Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

The old rhyme goes:

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock

Only in our case the mouse did not run down.

Kitty, one of the cats our late mother had at the time, brought home a live mouse, he evaded the cats, ran under the grandfather clock in the corner of our living room and took up residence inside.

He must have climbed up the pendulum as he popped out to sit on the top but then disappeared inside again. We knew he was in there but could never catch him. The cats were on standby for when he did. How he survived we don’t know, but he did for a few uneasy days and nights for us, it’s not nice knowing a rodent is sharing your house.

Then one morning we saw a little bump under the fireside rug, Mickey must have ventured out in the night and was pounced on. Sad for him but there wasn’t much we could have done. Kitty and Bert weren’t the best of mousers.

An elderly couple of neighbours had a mouse in their house one day and asked our mam if they could borrow our cats. So off they went to do the job. But did they? No, they made themselves at home there, they curled up in front of the coal fire and went to sleep. They showed no interest in catching that mouse and were sent home in disgrace, their street cred in tatters!

One day Bert brought one into the garden and sat on it until he got tired of being outside, so he stood up, strolled in for his dinner and the mouse ran away.

Years later we had Ebony and Popsy, they were quite good mousers, but like Walter and Jozef do now, they would bring home the mouse, dead or alive and that was it, their duty done.

Jozef is an expert mouser but he stands looking in the window with his catch in his mouth and we know not to let him bring it in, although sometimes he fools us by laying it down then grabbing it when the window opens.

So thanks to Jozef we ended up one day with a very lively mouse in the kitchen. Babz is terrified of them. I’m not too keen when they run, since one ran up my leg in my first vets days of being kennel maid, so amidst both of us screaming I managed to chase it out of the open door with a brush.

It was not so easy the morning Walter sneaked in with one! We didn’t know until we saw him paying attention to a tiny hole in the wall, by the front door, we thought maybe it was a spider he was watching, but no it was a mouse. He reached in, grabbed it and ran upstairs and chaos ensued in Barbara’s bedroom. The bed was upended, us two searching for the elusive mouse while Walt and Jo looked on for a while with great interest, then went off downstairs.

Eventually we discovered Mickey’s hiding place and corralled him and took him outside in a bucket. Babz was very brave that day…..or desperate, maybe..lol as she had to go to work and didn’t fancy coming home to an extra bed mate.

It’s sad when mice are caught and sometimes killed but that’s Nature and the world would be overrun with rodents were it not for cats.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

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Hickory Dickory Dock — 46 Comments

  1. Ruth Akka Kattaddorra another excellent and hilarious cat and mouse picturisation with your personal experiences. Your home in England reminds me of the village cats during my visits to my parents ancestral village in Mangalore during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Akin to England these Indian village houses were huge palatial farm houses having cattle stables with rice farming being the main house-hold occupation.Cats were kept to control the rodent population that damaged the rice crop grains stored in the house warehouse room. These cats often caught snakes instead of common rats besides sometimes the odd bird. Thats nature.

    • Yes – snakes – I think also the cats in Egypt were catching snakes as well as rodents. Snakes can be dangerous so the cats are doing a serious job.

  2. Thanks Rudolph, I’m glad we don’t have snakes in England, I can just imagine our boyz dragging them home.
    At our old home we had a large field which the farmer grew crops in, the other side of our garden fence, a cat’s hunting paradise.
    At this house we have a railway embankment behind the houses here, with trees and shrubs and grass and lots of mice which keep the neighbourhood cats busy.
    I would hate to live anywhere where cats can’t have the freedom and the enriched life they were born for.

    • There are NO snakes in all of England? How can that be? Wow, I learn something every day. It has been a warm winter and there have already been rattlesnake sighting here. I see a few very useful snakes in the garden during spring and summer. Cats seem to know who and what to stay away from for the most part.

      Great article and poster Ruth.

      • Thanks Dorothy.
        People have pet snakes here but as far as I know, none live wild, I’ve never seen one in all my life anyway.

      • There are grass snakes (non-poisonous and very small) and adders are still around but probably rare. They are poisonous but no one has died in the UK for 20 years from an adder bite. They are the only UK poisonous snake. Never seen one or a grass snake. Gotta be well hidden and rare and also live deep in the country.

