The Suitcase Lady


October 14, 2014, 10:03 pm

Fall is being assertive. Memories of summer are rapidly fading as the maples flame and the nighttime temperatures flirt with freezing.

Our yard produced a bumper crop of asters this autumn in colors a grade school girl would love; pink, purple and magenta. The last stragglers of the monarch migration are flocking to these starry flowers and drinking like drunks. The bees are their drinking buddies.


Another straggler, a grosbeak, was in our feeders a few days ago.  He was busily chipping off the suet. I wanted to tell him to get going as his trip to Central America will be a long one.

Fall preparations are happening inside as well.  Yesterday, I threw an empty paper grocery bag on the kitchen floor. Our little brown tabby, Sasha, likes to hide in bags. But this time she worked hard to turn her bag into a snug nest. Perhaps this is an omen about the severity of the upcoming winter.



The mice are looking for winter homes, too.  As the temperatures drop, they’re heading inside. I spotted a wee mouse sitting on top of my beach boots in the garage. “That’s why I always shake out my boots before I put them on,”  I said to my husband.

The cats have earned their keep as mousers lately. Beatrix was seen streaking through the basement with a victim dangling from her mouth. Since we don’t live in the Netherlands, I will not feel  compelled to photograph the mouse. See the article below.

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Wanted: Dutch cats to catch mice for research

cat and mouse

All in the name of scientific research. Photo: Lxowle via wikimedia commons

Dutch radio show Vroege Vogels (early birds) and nature monitoring website are appealing for Dutch cats and their owners to help determine the make-up of the Netherlands’ mouse population.

Cat owners are being asked to send in photographs of mice caught by their pets along with details of where the animal was caught. Mice experts will then assess the type of mouse in an effort to build up a detailed picture of the spread of different types of mice.

‘Most cat owners don’t really appreciate it if Tiger or Minoes bring in a dead mouse, but the catch can be of great value to researchers,’ a spokesman for the project told RTL news. ‘So please take a couple of pictures of the victim and send them to us.’

There are at least 11 different species of mouse in the Netherlands, RTL said.








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