Plumber Mouse has both a crack and advice

"Ma’am, I think I see the problem here."

"Oh, and nice matches, heh."


"What you have here is a typical Flapper ball rupture. These are common on newer flush valves and are connected to the handle lift arm with a lift chain."


"We’ll fix ‘er up real nice with a float ball connected to the handle lift arm by a lift wire that runs through a guide arm attached to the overflow pipe." 


Mmmmmkay, Kate and Jeff? [tiny mouse paw hands you a serious bill]



  1. what is that little guy doin up there?? great cobwebs added for effect :p

  2. totalee puppy says:

    Plumb cute! (sorry)

  3. Regrettably, most plumbers have a crack. X-P

  4. He looks like mighty mouse — *after* he has saved the day.

  5. I saw this when I was reading the news today and squealed. Out loud. This is for you, Cute Overload!

  6. He looks like the mouse version of Yoda.

    But way cuter!!

  7. Eew – you shoulda seen that spider!…is it still down there – I don’t dare even look!…I swear I feel like I’m still covered in cobwebs [shudder]

  8. Aww. Poor little thing looks like it’s been through hell. I hope the photographer at least provided a few Cheerios and a warm spot out of the weather.

    See, this is why it’s such a good thing I don’t have a mouse problem of my own. :\

  9. I know what you mean, redbone. If I had a mouse problem in my house I would end up with a mouse pet problem. Especially since my cat is actually a fan of little furballs and would never hurt them 🙂

  10. What’s this guy charge for a housecall? I’d like to hire him. He looks like he knows what he’s doing.

  11. A meese AND matches?? I can’t resist sharing this:

    The Country
    by Billy Collins

    I wondered about you
    when you told me never to leave
    a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
    lying around the house because the mice

    might get into them and start a fire.
    But your face was absolutely straight
    when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
    where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

    Who could sleep that night?
    Who could whisk away the thought
    of the one unlikely mouse
    padding along a cold water pipe

    behind the floral wallpaper
    gripping a single wooden match
    between the needles of his teeth?
    Who could not see him rounding a corner,

    the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
    the sudden flare, and the creature
    for one bright, shining moment
    suddenly thrust ahead of his time –

    now a fire-starter, now a torchbearer
    in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
    illuminating some ancient night.
    Who could fail to notice,

    lit up in the blazing insulation,
    the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
    of his fellow mice, onetime inhabitants
    of what once was your house in the country?

  12. Daphne Moss says:

    Dis little guy is so sweet! Tell me he wasn’t harmed. I once found a little black mouse in the bathroom, and he looked up at me with beady eyes and twitchy whiskers and I told him, “Look, little guy … I’m going to get some coffee. If you’re gone when I get back, we’ll call it good.”
    He was, and it was. I closed up all the baseboard holes and floorboard holes in the house, got a cat and never say any little meeses again 😉

  13. Daphne Moss says:

    Err..sorry … I never SAW any little meeses…And another thing…doesn’t his scrunched up muzzle imply he had to smell some baaaad things? He needs some nice cheddar.

  14. biscuithead says:

    Maybe a week ago I said that I thought CO needed more mice + monkeys.
    This may have randomly worked but, but in case it wasn’t random, THANKYOU SO MUCH.
    Seriously, thanks.
    I really needed it.

    *Hugs* to all.

  15. Is it just me or does the mouse look like s/he is smirking?

  16. Oh for BLEENing out LOUD!

    Can we keep ‘im? Can we keep ‘im? Pleease?

    See also: These tiny little balls of fluffy mousitude:
    Tiniest of mousies:
    Ball of Fluff… With feet!

  17. This is a scene from a Disney movie, right? The heroic little mouse has the voice of Michael J. Fox and Alan Rickman is the voice of a twitchy tom cat who is out to get him.

    (And I love Billy Collins, thanks for the poetry, pomegirl.)

  18. ‘I’m not here!’

    ‘Really, I’m a decorative feature of the plunger.’

    ‘Don’t squish my head.’

  19. Great poem! I must know how these photos came about, though.

  20. The poor baby looks so vulnerable.

    BTW, that’s a pretty nice bathroom. All I got are boring white walls.

  21. dragoness says:

    I’d worry about the poor little mousie… it’s not normal for a “wild” house mouse to be up high, in the light, and sufficiently unafraid of people to have his eyes half-closed. I hope he’s not sick!

  22. Em (the 1st) says:

    awww hes sooo cute! I hope he hada nice safe relocation to somewhere less spiderwebby 🙂

  23. clumsyninja says:


    I hope you gave him a treat or two! Especially after he was so nice to clean the cobwebs off the baseboards for you!

  24. eikoleigh says:

    he’s cute!

  25. My guess is he was chased up there after running behind some furniture with stealth cobwebs underneath. The householder then melted from the extreme cuteness and dropped the box or whatever to grab the digicam.

    He’s probably had quite an aerobic workout and that’s why he looks so sleepy.

  26. I love his little cobwebby head! I want to make him a home in a Kleenex box and feed him peanut butter crackers.

  27. No, no, no, this is the brochure for “Cobby’s Cobweb Service”. ‘Got the webs?’
    We’ve got the solution! Cobby’s Cob Web Service will clean your cobwebs for peanuts and we’ll even throw in the complimentary plunger evaluation! So, for service in a scurry, call Cobby’s Cob Web Service today!

  28. Excellent Katrina!

  29. WHAT do you MEAN, no plumber mouse’tock jokes?

  30. I like it too Katrina, and I loved the poem.

  31. Let’s have no cracks about mouse ‘tocks!

  32. Gail (the first one) says:

    @Katrina: ROFL!!! I need that service! I wonder if they have associates who can get up and get the cobwebs around the ceiling? Maybe a friendly birdie who would sweep them off?

    Meeses are cute, but I must confess I screamed like a girl the one time I came face-to-face with one in my house.

  33. Got mice? This humane trap works wonderfully at our house:

    Just be sure to check it several times a day and be prepared to release the mice in a sheltered area at least a half mile from your home. 🙂

  34. When I saw the first picture I didn’t realize what it was, so I was wondering why there was a tiny ostrich head coming out of the floor. >_> Really cute mouse, though.

  35. renee in tx says:

    he’s soooo cute!!! I could cuddle him, and clean him, and call him george.

  36. Hmmmm….I think the correct caption for this could be…


  37. *SIGH* How can such nasty little disease vectors be so *#@*!! cute? The prob with a mouse in the house is that it leaves … ahem … memorabilia all over the place including the food cupboards, silverware drawers, counter tops, etc., etc.

  38. Leilani- And thats nothing compared to all the bacteria and germs in your mouth and everyother human’s mouth…
    so remember kids, brush 3 times a day and dont forget to floss! *headtilt*

  39. “Tada!!” *tiny mice applause*

    Actually it looks like he’s about to reach enlightenment. No disturbing, everybody.

  40. Michelle S says:

    katiedid, people don’t typically carry hantavirus, bubonic plague, or rabies for failing to brush. 😉

    I’m with Leilani. They’re *#@*!! cute, but out west we have a justifiable aversion to wild critters moving into our homes and leaving… “memorabilia”.

    Still… awww @ his leetle pink feets.

  41. It’s nice to see a meece in one piece. I usually come home to the mangled remains, left on the carpet by one of my cats.

  42. snoopysnake says:

    Joe the Plumber, you’re toast! The mouse is going to steal all your customers!

  43. GAH! To be honest, this turns out to be my most ever favorite picture that has ever been posted here.

    I have at least 2 mice in my house, I have tried 4 different non-lethal methods of catching them and not one has worked. I quietly watch them run up and down my hallway at night while we’re watching TV. Right past the traps. 😐

  44. Maybe this is a live promotion for “The Tale of Despereaux” movie? I’d go to a movie if these whiskers told me to go.

  45. So adorable. I know mice are not loved by many, but I think they’re quite cute. (Much less so, I’m sure, if they’re taking over an attic/basement and leaving droppings everywhere.)

    He looks cold and tired. 😦 Give him foods and cuddles, plz.

  46. Looks more like a gerbil than a mouse. Still cute though 🙂

  47. Mystic mountaintop mouse dispenses wisdom to the worthy.

    *You* get plumbing advice.

  48. Aah! Please, take the little fella down and give him a cuddle and a treat or two.

    Then find him a nice large cage with plenty of food, water, warmth and love in.

    Me lubs the meese. 🙂

  49. Elisha B. says:

    Could this possibly be a pet mouse and not an invader? A “wild” mouse would never make itself so vulnerable…unless there was a cat or other animal after it. It looks so cute but helpless and it kind makes me sad with all the cobwebs and closed eyes.

  50. Aww… he’s all sleepies!! We’ll just turn off the light, walk away, and let you continue honk shu-ing.

  51. How cute! I’ve never seen a mouse perch on a plunger before.

    pomegirl, I love Billy Collins, he’s a great poet!

  52. CoffeeCup says:

    Admittedly that’s really cute…but I’d probably shriek and run for a trap nonetheless.

  53. Specialized species of golf mouse – tees himself up.

  54. This whole scenario reminds me of a phrase once used by some in my family to describe a eccentric individuals….
    Anyone know what I’m talking about? lol

  55. GAH! What on earth?? What is the story with this little guy? LOL

  56. warrior rabbit says:

    To those with meese problems and traps that aren’t working — have you tried putting out a ping pong ball helmet and a tiny motorcycle? Maybe that would work.

    I’d like to see this guy zoom off on one! But he looks more like the convertible type. He’s already got the top-down-wind-in-your-hair look down pat.

  57. Warrior Rabbit has teh sillies.

  58. superboymom says:

    Not a plumber mouse . . . a “carpenter” mouse

    “cuz he’s “on top of the world, lookin’ down on creation and the only explanation I can find . . .”

  59. there’s a cobweb?

  60. I agree, dragoness, he looks pretty ill. 😦

  61. where’s kate and jeff? we seriously need the background story here…

  62. I too worried that he looked ill, between the fact that he’s so exposed, the squinted up “I’m too tie tie” eyes, and the cobweb clinging to him that he’s made no attempt to clean off. It doesn’t stop this from being a *very* cute picture, but it has to be said- people, be very careful whenever you encounter a wild mouse acting strangely. I’ve heard stories of people picking up wild mice and getting Hantavirus (a healthy wild mouse would be impossible to pick up)…

  63. bad_kittymama says:

    I’m so glad someone mentioned hantavirus, because my cats have caught several deer mice (the variety that carry hantavirus) and this litle guy not only looks unwell, but those huge ears are verrrry suspicious. He looks like a juvenile deer mouse to me. The trouble with deer mice is that they’re SO DARN CUTE!!! Huge ears, huge eyes, little tufty fur on the tip of the tail… and then you get all hantavirused and die. O.o Now, granted, it’s fairly hard to catch hantavirus by picking up a dead mouse by the tip of the tail and tossing it in the trash, but PLEASE, if you’ve handled these little sweeties or had to clean up dirt and/or mouse poops in an area where they’ve been seen, WASH YOUR HANDS and don’t breathe the dust! Yikes.

  64. Poor little thing. That just makes me sad.

  65. It looks like he’s stuck! He’s thinking, “how the heck do I get offa this cliff? Quit snapping photos and help!”


  66. I don’t have a cobweb problem. Do you do hair? I have dog, cat and my hair all over the place and for some reason it loves behind the toilet.

  67. I do hope the mouse is/was okay.

    And I love the Billy Collins poem, that is almost too poifect.

    And Meg, excellent plumbing references. One remembers Steve Martin’s routine about the joke for plumbers (“It says sprocket, not socket…”)

    But I am thinking of my friend Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger and their hit single “Flagpole Sitta” right about now….

  68. so, did he shimmy up that long plunger handle??

  69. Lisa (one of several) says:

    BerthaS – thank you so much for mentioning the Steve Martin routine – that’s what this reminded me of too! Then he says that the plumbers must be coming to the next show! Anytime I hear someone talking about sockets I go “I said sprocket not socket” – I am laughing while they just shake their head.

    Cute mouse in that house, but not in mine…

  70. ThreeCatNight says:

    Little guy looks awfully cute and tired. Brings to mind Fyvish the Mouse in “An American Tail”.
    Wonderful poetry. And can I add:
    “no one, not even the rain,
    has such small hands…”
    e.e. cummings
    (substitute “paws” for “hands”)

  71. Trinky dink says:

    Sick mousifer. . .makes me feel sad 😦 I hate when Cuteoverload makes me feel sad 😦

  72. Yes, I have had to handle the little mousies on occasion, to rescue them from the kittehs. Rubber gloves, always. They are sooo teeny-tiny-toony.

