When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

15 March 2006

Letters, we get letters

Some of the best communications we receive, unfortunately, aren't in the form of public comments; they arrive as private e-mail messages (since I list an e-mail address in my profile, and some people are apparently more comfortable with that mode of communication.)

You wouldn't believe how many people turn up at this blog after Googling (or Yahooing, or MSN-ing) for information on "mouse control." (They find this post, of course.)

Here's a recent note I received:
hi there,

love your site - am entranced by yr account of how the cat saved your life by taking care of the mice.

i live in manhattan and am having the worst mouse problem.

have been thinking of getting/borrowing a cat to do the job. would love to compare notes.

relish your success.
And my response:
Thanks for your kind words.

Mister Gato has worked out beautifully well in every respect. We are vermin-free and have been for over a year now, but most importantly we are incredibly attached to the cat, as he is to us. He loves our dogs, and is the most affectionate little guy in the world (to us) in addition to being a totally ruthless killing machine (to all members of order Rodentia.)

A couple of words of advice.

-- There are cats languishing in shelters all over New York, so there's no shortage of places to pick from. Robert Shapiro at Social Tees in the East Village is a total mensch and at any given time he's got lots of lovely cats to choose from; he will want to check you out and talk with you first, of course.

-- There's no guarantee that any given cat will be a good mouser; we got lucky. But the smell of cat in the house will do much to deter mice; they aren't stupid.

-- It is generally wise *not* to tell an animal rescue operation that you're looking for a cat because you have a mouse problem. They will be predisposed to think of you as not a good candidate for pet ownership. If you're willing to give a deserving animal a good home for ten or fifteen years and scoop out litterboxes and make sure he or she gets fed and watered every day and brushed regularly, though, you can have a cool new friend *and* a mouse-free house in all likelihood. :-)

-- If you adopt a cat from a shelter, get a good vet to check him or her out thoroughly, IMMEDIATELY. The shelters do the best they can, but sometimes these animals have medical issues that need addressing.

Personally, I cannot recommend adopting a cat highly enough. I was always a dog person, but I have to say that I would not consider for a second keeping house without at least one dog and at least one cat in it now.

All best,


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