        There is far more wildlife still left in the wild in the USA. You’ll catch up with the UK. We destroyed most of it over the past 200 years 😉

      • Thanks Michael, that was my intention, a bit of light hearted humour amidst all the serious animal welfare stuff we face every day.
        I must admit I enjoy designing funny posters rather than serious ones but sad things have to be addressed too, don’t they.

  3. mice arent so bad its full adult rats i cant stand. Our Ozzie black cat usually catches them, but there are times have to time catch the rat in the cat cage.

    • Thankfully we don’t see many rats here, I love all animals but rats do make me shudder, I think it’s their long thick tails make them more scary than mice lol

      • lol – so you are scared of mice 🙂 – I can’t say I like them but I do feel awfully sorry for them when they get caught by a cat. I just saw this the other day – Red/Molly’s mama brought home a live mouse for the young one to play with. Poor thing was squeaking and trying to get away – it was very sad. Some cats don’t care so much to kill than to just catch and play with. Other cats eat most of mouse. I prefer if they don’t just for the simple reason I don’t want my cats to have worms. But that’s hard to avoid.

        • I’d rather meet a mouse than a spider though lol
          Yes it’s sad hearing a mouse squeak but it’s Nature and Nature is beautiful but sometimes cruel, Walt and Jo say it’s a cat’s job to keep the world’s rodent population under control.

    • What will happen I wonder if in years to come there are no free roaming cats? All domestic cats kept imprisoned, feral cats all killed off, as some people want to happen!
      Another plague maybe?
      Humans are messing with Nature far too much, taking everything away from small cats, making big cats extinct.
      What a sad state of affairs this world is in now.

  4. Oh the memories, tipping the furniture up, trying to corral mice with boards, screaming when they run at me arghhh. And remember the time we had all the contents of under the stairs out and the door open and the mouse ran through the hoover hose and out of the front door? It’s illogical to be scared of teeny little mice but it’s the way they dart about that gets me, poor things though I’m sure I would dart about if something a hundred times bigger than me was trying to play games with me. Speaking of snakes (arrggggh) the chap in the corner had a big pet one and didn’t it go missing and turn up in somebody’s garden a good few years ago now? That would have finished me off for good.
    Another thing that I’m scared of is ferrets because they bite and this morning I think I’ve volunteered Ruth and me to see to a woman’s 6 cats and a house ferret if she has to go into hospital as she expects she might, apparently this house ferret is friendly but she has 2 more that are not! I hope she can find a ferret sitter or we might need gauntlets to see to them as well for her. That little adventure will be good for another poster and article from Ruth :-)(444111111111111111111111111111111 message from Walter who has just walked over my keyboard en route to my chair))

        • Not a conwoman, and very kind and generous as she brought some cat food in for CP and is going to sign up for a monthly DD to Marion’s branch but by her own admission her place could do with a good clean up! Ooerrr, we’ll have to wait and see if she needs us then pay a pre-care visit to see how bad it is. 🙂

  5. Ruth AKA.
    I would never be able to choose which of your posters I like the most.
    What a creative mind you have.
    This poster is hilarious. Is that you lifting the bed and Babz looking under or visa versa?
    I’m rarely gifted with a mouse; but, snakes and lizards are common. I, also, have some excellent fly catchers here.

    P.S. I’m a little scarce these days gearing up for the vaccination project; but, I’m checking in from time to time. I, also, haven’t forgotten about the article Michael asked me to write. I’m really busy and am going to try a new trapping method that may make everything easier.

    • Thanks Dee, creative and crazy lol
      Babz is always on lifting and peeking and screaming duty when we get a mouse in the house, I scream too if the mouse runs but we scream as silently as possible if the boyz are in so as not to frighten them.
      I was wondering how the vaccination plans are going, such a huge undertaking, I take it you must know each and every cat so as you can keep a check of who is done.
      I could do with some more inspiration from your wonderful comments, I’ve got ‘posters block’ lol

      • Making my lists; checking them twice. During TNR, I actually trapped 3 cats that had already been done and didn’t know because it was so dark. It sets me back to retrap the same ones, letting them go and moving on.

