tugs at the pride of the folks calling Tahlequah and the rest of Cherokee County home. It’s an appeal for everyone – from the youngest to the oldest – to clean up the turf around them. Call it a campaign or a program, but what it really boils down to is a shoutout to all of us to resist contributing to the roadside trash we see, now that the snows of winter are behind us.

    March 24, 2014

  • U.S. debt threatens dollar as world currency

    March 16, 2014

    March 17, 2014

  • A sense of entitlement

    March 16, 2014

    March 17, 2014

  • It’s the publisher who sets the tone – and courage is key

    Daily Press readers should be gratified to know they have a publisher who brings courage and experience to our newspaper; who will stand as a bulwark against outside forces that might try to suppress information; and who believes in the tenet of “fair comment and criticism.” Anyone who knows me can attest I’ve always felt the same way – but the editor doesn’t get to set the tone, unless the publisher allows it.

    March 10, 2014

  • Putin switches attention from Olympics to taking over Ukraine

    Russia’s President Vladamir Putin, former head of the KGB before the Soviet Union splintered under the weight of the arms race, has taken up his old habits now that the international community has vacated Sochi and the Olympic torch has been extinguished.
    It seems as though Putin wants the old Soviet Empire to rise again.

    March 6, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest