Help Solve a Mystery, Please?

This morning, while I ate my breakfast, the younger boys went outside to warm up for the first day of soccer camp.  After a few minutes, they came inside, and Stephen waltzed through the kitchen and mentioned non-chalantly over his shoulder, "There’s a rat in the trash can outside."

Insert screeching sound here.

"WHAT?  A…wha…a RAT?"  I gingerly opened the back door (the trash can was just outside it) and saw that yes, indeed there was a rodent in my otherwise empty trashcan, trying desperately and unsuccessfully to climb its way out.  Though, to Stephen’s disappointment, it was a mouse, not a rat.  (Not as good a story to brag about at soccer camp, poor kid.)  Within seconds, my dog Ginger was out the door, cleverly knocking over the trash can and chasing that mouse right out of our yard.  Good dog. 

The whole thing happened so fast that it didn’t register with me, until after the fact, what a mystery it is as to HOW this mouse got in the trashcan to begin with.  I realize there is war in Lebanon and soaring gas prices and all sorts of important issues in the world at this moment, but folks, I really MUST know how this mouse got in the trashcan.  Look at this picture, and you’ll understand my head-scratching (a bad choice of words, perhaps, when discussing rodents):

Trashcan Did the mouse somehow get up on the chair and leap into the trash can?  How would it even get on the chair in the first place?  Certainly it didn’t scale the side of the trashcan, did it?  Because if mice are now scaling vertical surfaces, then my world is officially rocked.  But no, this can’t be the case, because the mouse was unable to get OUT of the trash can, so clearly scaling vertical surfaces is not option.  There is nothing on the other side of the trash can. 

How, I ask you, HOW?  I need to know this.  I have never seen a mouse in our zip code, much less our yard–if this is going to become a regular occurence, I must begin to understand their behavior, especially if the mice in question are, as it appears, bionic.

Posted in: Fun

37 thoughts on “Help Solve a Mystery, Please?

  1. mopsy says:

    Mice are great jumpers. They are like little Kangaroos, minus the pouches and flair.
    I bet it got onto the chair and leapt in the can—completely do-able for nearly any rodent.
    Did you know a mouse only needs a hole the size of a DIME to get into a house? That’s what the extermininator told us during a mousefest at our house during the winter of 2004.

  2. Antique Mommy says:

    You think you’ve got questions. Poor mouse was just out for a night on the town and ended up there and probably doesn’t remember a thing. Or? He could have been hiding out under the eves. Is there a vent directly above?

  3. Jules says:

    Never sell a mouse short. BAH!
    They are amazingly versatile little horrors and can get in your house through the tiniest of holes. Even though you don’t see them in your yard, they’re out there …waiting …watching.
    Tip: If there’s food waste in the trash keep the trash recepticle covered tightly. Never put unsealed food (even bird seed) outdoors around your home.
    And, Mopsy is right. They are mighty jumpers. Mystery solved.

  4. Jennie C says:

    I was thinking that mice are great acrobats, too. Chair into can, but couldn’t get back out again. If you are worried about them indoors, you can get some of those humane mouse traps. They can get in after that tasty peanut butter, but a door shuts behind them so they can’t back out again. We once had a mama and four babies. We caught and released the mama, but the babies didn’t know to go for the food. We ended up using that really sticky paper where we knew they walked. Unfortunately, you can’t save them once they’re stuck.
    You want to hear something else yucky? Down here in Georgia, they have enormous roaches. They leave droppings that look alot like mouse droppings. I hate them. I dread using the bathroom in the middle of the night because I know there is one in there. Sometimes, when I’m really paranoid, I can hear the skittering of their abnormally large bodies on the floors, the walls, the counters….Ewwwww.

