Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mouse eats ENTIRE tube of oil paint! (including half the metal tube itself)

Meridee was a bit distraught to find that a mouse had taken up dining in her car, on a brand new tube of oil paint of all things.
She was particularly miffed that she hadn't even got to use this color before the mouse found it.

As you can see, it ate all the paint, and half the metal tube as well.
Well we had to catch it, so I put some peanut butter in a couple of small plastic live traps which operate by gravity, and put one in the front of the car and one in the trunk the other evening.

I've heard plenty of horror stories of mice and pack rats chewing through wiring and causing hundreds, or sometimes thousands of dollars worth of damage in vehicles around here.
In fact I remember on a documentary once it said rodents cause more fire damage to buildings by chewing on wires than any other cause.

The morning came, so I checked my traps and found one open and one closed, but both had been moved several inches from where I'd put them.

The closed one didn't seem any heavier than the open one, so I opened the door and peered inside, still half expecting a small furry torpedo to come shooting out.
Nothing inside.
No mouse, and no peanut butter. No peanut butter in the other one either.

But lots of teeth marks all over the plastic where the determined beast had been trying to chew his way in.

Time for plan B.

I picked up another gravity operated trap (the mouse walks up a see-saw type ramp, which goes down to let him in, but swings back up again when he steps off it, preventing escape).

The JT Eaton Repeater was spacious with a window in the top, so I smeared in a bunch of peanut butter, popped it in the car and settled down to watch some TV.
I couldn't resist checking it later in the evening.

Lo and behold, a rather large mouse was happily chomping away on the peanut butter.

Since this trap is a repeater, and will catch as many mice as will fit inside, I had to check again before I went to bed.
Still just the one mouse.

I noticed that he was pooping all over the peanut butter. Would a mouse eat peanut butter with his own poop in  it?

Would he chew through the plastic viewing screen and escape?

Nothing to do now but go to bed and check again in the morning.

Morning came and out I went.
My life must lack excitement because I found all this suspense rather fun.

The lonely mouse was still there.
He'd given up on the peanut butter. It seems he preferred it smooth rather than crunchy!
So there are limits to what a mouse will eat.

Next all that was left was to drive him far away, pop up the lid, and let him go.

He liked hiding under the teeter totter door at first, and wouldn't leave.

But eventually he hopped out and scampered away up the path and disappeared down a hole under a juniper bush.
I hope he likes Juniper berries, since there's no shortage of them around his new home!

Our car was parked outside, but now I'm curious to see if we have any mice in our garage.
Might as well put those crunchy peanut butter leftovers to good use and find out tonight!

This particular rodent trap seems perfect for anyone with a pest control issue, especially if they don't like needlessly snuffing out the short lives of critters who like us, are lucky enough to have been born in the first place.

I suppose since this is a sculpture blog this would be a good place to add a picture of my bronze mice...

Besides that, I've been busy picking up bronzes and patinating them this last week, including (among lots of other things) these rabbits and turtles.

With the rabbits relaxing lazily while the turtles diligently move slowly forward, it's almost like they're trying to tell me something...

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille


JewelD said...

That is too funny! I have a pet mouse in my studio who I let run around on my desk all the time. I've never had him show any interest in my oil paints (though he has tried munching on some of the wood handles of my brushes, before.)

BTW, friends of mine who know my love for mice, told me about your bronze statues. You're very talented! I've really enjoyed looking at your work.


Steve sculpts critters said...

Hello JewelD, I reckon you probably feed your pet mouse, so my guess is it isn't lacking calories and whatever vitamins and minerals might be present in a tube of oil paint!
Glad you like my critters, thanks for visiting!
Cheers too!

Studio Gal Shannon said...

I've seen your mice statues a few places online and thought I check it out. Your work is excellent. I don't get it about you (or JewelD) liking mice so much but your results are delightful. Definitely bookmarking you.

Steve sculpts critters said...

Thanks Shannon.
What's not to like about mice (apart from eating your food, infesting your house, causing it to burn down by eating wires, spreading disease, giving you fleas, pooping everywhere etc)? I mean except for a few minor flaws they're just cute little funsters!
And let's not forget, for a lot of other critters, they're nature's snack food!

beckielboo said...

I love it! It's hard to find a real mouse admirer!

Last year, I read that Stella Violano had a pet studio mouse, it passed away & she replaced it with a rescue rabbit! But since I was just setting up my studio, I had to have a studio mouse. My pet store only had gerbils - so I got "her" and named her Mouse. She bites & I can only handle her wearing 2 pair of garden gloves! Can you believe this? Pit-i-ful!

I've been following you since I saw Jelaine's photo. I love your project! So far, I've found photo's at Chris Beck, Jeffrey Hayes, Karen Appleton & Michael Naples. Since there are about 20 participating artists, I'm constantly on the lookout for the others. Fabulous project Steve. Let me know if you need an amateur painter - ha! ha!

Thanks for all the fun,

Steve sculpts critters said...

Hi Beckie,
I think it might be time to officialy 'announce' my mouse project here on my blog. I was holding off until I had a healthy stack of images to put up, but I've got some now so I think that might be this weekend's post!
Thanks for checking in and enjoying my ramblings!
Looks like you enjoy your garden as well as your painting, I'll bet it's a lot different gardening in Florida than it is here in Santa Fe (I only know second hand from Meridee who does all the digging and planting and watering at our place!).
I just watch the lizards, snakes and hummers.

Dan Young said...

Hi Steve, I too found your blog through Jeffrey Hayes mouse picture, but I also saw some of your mice being painted by another artist cant remmebr who....either way what a great idea, if you are looking for more artists I would love to be involved, one of your mice would be a great object to paint in my daily painting blog, 'Dan Young, Daily'...