On Friday I wanted to grill some chicken for dinner. I turned on the gas, lifted the lid, set the burners and WHOOSH, flames shot up out of the right side of the grill. I thought the grates must be greasy from last time we cooked out, until I leaned in and realized I had just set some kind of nest on fire. And that there was a mouse running out of it. And that mouse HAD BABIES DANGLING FROM HER ABDOMEN!
Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! I turned off the burners and flung open the doors below the grill to figure out where she was going. I reached for the grease pan thinking they had dropped into there and I could transfer them all into the underbrush off the side of the deck, but NO! There was one baby mouse the size of my thumb and with its eyes still looking fused rolling around on its back on the floor of the cabinet. And the mama mouse was escaping out the back, with two of five babies in tow. Two other babies were scrambling around blindly inside the cabinet, while their sibling – who I think fell from the top – had rolled out of the cabinet and onto the deck. I’m pretty sure he suffered some kind of head injury. I put him back inside the cabinet and ran inside to find some kind of small box that I could put the remaining babies into so mama mouse could come back and get them.
The only thing I could find in my agitated and guilt-ridden state was a plastic pan from the girls’ play kitchen. I grabbed my dish washing gloves and slipped them on. Back out to the deck and Baby Head Injury was again rolling around on his back on the deck. I grabbed him and the other two and put them in the plastic pan, which I set inside the cabinet, leaving the doors open so they could be retrieved by their no doubt panic-stricken mother.
Twenty minutes later my curiosity was eating me alive. Also I wasn’t sure about the location of our cat. This is what I found:
For a brief moment of insanity I thought I would just bring him inside, put him in the empty hamster cage and raise him.
Seriously. I actually thought that.
Then I came to my senses. After all, we’re going out of town next weekend. Who would take care of it then?
I like to think that the mom came back for the other two, but they were pretty feisty so it’s more likely they climbed out on their own. Maybe they were reunited with their family. Maybe they fell to their own head injury off the side of the deck. I put this guy in his pan beside the chimney so he was out of the wind and the next morning he was gone. Again, I like to think his mother came for him, although I doubt it.
But at least I know how the grill cover got that hole in it.