  73. Dink — for heaven’s sake, why keep on subjecting yourself to us? Seems to me like there’s a really simple solution here.

  74. Trinky dink says:

    An uncommon event. . .I must add to clarify. That’s why it is so traumatic for me.

  75. I find it hard to see mice as “cute” (though I ADORE Billy Collins) after having my home infested by the little bastards and trying EVERY “humane” option.

    Cats. I’m allergic, but damned if they don’t get the job done… and serve as a serious warning to any potential invaders…

  76. J. Bo, yes, until your cat decides to carry them in and play with them, like mine does. 😦

  77. For those worried for mousies health… HE is squinting from camera flash My kitties do this too wide open eyes always squinitng for the flash.

    and he probably was runing around and hopped up there .. He is adorable. actually I think it is a she I see no extra carricular equipment.

    and Carrie have you tried peanut butter bait??? it is apparently irresistable to rodents.

  78. @superboymom – that was great! I bow to your encyclopedic memory.

  79. Annie, I’ve used a gallon of peanut butter, then pb sprinkled with bird seed (which got us here in the first place I think).

    I come out the un-set-off traps, licked clean of PB. sigh

  80. Allison U. says:

    Um, Tiny Plumber Mouse is effing adorable.

  81. Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
    O, what panic’s in thy breastie!
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
    Wi’ such a bold rush!
    I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
    Wi’ murd’ring bowl brush!

    But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
    In proving plungers may be in vain:
    The toughest clogs o’ Mice an’ Men,
    Be hard to crush,
    An’ lea’e us nought but porcelain,
    That willnae flush!

  82. sarah lynne says:

    i have it on good authority that plumber mouse was returned to the wild a-ok.

  83. How did it get up there!?
    Love the little paws and tailio.

  84. KFC is sure-fire rodent bait. (Not a comment on KFC – it’s just really effective bait!)

  85. Michelle S says:

    This post is about trapping mice: you’ve been warned.

    Carrie, if you see two now, you will soon have many more. My advice is to use only the old-time snaptraps. Don’t waste your money on newfangled designs – especially glue pads, they’re either worthless or very cruel to the animals. Invest in a bag of classic Fritos. Glue a fingernail-sized chip of Frito to the bait area with a dab of pb. Place the trap perpendicular to the baseboard of the wall along which they run so the bait side is actually touching the wall. If you have pets, place the traps behind or under heavy furniture, but in the same manner, perpendicular to the wall. Check them daily. Refresh the bait weekly. Fritos are the best bait I’ve used. They are especially aromatic so they even work in barns where grain is stored.

  86. Superboymom– BRILLIANT!

    T.U.M.– someone hadda bring on the Burns. Good Work!

  87. cobratoes says:

    Weeeeee-skers! hee hee

  88. Ok… seriously, HOW DID HE GIT UP THAR??

  89. Kate and Jeff says:

    Okay, guys, sorry we’re late – we’re the mouse-scarers-and-photographers. Here’s the background:

    It was the morning after Thanksgiving, and the cats were not happy about not having shared in dinner, so they went out and found their own. We have a dog with a bladder problem, so we have a doggie door, so we have indoor/outdoor cats, and therefore occasionally mousie visitors that really don’t want to be in here. We heard this one squeaking at about 6 am, got up to catch it and bring it back outside. After grabbing tupperware to catch it in (field mice aren’t particularly good at evasive manuvers, so no traps necessary), we were confused as to where it had gone – until we found it here, trying to blend in with the toilet plunger handle. It looks tired, but it was really just in shock – but I couldn’t resist the photo opportunity. It was caught unharmed (besides a near-coronary) and returned to the wild, and the pets were forced to stay in for a few hours to give it lead time on the escape.

    And yes, we are bad house cleaners, hence the spiderwebs.

    Sarah Lynne, is that you?