  5. Mary says:

    Jennie C- They are called Palmetto Bugs.
    They LOVE moisture. The humidity here in the South breeds them.
    I can walk on my deck at night and they are all over the place.
    I have to spray once a month.
    I find the occasional one in the house too.
    They don’t look for food like regular bugs- they look for water sources. That’s why they are in the bathroom.
    They suck!
    Yes rodents can jump AND climb things that they can get their claws in.
    I am not a mean person but we use the poison because when we first moved here there were mice and I couldn’t stand it.
    I put out the poison and never found a dead body and haven’t seen another since.
    You want to talk about the lizard thing in my garage last week?
    It was almost a FOOT LONG!
    What the heck is that about?

  6. Nikkie says:

    My partner has informed me, much to my horror that mice can indeed climb up walls. I’m not sure I believe him though, and I’d think they’d have a hard time with plastic which is likely why its still in there! I think its more likely that it jumped in from the chair!

  7. Laura says:

    when i lived in hawaii for a short stint, a mouse and a rat invaded my house. the rat, took to eating the bananas on my countertop at night while i was asleep. i couldn’t figure out how the nasty thing had made it to the top of the countertops but they do indeed jump – rats and mice. ugh.

  8. bretta says:

    I’m thinking you should look for a spoon on a spool or something…there could’ve been another mouse in on the plot and they made a little “mouse-a-pult” and one jumped on one end of the spoon while holding a brick and shot the other mouse into the trash can…

  9. Paulette1958 says:

    OH YES they climb. My friend called me a while back and screamed into the phone at 1 in the morning that she was awoken by a huge rat under the covers with her in the middle of the night. She has a HIGH bed. When she called the exterminator out he said they can clib anything!!!!
    They would have to commit me for sure if that happened to me, I am so paranoid of rodents.

  10. Kelli says:

    In my never ending “find a silver lining” journey- I say, get more trash cans and chairs, collect a whole set – and start a circus!
    Little trampolines, little acrobats, bare-back rat riders on chipmunks, clown mice stuffed in a HotWheels car … you could be the next Barnum and Bailey!

  11. Phyllis says:

    Looks like your mystery is solved…
    PS~ In FL we have those same Palmetto bugs. They are easily as big as a Lincoln Town car. Yep, I feel your pain Jennie C.

  12. Diane says:

    I have known cats to leave mice for their owners in conspicuous places – alive. Is there a cat who could have dropped the mouse in?

  13. Heather says:

    Yup, I have your link in my bookmarks. Always good fora giggle before heading out to work. Mice are adventurous little things — and the chair would make a perfect launch area right into the bottom of the can. Sides being slick and a much further jump to get out and he was out of luck.
    Have a great afternoon!

  14. MomInTandyLand says:

    We live in the country, surrounded by fields and cow pastures, so we are constantly plagued with mice. Little ones, big ones, mamas, nests full of babies… You name it, I’ve found it in my house. My solution? A good ol’ Red Rider BB Gun. Works every time. Unless you miss, then you have to beat it to death with the butt of the gun. I have no mercy for mice.

  15. Rebecca Mielke says:

    First off, I say, “ugh!”
    Then, I’m picturing someone sitting in the chair helping the mouse (my kids are older, a teen or pre-teen boy would definitely do it), maybe a cat?
    Finally, yes mice do climb. We have found them in traps in our attic, but not since we put out poison. The grossest night ever was hearing the mouse in the cardboard box under my dresser, chowing down on the poison. But we have never found any “remains”.
    Hey, you brought it up.

  16. Jan says:

    EWWWW. Mice. Rats. Roaches. Water bugs. Palmetto bugs. Any kind of creepy-crawly. Now where did I put that can of Raid?

  17. Shannon in Arizona says:

    Yes they can jump……….they can climb..they squeeze through anything. I wasn’t surprised to hear you found one….it has been unseasonly warm there and he was prolly trying to find a cooler place. I am right up there with you in the freak factor….my husband went to our pool and pulled the filter out and there layed a dead mouce in the filter….it was hard to swim for awhile without checking the pool and the filter……

  18. Rebecca says:

    Mice used to accidentally (or maybe it was on purpose. How fun can it be to be a mouse?) drown themselves in my parent’s toilet. En masse. You’d unsuspectingly enter the bathroom first thing in the morning, and joy and bliss, there would be six or seven dead mice…. . They lived out in the country and would get serious mouse infestations every winter.

