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Local Directory for Ottawa, ON


Morse Code Mystery Solved

I woke up earlier this morning to the sound of Morse Code coming from my livingroom. The dog was sleeping beside me, so I knew it wasn’t the sound of his paws tapping on something while he dreamt of chasing bunny rabbits. I figured it must be the birds, trying to break their toys or something. I got dressed and went and sat at my computer in the livingroom. Tap, tap, tap. Long, short, long long. Dash-dot-dash-dash.

I looked over at the birds, who were being unusually quiet and attentive – they too were trying to discern the source of the Morse Code. Dash-dot-dot. My eyes drifted downwards to the humane trap at the base of the bird cage. It was put there two months ago by my landlord, after I saw a mouse ambling across the livingroom like he owned the joint. I found it very disconcerting that he didn’t even bother to run when he saw me. Anyway, two months of waiting, and now it appears that the Morse Code was coming from the humane trap. I went over and peered down into the trap – sure enough, there he was, a small rodent tapping out Mouse Code SOS messages to his luckier brethren.

So I went about my business…fed the dog, fed the birds, fed the fish, made some breakfast, drank some coffee, went to the gym, bought some groceries…like any other Sunday. But one thought keeps coming back to me: what should I do about the mouse? It’s all very well to get a humane trap, but it’s not very humane if you let the poor creature starve to death, is it? I could let him go, but it seems somewhat inhumane to let him loose outside in an Ottawa winter. Besides, I don’t even know how to open the trap. I guess I could drop some birdseed in through the grate of the cage, so he can eat, and maybe squirt a little water in there for him, so he can freshen up. I could call a friend and ask them to help me, but my friends all fall into one of two categories: the kind who would want to turn it into a pet and make clothes and toys for it and feed it peanut butter sandwiches, and the kind who would scoff at the whole idea of a humane trap and want to kill it with a hammer or a gun.

If anybody out there has any suggestions on what to do about the Mouse, I’d love to hear from you.

UPDATE: here he is – this photo was taken through the window of the mouse trap:

3 comments to Morse Code Mystery Solved

  • Since the mouse probably came into your house to get away from the winter, it does seem mean to throw him out in the snow. Perhaps you could take him to a place where there is the shelter of bushes, trees and undergrowth – a small copse of trees, maybe near the bike path or something. Then when you let him out, at least he has a chance of making a nest under the base of the bushes. You could even leave him some food where you let him out and feel better about it all!
    Good luck.

  • Excellent idea Julia! I especially like it because we’re supposed to have relatively mild weather the next few days, so he won’t freeze to death while getting settled. I tried to implement your idea – right down to the bike path – but I can’t figure out how to open the Mouse Master trap! I’ve got an email in to the manufacturer.

  • […] I feel in some ways my life is going round in circles or cycles, but in other ways it’s branching out into interesting new territory. I’ve been pretty busy lately with packing (I’m up to 81 packed boxes now, and still going strong), so I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like. Nevertheless, I could point you towards previous blog entries that seem to be echoing current themes in my life. For example, I’m packing and moving just like I packed and moved last February. Homeless Dave X will be living in my vacant apartment for the last 8 days of the month, just like he did last February, in return for cleaning it. I have another mouse in the house (remember the capture and domestication and liberation of Frankie?). […]