  90. TUM, you rule.

    And I deliberately didn’t read any posts about trapping mice, because that would just upset me, but my vetenarian friend (who, unlike me, isn’t remotely sentimental about animals, however adorahbuls) once told me that there’s a common-sense issue about mouse-trapping which often goes ignored: live mice might be cute little “disease vectors”, but that’s *NOTHING* compared to what you can catch off the, um, other kind of mouse. Which is to say that humane catch-and-release is vastly more hyegenic than the snap system. (I repeat, this comes from a guy who *HATES* mice.)

    Personally, I love them. MOAR MICE on CO! Does anybody else thinks he looks like Angelmouse in that bottom picture?

  91. K&J – We must have crossed posts.

    Hello! Thankyou for taking that delightful photograph! I’m so glad you were nice to teh mousezor.

  92. Really people …
    Wouldn’t YOU have the same expression on your face if someone had a camera in your face while you were in the bathroom???

  93. Thanks for the update! I am sure we all feel better for now. Good people are in this world.

    Oh and a friend moved out to the country a few years ago. She had a mouse problem. She said people just did not get the concept of “live” mouse traps. Looked at her like she was crazy.

    If you must snap trap them, you must. But sticky traps should be against the law. period.

  94. CoffeeCup says:

    well the idea is that if live mice are freed into the wild, they’ll inevitably just breed more and more. If you seal up your home they won’t get back in, but they’ll still breed a lot more little ones.

    I think mice are cute, but I don’t want them in my home. We did have a mouse problem a few years back and we used poison. Call it what you will, but it was a lot more humane (and not as disgusting) as the snap traps, and there was no way we were going to sit at home and wait for them to come to us so we could catch them and release them (not that we would’ve done that – the exterminators were very firm to not release mice you catch).

  95. TUM – ye hae no’ ganged a-gley.

    (yeah, so much for my Scots blog accent)

  96. puhh-leese make eem a pet like Ratatouile!! Don’t kill eem!!! 😦

  97. Trinky dink says:

    Thank you, Kate and Jeff! I feel much better now! 🙂

  98. CoffeeCup, poison is NOT more humane than snap traps. Poison causes mice to die slowly and painfully from internal bleeding. It can take up to a week for them to die. A quality snap trap, properly set up, will kill instantly. (Glue traps, though, are the worst. I won’t go into the details here, but suffice to say that they are tortuous for mice. Google it.)

    I’ve had great success with live trapping and release.

  99. LOVE the cobwebs, wonder what he was getting himself into before perching himself up there!

  100. Thanks you guys for the backstory. I think a lot of us will feel better knowing that this little guy made it outside un-molested so to speak by your feline companions.

    And thank you especially for getting out of bed at that hour for a rescue mission.

  101. I’m pretty sure a mouse waiting to waylay someone picking up a toilet plunger is UN-cute as can be.

  102. Thanks Kate & Jeff for giving us the scoop. I would have liked to see a video of the wee one scrambling up that plunger handle. Anyway, glad all turned out ok.

    p.s. A few cobwebs does not necessarily make for a bad house cleaner.

  103. I walked into my [closed-off-because-of-cats-who-fished] bathroom in Houston years ago, lifted the seat lid, and shrieked … there was a meese SWIMMING in the [I repeat: CLOSED] toilet! Swimming for his LIFE, of course … so I SLAMMED the lid down, called my mom across town [she just laughed at my discomfiture — well, she SNORTED, she was laughing so hard], and afterwards went looking for something to put the critter in — I refused, as Mom had suggested, to flush him. So I found an old Cool Whip container [who doesn’t save them?!], reopened the potty, scooped up the intruder [and swiftly SLAMMED the CW lid on him and the 1/2-inch of water I’d rescued], and took him outside to deposit him at the base of a tree in the back yard.
    I don’t think he came back …but we never did figure out how the heck he got into a CLOSED toidy.

  104. frogprof, what a great story! Kudos to you for saving the poor little swimming mousie!

    Also, thanks so much for the story, Kate and Jeff. I was a little worried, and I love a happy ending. 🙂

  105. Oh, WHEW!@Kate and Jeff’s story.

    I am so relieved the little mousie wasn’t killed!! He’s such a cutie patootie! And he looks so funny all perched up on there! lol

  106. Awww he looks so scared! Like he’s closing his eyes hoping the big scary things will go away!