RAB MCNEIL: A moose in the hoose, and that’s not all


Rab's got a moose in the hoose. It doesn't stop there, either.
Rab’s got a moose in the hoose. It doesn’t stop there, either.

Some of God’s creatures are starting to get on my wick. I speak specifically of mice, daddy long legs, spiders and midges.

Some days, life feels like a permanent battle against them.

I found kitchen drawers and the cupboard space below the sink covered in mice poop, so decided enough was enough and put down a trap, which caught the one solitary mouse responsible for all the mess.

The matter of mice

Reluctantly, I’ve given up on the humane traps. I’d a couple of mice die of fright in them.

I read that old-fashioned killing traps were in fact kinder as, with the humane ones, you have to release the beasties far from human habitation, and they just can’t survive there.

They starve to death. For a time, I’d release them on a hillock by the shore, but feared they’d probably be speared by the heron. It’s a rotten life for these wee fellows, but I didn’t design it.

If it was just the odd, toilet-trained bachelor mouse, it wouldn’t be so bad. But it’s the unhygienic mess that does for them in the end (though, by the same token, someone should probably put down a trap for me too).

As for daddy long legs

As for daddy long legs, I was almost heartened to read in the papers that millions were invading folks’ hooses recently. I thought it was just mine!

Most of the time, they just sit on the wall, periodically saying “Aye” in a resigned voice.
But, sometimes, they fly into your face. And, by and large, I disapprove of things flying into my face.

So, I catch them in jars and release them outside. And they just fly straight back in again.

We’ve had spiders coming in too, apparently to cuddle up to partners in the warmth. Why don’t they go to the pictures like anyone else?

Then the midges

And, at the time of writing, we still have midges. Sometimes, you start much-needed work in the garden but have to abandon it.

I feel them in my ears and up my nose, but it’s my arms they really go for, something I only notice in the middle of the night when I wake up scratching like mad.

Luckily, I lack carpets in my current gaff, so don’t have the moths that go with them.

For a time, in a previous house, one wee moth used to fly around my computer screen at night. We became pals, and I taught him to fetch sticks and give me a paw.

But, next thing, there were hundreds of the blaggards, as I discovered on lifting a piece of carpet and finding them swarming about in there.

I’d to lift all the carpets in the end, sanding and varnishing the floors: back-breaking work executed with my usual inept expertise.

Hierarchy of creatures

I appreciate we have to share the Earth with God’s creatures. And I’m not agin them in principle.

I’m also aware that we organise them into a hierarchy, with dogs and cats at the top, and probably flies at the bottom.

But that’s life. I’m sure my beloved garden birds put Rabs at the top and cats at the bottom.

That’s because I don’t poop in their nests or come into their bushes looking for a partner during the human mating season.

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Lifestyle – The Courier Dundee