A young field mouse, photo courtesy derbyshiremammalgroup.com

This adorable creature looks nothing like the mouse that was running things at Rose Cottage in our absence. There was nothing Beatrix Potter-esque about the mouse situation in which we found ourselves when my sons and I arrived in Kilkee.

As I mentioned in my last post, the first order of business for Anton was to vacuum up the mouse droppings we found in corners and on window sills, thus dealing with any evidence of the uninvited inhabitants that had taken up residence during an unusually harsh Irish winter. I followed up with disinfectant cloths and within an hour we had the place clean enough for comfort.

But nonetheless, we did have mice and each day there was fresh evidence of their presence. Finally, after waking one night from a nightmare in which a vicious mouse was pulling hair out of my head one at a time, I decided it was time to make a trip to Kilrush, where I knew I would find electronic pest control devices. These are yokes, or gadgets, that plug into the wall and, though humans cannot hear a thing, apparently make a noise that is very unpleasant to tiny rodent ears, thus sending them packing and on their way. Although the salesman at the store in Kilrush told me that one of these contraptions would probably do the job for the entire cottage, just to play it safe I went ahead and bought two and plugged them in immediately upon returning home.

The next morning while sitting at the kitchen table having breakfast, Anton saw a mouse scamper across the floor. A large, grey mouse with a long tail! He promised me it wasn’t a rat and, because he lives in Chicago, I felt confident that he knew the difference. But a mouse is only slightly better than a rat. So back to Kilrush we went and purchased two more pest control devices plus a few mouse traps. Although I am a “bleeding-heart, tree-hugging Liberal”, and a vegetarian to boot, I am also a pragmatist who will not share a home with wild animals.

I know that there is never ‘just one’ mouse, but anyway, by the time we left Rose Cottage there was one less mouse. Meanwhile our old cottage in West Clare is pulsing away with a horrible electronic sound, which only a mouse can hear, and hopefully any relatives of our unfortunate fellow have left for more pleasant digs.