How To Save A Vole « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowHow To Save A Vole

How To Save A Vole
Published on Monday, May 28, 2012 by

*This story has a not so happy surprise ending.  You have been warned.

Funny, when you google, “How do you take care of a vole,” you get things like, “Getting rid of Voles” and “How to Kill a Vole.”  Not quite what I was looking for.  Let me explain.

Two days ago, my daughter called me in a panic.  “MOM!  My friend and I need your help really bad!  Allie’s cat has been tormenting a mouse all day.  Now the mouse is trapped and squeeking and we were told to leave the mouse alone or we will get in trouble.  Mom, I don’t know what to do!”  In the last sentence, imagine a cracking voice filled with unspilled tears.

A few minutes later, another phone call.  “Mom, Allie wants to talk to you!”  “Mrs. Murray, I have a problem and I don’t know what to do.  My sister won’t let me save the mouse, but the mouse is suffering and the cat won’t leave it alone.  What do I do!?”

FIVE PHONE CALLS LATER, a plan was set.  After the gym, I would help my daughter rescue the poor, down-trodden little mouse.

At the gym I received a few more phone calls.  When would I be home?  Who else could help since I wasn’t there.  And finally, the last call of the night:  “I GOT HIM!”  Looks like we would have yet another pet.

I met Ashes a few minutes later as I stared in to the bathtub at this newly rescued creature with big, frightened eyes.  The cage was set up, he was corralled in to it and soon fell in to a hard and much needed slumber.

The only way I could see this little guy was buy sticking my phone in the cage and snapping a few shots.  I never really got to look at them until the next day, once my daughter was in school and I was at work.

Hmmm…. Something looks a bit odd about this mouse.  Big head.  Pointy snout.  Well-spaced ears.  After a bit of googling later, I realized Ashes was actually a vole.

vole rescue

When I picked up my daughter from school I gave her the big news.  “Ashes isn’t a sickly mouse who doesn’t move around much.  He is a vole who is acting exactly like a vole acts.”  Pretty-Darn-Cool.  After all, what kids in her school can say they have a vole as a pet!

Now, how many of you are cringing at the thought of a backyard pest being kept in the house?  Anyone?

There is a twist to the end of this story.  Last night at the gym I received yet another phone call.  “Mom, I let Ashes go.”  “WHAT?! After all that?!”  “Yes, he woke up and started to look for a way out of the cage.  Michael helped me to find a good spot for him in the front yard.”

I am so proud of this kid.  No fear of outside critters.  A need to rescue animals in trouble.  And the ability to recognize when a wild animal needs to stay wild.

As long as she doesn’t cross that line from animal rehab to crazy cat lady, I think we will be OK.


The day I wrote this, my neighbor came to visit.  Just after she left, I was surprised to hear her voice behind me.  “Ummm, Katherine, you need to come out here NOW before Elizabeth gets home.

At that moment, I knew.

Indeed, there on the front lawn exactly where Elizabeth was soon to be was Ashes.  Funny, when she first told me his name I quietly thought, “Ashes to ashes.”  Sure enough, Ashes was no longer of this world.  I took a picture.  Click at your own risk.

I made my 18 year old swear my daughter would NEVER KNOW the end to this story.  After some negotiation, we decided in ten years he can tell her what happened.  But until then, Shhhhh.  Did I mention I had to wait until my son stopped laughing at the irony of it all before we could successfully negotiate?

What a strange twist to this story.  Sometimes no matter what you do, nature takes its course.

We have had many beloved pets come and go.  She has never been shielded from the truth.  But Ashes?  Not worth the tears it would cause.  Nope.  Juuuuuuuuust not worth it.

mom blog

  • Ron

    “What a strange twist to this story.  Sometimes no matter what you do, nature takes its course.”

    You’re so right, Katherine, it does.

    And I think you were very wise in not sharing this your daughter now. Nope. Just not worth it.

    Have a super week, my friend!


    • Ron, thanks so much.  We have had so many rescued pets under our roof – she has seen animals die of old age plenty of times – always a sad thing.  And when our beloved dalmatian Dottie was so sick that I had to put her to sleep?  There are NO words. But is brave through it all.  So to me, after all the effort she put in to the rescue, and after all the pride she felt for herself for doing a good job, I felt it just was not time for a life lesson.  She has had enough of those… as far as Ashes, she has only good thoughts.  So I am keeping them that way!

  • MalisaHargrove

    I had never ever heard of a vole. Once I googled it and found out it was a field mouse, I was a little happier that Ashes had returned to ashes. Field mice carry all kinds of nasty disease. It was cute, but good riddance. Tell your daughter when she has kids of her own and they bring some nasty creature home!

  • Heather

    YAY I made it  in your blog! The vole was cute! 

    • HEATHER I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!  You know what, one day I am going to do a post ALL ABOUT YOU.  There are so many amazing things about you… you have brought so much into my daughter’s life and my life…. you are strong, funny, smart and amazing cook to boot!  Yup, gonna write that post soon!

  • Paperdoll8588

    ;.absolutely agree with ron – you made all the right moves here…
    your sweet daughter – poor thin, she sounds exactly like me. loving God’s creatures and wanting to spare them/save them is a blessing and a curse…it would be easier not to care, but it’s also a special quality in a person! 
    i am still dealing with the sometimes painful acceptance that nature does take its course, and i am 48 yrs old! i love the image conjured in the Bible of ‘the Lion Lay Down with the Lamb’ – that would be Heaven on earth to me. 
    Awesome story posted Katherine! this is my first time visiting your blog BTW. :>

    • So glad you came by!!!!  You really hit a note with nature taking it’s course and you being 48.  I am 46 and I relate so much to the song that has the line about tossing pennies in to the fountain of youth.  My skin is getting wrinkled, things are sagging and time is marching on, no matter how many creams I put on my face.  If only I knew then what I know now, right?

  • Mel

    Ohhhhh…..I didn’t have the heart to click on the ‘at your own risk’ link.

    I’m pretty much like the kiddo–I just don’t NEED to know, today.

    Bless the kiddo’s heart–she did the right thing by letting him go where he belonged and longed to be.

    Ohhhh….but how sad…..

Subscribe to our RSS feed and get site updates delivered immediately.
Let’s Network!