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Monday, January 30, 2023

Real Life – Animal planet


Although it was never my intention to deter our grown children from the joys of home ownership, our many domestic adventures may be cautionary tales. A case in point is “the rodent-cam.”

In response to the unnerving appearance of some uninvited human visitors to our Wisconsin place one frosty winter night at 10PM, my husband convinced me that the obvious measure was to install motion-sensing cameras. I protested that this would be personally intrusive, opined that we may be getting paranoid, but in the end, they were a great idea.

Connected to our cell phones, these cameras became our surrogates. Warning people coming to work in the house in my absence that they were being watched probably limited forays into the beer fridge, and various other shenanigans. We made sure to tell the neighbors about our surveillance, too. This no doubt cut down on unauthorized pier and raft usage, not to mention any urge to peek in the windows to see what changes we had made.

What started as a deterrent to errant human behavior morphed into a tool in pursuit of one of my favorite pastimes: forensics. The subject of investigation was leaving a mess behind, had spent time in one of our beds with some friends, and definitely needed to be located, exposed and contained. In sum, we had mice.

Mice don’t know about cameras, of course, but they seem to notice when something is different, and our little buddies definitely did. Viewing our short videos of mouse tails as they’re running by, or a snout sniffing a camera under a sink proved amusing. Meanwhile, it allowed us to discover likely entry points, and turned something creepy into a game.

The video-sleuthing continues beneath our Naperville deck. Watching beetles and chipmunks was fun, but our growing possum colony is less appealing. For that homeowner issue, the experts have been called.

Meanwhile, it may be time to record the cats. (c)

Patti Koltes
Patti Koltes
Real Life © by Patti Koltes. Contact her at pkoltes@gmail.com.