A Wild Weasel and Her Kitten Pay Me a Delightful and Unexpected Visit
The Stories Were True
I have an old house which I inherited from my Mother.
She told me stories about a weasel coming to have a drink from the pet water bowl. I thought perhaps she may have been pulling my leg. Mice yes; weasels no. Weasels are the wild cousins of domestic ferrets. I can understand why people have them as pets.
To me it was just another rural legend in my family. We love stories!
I have to say, I do have weasels in the walls. They are the real thing. I have the pictures to prove it. I must say, I was rather taken by the little critters. Bold as brass and not the least bit afraid of humans...and kinda cute at that. Momentarily, the thought passed through my mind that maybe I could make pets of them.
Common sense prevailed. They are cute, but one cat is enough. I can't say my cat has been a good hunter and kept the mice at bay. I think I have the weasels to thank for that. The cat has been busted as a hunter
So how did I get to hold a weasel? Read on.
What is that Chirping Sound?
I had heard that chirping sound before but when it began in the walls of the living room accompanied with scratching it seemed like maybe something was going on. I had always assumed the chirping sound was mice. Not so.These critters were bigger and in the vicinity of wiring. Not a good scenario.
How to get them out; whatever they were?
It seemed likely there was a baby animal and a larger one involved. Was the baby stuck? After one night thinking what to do I had a plan: create a tube out of leftover screen material, open the electrical outlet and staple the tube to the wall and see what crawls out. A noose was placed at the neck of the tube to cinch it shut and to prevent the critter from popping back into the wall.
Sounds crazy, eh?
Hey, it did work!
Out popped a weasel and quick as a wink the critter was contained. Pictures ensued of the little guy. Turns out it was a gal and a Mommy at that.
She looked at us and tried to figure out where she was. Not frightened one bit as she assessed her captors. Not a sound and no struggle. The bottoms of her paws were cute and pink. She was released at the back of the house in the mistaken notion that her Mommy would find her. In less than fifteen minutes she was back in the wall.
Well, she retrieved her baby. So that did work out as planned.
Then later in the day the cat got nosey around the baseboards looking behind furniture like there was something afoot.
Will the Real Baby Pop Its Head Up?
I began to search for what the cat was looking for. A mouse on the loose?
Out popped a little head that was the miniature of the weasel we had just released. This was the real baby.
He was avoiding the cat and trying to get away. The cat relaxed and lay down to watch this "cute new toy." He is, after all, a city cat raised on stuffed toys. How would he know this was supposed prey? That is when I realized he would never harm a mouse. My cat is no killer. The baby weasel came out and took a good look at the cat. Came within six inches of his face. My cat just appreciated his cuteness.
Which was just as well. I did not want him to harm the potential "mouser" in training. Turns out the little guy was heading for the door anyway. It wasn't so difficult to get him out...just open the door and the little guy stood at the doorway and jumped out.
All is Well
The walls are quiet. Mom and baby have moved somewhere else but I have no doubt they are somewhere close by.
My home is an old log home that harbors wildlife easily. Mice are a constant problem and believe it, there are also snakes in the logs as well,(I do believe I have a Hub on them too) Fortunately those snakes are all harmless. The weasels are needed as a natural predator.
What was unexpected and delightful was how exciting it was to see this animal up close and personal. What I learned later was they could release an unpleasant odor. Fortunately, this one was friendly enough. Perhaps she is related to the weasels my Mother saw years ago. Maybe they have their own legend about the people that live here. Maybe we are all family.
I know I feel a special kinship to them, now that I have seen them. I won't feel so panicked when I hear them chirping knowing they are ferreting out the mice.