Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Sminthophobe

There were mice scrabbling in my walls yesterday evening, so what did I do? I went running to my Dear Husband, Sminthius, to come to my rescue. He set some traps in the attic, but I was still awakened at four am by the sounds of scratching and gnawing.

How many lab mice have I handled in my life? I daren't count. Why can't I stand a mouse in my house? I'm a sminthophobe.

Lab mice and wild mice are very different animals. (I could write a book...)

In fact, wild mice are very different from each other. Of course there are different species, but they can be classified another way, by their relationships with humans.

Truly wild mice, ABORIGINAL mice, live their lives completely independently of humans. They don't eat our food or invade our homes. They may never have contact with humans or our stuff at all.

COMMENSAL mice, like the ones in my ceiling, rely on humans for food and/or shelter, even if it's only for a part of their lives (like winter).

FERAL mice are mice that used to be commensal, but have abandoned their human neighbors and "gone native."

So now you know.

I still want them OUT OF MY HOUSE!