  19. momrn2 says:

    I’m not sure what happened… but after reading all of these comments all I can say is ICK, ICK, ICK and double ICK!! I just may have a very difficult time getting to sleep tonight! 🙂

  20. grafted branch says:

    I’ve seen a mouse scale the brick side of my home — up, down, all around. Maybe he jumped in from above.
    And about the “palmetto bugs?” They come in through drains, under baseboards and…eeeewwww…through the vents. One fell on me from the overhead a/c vent in my drop-ceiling kitchen once. Still haunts me today.

  21. Debbie says:

    Mice can climb and when I saw the brick in picture, I assumed that was the access to the trashcan. He,she, or it, must have then jumped on into the trashcan from there. Reading your post brought back a memory of a furry little creature at my place. He was in a vase that I had sitting under my kitchen sink. As I was standing at the sink I heard the strangest, little squeeking sound( I am not kidding ) I opened the doors and there it was jumping up and down trying to get out. He was so tiny. I still don’t know how he got in there, but my husband had to take him out. There is just something so iccccckkkkkkkkkkkyyy about them. **shuddering** At least your’s was outside!

  22. Julie says:

    Could be worse. You could wake up one morning to find a dead bat (yes, BAT!) on the floor of your den with no idea how he got there. I’m still puzzling over this one, but I get the willies every time I try to think about it. Yuck.

  23. peach says:

    I feel like a rubber-necker at a hideous accident. I just couldn’t turn my eyes away, even after the debate over roach/palmetto bug thing. I don’t care what you call them, but now I understand why the D-Con never yielded any mice since it was roach . . . oh my goodness .. . droppings I was seeing . . . ACK!!! I am glad to be rid of those suckers.
    Bless your darlin’ heart, Shannon. Just so glad that rodent stayed out of your house. I found one living in the dust of my vacuum cleaner one time and I emitted a scream that could be heard in the neighboring county!
    Praying we can all sleep free of rodent dreams tonight!

  24. Tracey says:

    OMG!! My first visit to your site and I can’t turn away from the screen! Wow. Talk about pulling me in!! I am seriously icked out over here… (shudders) and I’m picturing the little bugger doing acrobatic jumps into the garbage can. I’ll bet your kids thought it was super cool, though!
    I thank FlipFlop Momma for talking about your site, and I will hold HER fully responsible for my nightmares that I am sure will plague me tonight. 🙂

  25. Heather says:

    We live in a mouse infested house. Around here it is not unusual and in fact, once they get in they will find a way again. Our house is over 50 years old and was well infested before we moved in.
    We know from experience that mice are capable of A LOT! We have mice that peak out at you then boldly walk across the floor. They can squeeze through our registers, even when I cover then tightly. They can and do jump and climb up our kitchen cabinets. Yesterday my husband had one walk, yes I said WALK, around him then over to a corner where he hid out in the open till my husband left. We have tried every trick in the book and killed hundreds maybe thousands but they still come back. Eventually we will try poison, but want the kids to be older.
    Several years ago when my brother was living with us he found one drowned in the toilet (it had been walking along the drop ceiling and had fallen through where one panel had been removed.)
    I forget what my point is. Oh yeah, it could definitely jump onto or climb up the leg of the chair then jump into the garbage can.

  26. mom2fur says:

    I have a pet rat. His name is Noodle and he’s a real sweetie. They don’t call me “Mom2Fur” for nothing, LOL! Oh…and when it comes to rodents, where there is a will, there’s a way.

  27. misscindylou says:

    Okay Shannon, last time I check your comments before I go to bed! LOL, you all are killing me with these stories. But I can indeed feel your pain as we recently had an army of mice come into to our 2 year old house. Slowly and steadily we have killed most of them off, but I still have at least one since I heard it today. Ick!

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