|Nomadic SA Chick||
This was an interesting weekend in Anchorage. It all started Thursday night. Picture this .....
It was about 10:00 PM, and I was sitting on the couch reading the dreadful book Watership Down. As I am forcing myself to process the crap Adams put into the kindling I hear some strange and extrememly active noises coming from the cats. I sit further up, look over the back of the couch towards the kitchen and I see Achilles with something in his mouth and Lenore batting at it. I get up to go check it out. As I move closer to the cats Lenore bats the thing out of Achilles mouth and I see this little grey thing scurry around the apartment with the cats in fast pursuit of it. Half way across the living room Achilles catches the thing again and starts shaking it around in his mouth. Lenore runs up to Achilles, sniffs the thing and tries to take it from him. Well, Achilles isn't having it so he walks off with the grey thing still in his mouth. Lenore cuts him off and once again bats the thing out of Achilles mouth.
By this point I'm totally girling out and have contemplated jumping on top of the ottoman, but I realized that was stupid because obviously my cats were more interested in play catch and release, and catch again, instead of killing the damn thing. Achilles had chased the grey thing back over to near where I was standing where he caught it, again. Lenore still convinced that she should be the one playing it, batted it out of Achilles mouth a third time. This time the grey thing did not scurry away. After all it had been through it was no longer moving with the swagger and speed of a drunken graduate student on drown night. It had taken to stumbling in circles and did not see, to care about getting away. Lenore pushed it over and it struggled to get back up on its feet. I felt sorry for the thing and determined that it should be put out of its misery. I picked up the most sturdy object nearest me, which happened to be a small little Eureka hand vacuum and I gave the little thing two swift whacks with the vacuum. The cats had taken a new interest in the now dead thing, and still wanted to play with it. I shooed the cats away and went to get some paper towels. When I turned around to pick up the dead thing I see Lenore strutting off with it in her mouth. I'm chasing her around the apartment trying to the thing away from her and to dispose of it. Finally she dropped it, and I picked it up and threw it away. Before I disposed of it, I started looking it over and realized that this tiny little thing with super speed was a shrew. It was actually kind of cute, for a dead, squished, and bloody furball.
Now, I am not proud of this moment, and feel awfully bad for the little guy, but homeboy had invaded my turf. More than anything the cats had tortured it, and you could tell he was in distress. It seemed like a more humane option at the time rather him having him die a slow painful death in the paws of my sadistic cats. I wish I could say this was the end of my shrew tail (see what I did there?), but sadly it is not.
Flash forward to Saturday morning. The shrew from Thursday is dead and has long been disposed of, and there have not been any further signs of other shrews hanging about. As I am getting ready to head out shopping I hear that cats scurrying around the apartment what sounded like a frenzy. When I walk into the living room I find both Achilles and Lenore with their noses pressed firmly against the ottoman. I figured that had chased one of their toy mice underneath it and it had gone out of their reach. I pushed the ottoman away so they can get their toy, but I was surprised. What I was expecting was a fake furry mouse. What I found instead was a swift moving grey thing. Another shrew. That bastard. Apparently he didn't get the memo after his friend was killed.
So this new shrew scurries to the back of the apartment with both cats in fast pursuit of him. The little guy runs into the hall closet, and is hiding behind the dresser in there. The cats are frustrated because they want to get to it, but there is no way for the to, so I pull out the bottom drawer of the dresser, and the bottom drawer of the plastic drawers I have in there as well. Then I pull the dresser about a foot away from the wall. The cats now have full access to get to the shrew from either side of the dresser. Achilles, being the brave and noble-ish asshole that he is goes behind the dresser from the left side. He's back there for about 30 seconds and I can hear his body hitting against the dresser. Lenore is waiting for him on the other side of the dresser. This is the side Achilles exits from, carrying the shrew in his mouth. As always, Lenore is eager to play with the little creature, but before she has a chance to bat it away from Achilles, the asshole sneezes and drops the shrew, allowing him to scurry away. I searched up and down my apartment. I pulled drawers out, cleared out the closets, pulled dressers and shelves away from the walls, and still there was no sign of the shrew.
I decided that since I had to go shopping anyway I would pick up some traps and set them to catch the shrew. To be honest, both cats are capable of mousing (or shrewing), but they lack the necessary follow through. They've lived the cushioned life for too long. I assumed shrews could be trapped like mice can, but I figured I'd look it up just to be sure. After an in depth Google search I learned a lot about shrews. The quick and dirty (just the way grandpa likes it) of trapping shrews is that yes, you can use the same kind of trap for a shrew that you would for a mouse, as long as it is a snap trap. Sticky traps or live traps don't work for them because shrews are vicious animals that will gnaw their own legs/tails off to get away. I can understand that, because I've been on a few dates where I've considered doing the same thing. You can't use poison traps either because they do not find these kind of traps tempting. When using snap traps you cannot use the same bate you would for a mouse. It's recommended to use small pieces of hot dog, bologna, or bacon. Shrews are carnivorous that can take down other animals five times their size, and in extreme moments they will eat other shrews. It's also very bad if you get bitten by one because they have venom in their saliva .... OH BOY!
So with all this information in mind, I add snap traps and bologna to my shopping list and set off to Fred Meye's. There was a little part of me that was hoping that while I was gone the cats would find the little guy and take him out. When I get back from Freddy's there is no sign of the shrew being caught and killed, so I put away the groceries and supplies, cut two small pieces of bologna and set the traps. I learned that with shrews you need to put the open end of the snap trap against a wall to encourage the shrews to actually step into the trap. Apparently they are smart little buggers. So I set the traps, and try to teach the cats that they are bad things they should never go near. At this point I decide to tidy up the apartment, and I start by picking up all the cat toys. I push away the ottoman to find any toys they have scattered underneath there. As I push the ottoman away I find the shrew. He's dead and it looks like he bled out. Poor little guy. At least the cats did what they were supposed to do. But once again the cats are all about this dead shrew, and I had to fight Achilles off of it so I could pick it up with a paper towel and throw it away.
I've had the traps set since Saturday (3 days) and as of Tuesday there have not been anymore shrew sightings nor have either of the traps been set off. This may be the end of the shrews, but in case it's not I am prepared.
They call me, The Shrew Killer.