Shine: A True U.T.T.


The term U.T.T was first coined earlier in my blogging history.  It’s meaning is ‘Unidentified Tea Towel’.  A tea towel can be a U.T.T because I do not know where I got it from, or when I got it or why I got it.  A U.T.T usually has no name.  This one has the title ‘Shine’ because that is what is written on it.  I have looked it up on Google to see if it is the name of a company (or similar), with no results.  I have no idea where it came from, who it came from or why I have it.  It is smaller than most tea towels but brightly coloured and adds a little gaudiness to my collection.  You will find it in the Miscellaneous Collection of the Virtual Tea Towel Museum.

Today, I wanted to blog about a tea towel with a picture of a mouse but, amongst 850 tea towels, I do not have one.  So I chose an ‘anonymous’ one.  Why did I want to blog about a mouse?  If you are the proud owner of a cat (or cats), that go outside freely by means of a cat flap, you will be aware of the problem of your cats bringing you ‘presents’: these might be dead or alive creatures.  I have had more dead mice and voles than you have had hot dinners; but then there were the frogs, dead so ok, alive there is a gross screeching noise.  There has been the tussle with the Bunny Rabbit on the patio, too big to get through the cat flap.  Birds of all shapes and sizes, mainly Baby Birds but some larger ones; only once has the bird been alive.  There have been moles, so tiny but clearly not tasty.  Once there was an enormous rat, fortunately dead.  And then there are the moths and butterflies, with wings detached from their bodies.  The long-handled dustpan and brush is always the means of disposing of these creatures.

In my bungalow, there is a lobby with a cat flap; there is another door that opens into the kitchen.  This door can be shut so that any ‘gifts’ can be left in the lobby, and not escape into the rest of the house.  Yesterday was different.  It was very hot and muggy.  I opened the back door (which opens directly into the garden, not in the lobby) and Isabella walked straight into the kitchen with a live, largish mouse and dropped it on the kitchen floor.  There was a lot of screaming and the mouse ran into the lounge.  A lot more screaming.  Eventually, I spotted it and tried to brush it on to the dustpan and brush.  I successfully got it out of the lounge (and shut the door) but it fell off the dustpan in the kitchen.  More screaming.  Isabella was sitting in the kitchen and, basically, ignored the fact that a mouse was running around.  I gathered that it had run under the dresser; there was no way in which I could move this piece of furniture.  My friend Liz was not participating in the catching of the mouse but took advice from @mikebrooks_john who suggested (a) that it could take days to catch (b) that it is likely to be under a piece of furniture, somewhere quiet and undisturbed; he did suggest that it could be in the back of the fridge but there is no fridge in the kitchen  (c) using a torch to look for the droppings so I could identify where it was (d) using B&Q live traps, baited with chocolate (e)  that it might make its own way out.  That, at least, made me feel that I was tackling the problem, although with little success.  Liz then looked up on Google that mice do not like peppermint so if you put that on cotton wool near where they might go it will deter them; that was a good suggestion as a deterrent but the mouse was already in.  Anyway, there were small pads of cotton wool at the corners of all furniture, doors, cupboards.  Blimey, the kitchen smells like a dental surgery.  You can tell the amount of time this all took by the fact that Liz had time to have conversations on Twitter and research on Google!!

By 11.30 at night the mouse was still free unless, as @mikebrooks_john suggested, the mouse had left of it own accord.  I went to bed, making sure all the doors were securely shut.  Woke up the following morning, gingerly crept into the kitchen, no mouse, no sign of mouse droppings, no dead mouse remains as a result of being caught by Isabella.  I wasn’t convinced that it had packed its bags and gone.  Went out shopping, came back, still nothing but I do know, by now, with the aid of the torch, where all the cobwebs are in the kitchen.  Still couldn’t find any mouse droppings. I am just about to set off for my appointment with the Reflexologist when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a mouse run up the curtains, onto the window sill and sit on one of my plants chomping on dead leaves.  More screaming but I couldn’t miss this opportunity.  I crept across the kitchen, to open the back door but, of course, when I opened the back door the mouse on the plant is behind it.  What the heck, walking silently, I pick up the flower pot, with mouse, and gently take it out of the back door and place on the patio.  The mouse continues to chomp on the leaves even though it has freedom.  I abandon the plant and quickly retreat behind closed back door and watch the mouse who suddenly realises he (or she) is outdoors, has a quickly look around and walks off, not even a run.

I am now late for Reflexology and apologise profusely; she tells me the story of the B&Q mouse traps, baited with chocolate, which has caught two slugs but no mice.  Ah well, as David would say.  A story about my bravery, in relation to mouse-catching, is worth a Tea Towel Blog, even if I haven’t got an appropriate tea towel.  Tonight I can rest in comfort and not have to be poking under pieces of furniture with the torch, looking at the cobwebs, in search of mouse droppings.

PS: If anyone knows where this tea towel originates, please let me know.


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