Could there be a movie called Ballad of a Deer Mouse? The Mouse guerilla moves cross-country, through many interactions and adventures, returning to what he thinks is his new home.
Only it's my home, you cable-chewing little collectivists.
Know Your Enemy.
Further analysis reveals that deporting Mice a distance of, for example, 150 yards (or meters) from the house merely creates a "catch and release" situation. "When both house mice and deer mice inhabiting granaries in grassland in Alberta were displaced, homing behaviour was poorly expressed in house mice, but well developed in deer mice."
Some went 1500 meters, even crossing a river and bypassing areas of good habitat.
Another researcher reports, "One [radio-collared Peromyscus] mouse was traced as it returned to its nest 300 meters in 1 hour. This rate of homing is many times more rapid than the rate usually determined by conventional methods for tracking small terrestrial mammals."
The owner of a cafe in Westcliffe, Colo., said last Thursday (as we shared Year of the Rodent stories) that her daughter and son-in-law, who live near the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, had live-trapped some deer mice and marked them with dabs of nail polish. These were released more than a mile from their house, and at least two came back to be re-captured.
It's Not About Us
When I was at CU-Boulder in the 1980s, I had a friend who moved from Nederland, up in the mountains, to an apartment in town. It was about twenty miles by car. Somehow in the move, her cat ran off and could not be found in Nederland. Some weeks later, it showed at the apartment — where it had never been before!
We have all heard such stories. There was even a book and a Disney movie about one such "incredible journey."
Our collie-mix dog, the late Shelby, disappeared one winter — I was pretty sure that she was stolen and I had some suspects in mind, but they had disappeared from the area. Two months later, about 8:30 in the morning, she came walking up the driveway, skinny and with her claws worn down to nubs. We never knew where she came back from or how far she came.
These stories are heart-warming because they show us that our companion critters are indeed incredible, and they want to be with us.
The Mice don't want to be with us. They just want what is ours.
I got five last night in one trap in the garage, all young recruits still in their gray basic uniforms. I was going to town, so they went five miles down the road to what may become the new deportation site, at the edge of a large pasture.
Maybe I should set aside some nail polish.