Mouse, Mortimer J. 2014 – 2017 A spunky, urban brownish-grey mouse residing in the garden at the Ranch, “Mortie” recently passed peacefully. As a frequent and swift-moving critter in the Poodles’ garden, he took up permanent residence in the compost bins. Internment services honoring his short life were held on a recent sunny autumn day. Mortie enjoyed
scaring the crap outaeveryone when dashing about and crocheting nest tunnels from grass clippings in the bins. He provided much entertainment for Ranch residents.
Contributions may be made to the Denver Dumb Friends League.
We’ve had a garden mouse for the past few years that I named “Mortimer” after the first time I saw his speedy retreat into the flowers and who I enjoyed seeing whenever he would show up thereafter. Mortie was a tiny, brownish-grey little guy who was quick as a wink, even by mouse standards. Convinced he had been some Olympian competing in the mouse 40-yard dash with beady little eyes, adorably whiskers and tiny little toes, he wormed his way into my heart after dashing into the tall flowers when I wandered into the garden, not to be seen again. Well, that is, until the next time.
For the past year or so, it seemed Mortie moved up from tall flowers and ground cover to luxuriously nesting and noshing in our 3 compost bins, enjoying strawberry hulls and other bio-scraps. Elsa would make a beeline toward the compost bins first before making her way to the potty area of the dog run and I always thought she was checking for squirrels since they have been known to hit the bin too. But since the bins had been sort of squirrel-proofed recently, it’d just been Mortie enjoying morsels. Truth be told I didn’t mind, he was adorably tiny and, come on…you gotta admit pretty cotton-picking cute and I figured he was more than fast enough to elude the Ninja. The little fella reminded me of a European character known as “Uli Maus” created by German cartoonist, Uli Stein. When a dear friend’s dad introduced me to Uli years ago, I knew I had to bring one back as a souvenir of that special trip so I found a pocket-sized version that always makes me smile. See the similarity?
When Elsa catches the scent of a critter-trail around the neighborhood she repeatedly investigates that same spot over and over even if they haven’t been there in ages, convinced they were once there and will probably be again. Recently her attention has focused on one bin in particular where I had heard Mortie scurrying around on occasion. Elsa seemed to think she knew where he was too and would often chase ‘mouse shadows’ especially at night. The other day she came back in the house with something in her mouth. When I told her to ‘drop it’ because gawd only knows what she’d eat, lo and behold, a tiny little fur ball with a long tail was promptly spit out. Holy &#@%…are you kidding me? Grateful for her compliance, I quickly scooped up the tiny lifeless body and carried him out to a permanent resting place. I doubt she was responsible especially since a few days later when I was ‘feeding’ the
mouse buffet compost bin, I saw yet another casualty. No telling what caused the passing of either of these two little guys since no autopsy was performed. Perhaps they were older but it still made me just a little sad. No more skittering flashes out of the corner of my eye with just an inkling of a tail diving into cover. Unless there are other family members left behind for which I’ll be on the alert, because…well you know…survivors benefits. Elsa will not be in attendance at the reading of the will.
Seriously, does this look like the face of a garden exterminator? Yeah, I don’t think so either. Mostly.
At any rate, let’s pause for a few moments of silence to honor the Uli look-alikes, Mortimer J. Mouse and his unnamed BFF. I hardly knew either of you but hope you lived happy lives in the compost bin. At least it was organic nibbles. Rest in peace little buddies.
Live, love, bark! ❤︎