What it was like living with a mouse during the lockdown in Delhi
When you spend time with a mouse, you find out new facts about the furry creatures, some of which can be scary.Updated: Apr 18, 2020 07:26 IST
“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese”, said the actor and activist Willie Nelson.
One of the most common phobias is the fear of mice and rats, known as musophobia. There is also a common belief that elephants are afraid of mice, and an experiment by the Mythbusters (a TV programme that debunked rumours) proved that there may be some truth to this.
I do not have any such phobia of mice, but neither have I imagined living in tranquil existence with one.
A few weeks back due to the lockdown which had been imposed, I was in my house in Lajpat Nagar, sitting on my couch in the drawing-room with my neighbour when suddenly a brownish figure scurried past the floor at lightning speed.
As my neighbour mentioned, there could be a mouse in the house. Later that night I was watching Netflix and had completely forgotten about what had happened earlier. I almost jumped out of my bed because I saw the same mouse at the top of the edge of my bed. The thought which came to my mind is how is it even possible for a mouse to do that?
Now I knew things would not lead to a catastrophic situation like they did in Mouse Hunt (1997), but I wasn’t too comfortable with the idea of a mouse roaming around on my bed while I sleep.
However, you begin to realise all sorts of facts about mice when you spend time with them. Like when you follow it to the kitchen, and it disappears inside a cupboard which has no other exit. That’s when you Google and find out that mice can squeeze through the smallest of spaces, as tiny as 6 mm (the width of a pencil). And when it comes to sneaking upon them, they can sense your presence through sound, smell or touch. Just like Marvel’s Daredevil, their sense of sight is diminished.
My flatmate on the other hand actually suggested that maybe I had imagined the whole ‘mouse scenario.’ Now I understand that soon there will be scientific studies proving how the lockdown situation has affected the mental health of people, but I was pretty sure that I hadn’t imagined anything as of now.
Later that night he asked me if we have a rat cage? Which meant he had finally come face to face with the mouse, and claims of my mouse sighting being false were disproven. He went on to construct a homemade mousetrap comprising our dustbin, a rope, a broken plastic bottle and some biscuits- there are several videos on Youtube by which you can make it yourself. We laid the trap at night, and by the next day realised that while for our innovation we deserved kudos, there would be no tangible result.
Also, there was one more feat I was to learn mice are capable of. One night, I saw it on top of the curtain rod- I mean, how is that even possible? Is it a mutant rat? Does he have webbed feet? Stunned at this new display, all I could do was take a video of it, which you can see below.
Finally, a couple of days later we managed to get the mouse out of our house, and the confirmation came from the neighbours, who informed us that it had entered their house.
I would have loved to have it as a pet, giving it food and playing with it, but I guess we did not have enough time to get to know each other well enough.
The author tweets at @shadowwarior and can be reached at email@example.com and Instagram.com/kabirsinghbhandari