        Because I have no doubt that they remember last time, I’m starting to leave my traps out and opened for periods of time, hoping they will get comfortable and go in and out at will. then, maybe, when I set them, things will go easier and I won’t have to tackle so many, rolling around on the ground with them wrapped in blankets, and rush them into a trap.
        I know I look a fright when I get to the clinic – filthy, hair matted, pouring sweat.
        At least, this year, maybe the staff won’t look so surprised.

          • Wish you were here too, R.
            You’re already an expert at crawling on all fours (looking for mice), braving the dark and mysterious (wells), and acting a fool (just like me).
            You would be such an asset, and I would need Babz to be our cheerleader, “Go, go, go, go!”.

            • We both crawled through hedges and in ditches and climbed fences and went around like a couple of scarecrows in our Cats Protection Feral Officer days doing TNR lol but with my age and Babz painful joints it got too much for us and younger volunteers do it now.
              Oh, the times we’ve been cast on the ground with giggles at the state of each other, the tears we’ve shed, the happiness when things have gone right, we miss it all.

              • When I saw you’d put we’d crawled through hedges and ditches I thought you were writing about our Sunday morning adventures of a few years back, healthy walks they were supposed to be but the situations we ended up in were a bit dodgy, sucking mud, planks with nails sticking up causing A&E visits, snowstorms, sliding down banks into beds of more mud, walking across wobbling plank bridges, all in the name if fitness ha ha. But also plenty of laughter, same as when doing our bit for CP, I do miss it 😉

    • Don’t worry Dee. I love to read what you have to say through first hand experience of caring for ferals in the USA. It is priceless insider knowledge but don’t stress yourself out. We just enjoy your company.

  6. I had a mouse poke it’s .head out from under my fridge/freezer one morning lol.I don’t scream any more as you get used to them ,where it went from there I don’t know.They haven’t brought any in lately but I’m probably speaking too soon lol.

  7. yea mouse is ok. Just cant stand rat. Esp when our cats dont do a thing about them. We seem to be getting abit more rats with the wet weather and got long grass and bush area close by.

    • Yes there’s just something unlovable about rats isn’t there? I don’t know how people keep them as pets, not long ago someone we know had one of her rats escape its cage (poor things in cages) and took up residence in the kitchen cupboard behind the water pipes. Came out at night and chewed all sorts up, they had to eventually take the kitchen units apart to get it. I’d never have slept a wink if a rat was in our kitchen, would you?

  8. we had a situition where the rat climbed up behind the oven chewed the cord and was building a nest under the element of the stove. Had to get electrian in landlord wasnt too impressed. I guess its the fact rats got teeth. My other sister in christchurch as i got 4 sisters has too sweet rats in a cage. They are adoreable. Though i think its the outside rats that are a problem. Urd think they would think twice coming into a house where there is 4 Cats !! i know if i was a rat i wouldnt want to.

    • Oh no! Behind the oven lol Do all your sisters love cats too Kylee?
      Yes rats are supposed to be brainy, maybe only the thick ones come in houses where cats live lol
      I think you should write an article about some of your cats adventures.

      • yea some of them do my younger sister is a mostly dog person but tolerates a cats for her boys. We grew up with cats, i was always afraid of dogs as had a scare when i was younger.

  9. Oh Ruth you and Barbara make me laugh so much! 🙂 I would so love to be a fly on the wall in your house should a live mouse take up residence! Mind you I would probably drop off the wall through laughing so much!! Your posters tell such a story I don’t know how you do it!

    Me I like mice to be honest but not really in the house. Honey catches lots of Mice and Voles in the summer and if I hear them squeaking I run out to take them off her and free them before too much damage is done. Sad to say though not often I can save them but I still won’t let her torture then to death I bring them in and lay them to rest so they can pass away peacefully.

    • Thanks Leah, yes every picture tells a story lol
      Honey sounds to be an expert mouser doing a good job, like our boyz do, I know it’s sad but if it wasn’t for cats, rodents would be rife.
      The only time Walter ever growls is when he’d defending his catch, one thing about him and Jo is they usually administer the fatal ‘neck bite’ quickly.
      Yet sometimes they drop them and walk away, obviously our turn to have a gift from them, we must have done something to please them lol

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