I pulled into the alley and stopped at my apartment’s back gate to load my boards into my truck. I sighed when I saw a guy at the fence, a few feet from my gate, squatting down and hunched over something on the ground.
“Oh gross.” I thought to myself, assuming he was a drug addict, “He’s going to leave needles everywhere.”
I parked a little past him and glanced at him as I unlocked my gate. He looked up at me, frantic.
“It’s a mouse.” He told me. “These restaurants use glue traps and it’s just so sad.”
I looked down at his hands. He was holding a glue trap with a mouse stuck to it and he was trying to scrape it off with a piece of wood he had found. The mouse was still alive but every time he moved he got stuck more.
“Oh my god! Okay, what do you need? I live right here. If you get him off I can take him to the wildlife rescue. They take all animals.”
“Windex, a spatula, towels, something to put him in after, water…” I memorized his list and ran in to get everything.
I returned with everything he asked for. We introduced ourselves and I stood over Carl as he worked heroically to free the mouse.
“Do you think he’ll survive?” I asked him.
“Ya, they can, I’ve rescued a lot of these mice back when I worked in restaurants. The Windex breaks down the glue but it’s not good for them. These things should be illegal.”
It was tedious work but Carl was finally able to lift the mouse off of the trap. I was waiting with a glass Tupperware container lined with a towel. I knew he’d be cold from shock and being soaked in window cleaner. Carl and I said our goodbyes and I raced the mouse over the Golden Gate Bridge to the wildlife hospital in San Rafael.
The intake nurse was very nice and gently took the little mouse to the back and returned in a minute with my Tupperware.
“Do you think he could survive?” I asked her.
“Ya, he absolutely could. People bring them in all the time and they do survive. Glue traps should be illegal, so cruel. Here’s your intake number if you’d like to follow up on him.”
“Thanks, I will.” I left a twenty in the donation box and drove home feeling good that I helped but not hopeful he’d survive.
With great trepidation I called the wildlife hospital about a week later and gave the woman that answered the phone the mouse’s intake number.
“Oh yes,” She said, “The mouse that got stuck on the glue trap. Those things should be illegal…Oh, he’s still alive!” She exclaimed. “Turns out he’s a young juvenile boy mouse that will make a full recovery and be released out in nature when he’s healthy.” I thanked her and hung up, shocked and happy for the little guy.
A few weeks later, I ran into Carl in the neighborhood and told him the good news. “Oh, isn’t that wonderful?” I agreed.
He went on to tell me about the injured alley cat he had just rescued that he was nursing back to health in his bedroom closet.