Which brings me to the last time we had an excessive amount of snow... I was home for Winter Break (ah, those were the days...) and working at the bookstore. It had snowed a good deal the night before, and I was trudging my way through it on my way to work. As I went to cross the street, I stepped over the one square foot of visible grass on the whole block. I looked down and noticed a brown ball that I had almost stepped on. Upon closer inspection I realized that it was THE CUTEST MOUSE IN THE HISTORY OF NATURE. He was curled up in a little fur-ball trying to keep warm. He looked so hungry and lonely, I couldn't help but imagine the rest of his family trapped in their mouse home underground wondering "Where's Louie?" (That's his name- but I'll get to that later.) He obviously wasn't going to be able to get back to them any time soon what with the six inches of snow on the ground. And what would he eat? The poor little guy.
I spent the next few minutes contemplating what to do about this adorable, freezing woodland creature. Considering my family already has a rabbit that we hate (and I mean that in the best way... It's just that she's TEN YEARS OLD and we had kind of hoped she'd be dead by now), I didn't think my mom and dad would be very pleased if I brought home a potentially-rabid rodent. Nonetheless, I couldn't just leave him there, so I scooped him up with my gloves (he was so cold he didn't even move, let alone run away from me) and brought him back home.
My brother and I made him a temporary home out of a box and fed him some tasty treats (AKA orange peels and almonds) until my mom got home. She was surprisingly unsurprised when I told her why there was a box on the floor in her living room. I named him Louie and my mother dubbed him "Christmalou" because we found him the week of Christmas. After half a day of R&R, Louie became a somewhat dissatisfied with his box-home. I attempted to pet him, and he responded by leaping out of the box. Fortunately we've had years of training in capturing rogue rodents (gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats), so Mom and I cornered him and put him in our old terrarium. There were two holes in the top of the 18-inches-tall terrarium, which I covered loosely with packing tape, assuming there was no way the tiny mouse would be able to jump that high anyway.
FALSE. After two days of not seeing Louie at all after my failed attempt at forced bonding (me and him in an empty bathtub- not a success), I got nervous and started digging around his cage only to find NOTHING. There was, however, a small hole chewed in the packing tape. That little Lou-dini had somehow jumped up, hooked his claws into the lid and chewed his way out. (If you could see the cage, you would know this is seemingly impossible. My theory is that Louie is an escaped lab mouse who underwent experiments that made him smarter and able to leap terrariums in a single bound.)
My family was not happy. We set up some mouse traps (the nice kind, not the kill kind) around the house without much optimism. A few days later, my mother noticed one of the traps had been set off and was surprised to find... Louie!
There was still a lot of snow on the ground (after another dusting), and it was below freezing, so I wasn't quite ready to let Louie go. I put him back in his cage and put thick cardboard over the holes, enforced with Duct Tape.
Two days later... Louie had not been seen in a while. I went to examine his cage, and found that I had been less than thorough in the taping of a third tiny hole, and the little guy had somehow chewed his way out yet again. Mom was most definitely not amused. She kept shouting "THERE'S A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE!" As tempted as I was to make some comment about Dr. Seuss and eating green eggs in a box with a fox, I instead reset the mousetraps and waited.
Just when we thought we would never see Louie again, he somehow got caught AGAIN! (Apparently he enjoys falling into traps as much as he loves escaping from them.) My parents were more adamant that he be released in a timely fashion this time, and I figured if he wanted to escape that badly he was clearly happier to be outside in the cold than inside our house in a glass box.
So we released Louie into the wild, and hopefully he is doing well in this crazy snow storm. And so far I haven't shown any signs of having contracted Rabies, so all in all I call that a win.