Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Those of a squeamish disposition, look away now as I am about to describe the great mousie mystery at Pine Tree Cottage!

I was on holiday in Portugal at the beginning of May, and two friends came to have a holiday in our house and to cat-sit Fred and Mabel.  When we returned, Lou asked me, with a smile, how often I cleaned the floor in the dining room.  As I had cleaned it the day I left, I wondered why she'd asked.  She said she had found a dead shrew near their food bowls.  I thought that a great mystery, but thought no more about it.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, in the living room, I found a dead house-mouse without a mark on him.  Searched for signs of infestation, but found nothing, so I don't think he was living here prior to his untimely death!  Certainly he must have been in the house overnight because the cats are locked in at night, and there he was, at 7.am, dead as a dodo.  And now, today, Mabel is giving me a good shout about something whilst I am at the computer.  She had a good breakfast, so maybe she is thirsty?  I rinse out the water bowl and refill, and whilst I am placing it on the floor, I spot a small object in the corner next to the food bowls.  Further investigation reveals a perfect pigmy shrew - dead, of course.  And that's him/her above.  Deceased but perfectly formed and photographed for posterity.  Size?  the body is as long as the short side of a credit/debit card.   Soooo ....... is it Fred, or is it Mabel?  Because someone in this house is a mouse murderer.