Cats are usually the bane of the wargamer.
Not so today.
Over the course of the past two or three weeks I have had a running battle with field mice. Our neighbors sadly passed on and the new owners levelled their home. The local mice living their have decided that our abode offers easy ingress and egress and a ready supply of yummies in the the form of the now dead beehive. The hive situated in a sort of shanty esque-lean to attached to the house with the downstairs air conditioning unit was a perfect source of food and accommodations. Who knew mice had such a sweet tooth?
These little guys are so cute, I had a real challenge sending them to Hades. I’m usually a catch and release guy with mice, rats I kill, field mice are somehow ok on my what dies scale. Besides glue plates are a painful inhumane way to go and require some hands on coup de grace action. Ick…Some warmonger I am.
Well you may wonder how the cat fits into this equation?
This morning, she sat attentively at the fridge. How unusual I mused as the morning espresso ritual progressed.
Some aimless chatter to the cat did nothing to encourage her to move on. I thought….”it must be those bloody mice.”
It was worse than that.
First a little lie of the land:
Downstairs is where my game room resides-
Behind the red wall segment pictured above is an air conditioning duct, light fixture sockets etc. Something approaching 30 inches wide. This sits directly to the right of the aforementioned lean to and immediately below the refrigerator situated upstairs.
During the escapades with the mice (I am 3 deceased rodents into this game), I would sit down stairs playing a game and hear them skitter above and behind my precious loot on the shelf you see pictured. They would then cross to the air-conditioning closet. I used the words lean to for a reason earlier on. Imagine exposed insulation, indirect access to outside, cables hanging down, a field mouse gym center bar none!
Created by a hackneyed 1970’s Texas construction workers slap dash effort at best, this area of the house is awaiting refurbishment.
The mice have had a field day tearing up the defunct bee hive, the insulation and trashing this ‘closet’. The nest of mice as best I can figure based on traffic noise is down to the youngest one or two. Glue traps are easy for them to escape, they are adapting to my tactics. I have had to revert to the messier traditional hinged death traps.
Back to the cat. I turned the coffee machine off, and opened the fridge, the cat tensed, readying to pounce!
With the fridge open I was immediately assailed not by the odours of stale cheese or off meats. But rather the pungent, distinct fragrance of burning plastic, smoke and the ticking clunking noise of a motor running awry.
The cat its mission accomplished, casually walked away. I on the other hand had no such luxury.
Racing to the fusebox, the power to the fridge was quickly shut down. Further inspection of the still ticking fridge, showed the back panel warped and blackened! Excessive heat came from that same area.
Not enough smoke for a fire was the diagnosis, but was this a failure of the motor or a field mouse chewing wiring?
A real fire was averted, one which would have caused the obvious damage to our home, but also directly above the Game room, would have destroyed Lord knows what.
Thanks kitty. I owe you one.