“This happens every night without fail,” Holbrook said as he ate some toast Monday between media interviews about the mouse, which has found fame since it was caught on camera. Holbrook and the Mouse live in Powys, Wales.
He said: “I have been inundated with questions about the rodent he calls the ‘Welsh Tidy Mouse.’ “I have phone calls now, but I won’t answer – I’m talking to you.”
Their story began in October, when Holbrook ventured out into the shed in his backyard one day to find that the bird food he was storing there had been transferred to a pair of shoes. He remembers thinking, “There's something strange going on here.”
To find out what was happening after dark, he set up a camera. When he watched the footage, he found that a little mouse was getting to work each evening, moving the items he had left behind into a short-sided box – essentially organizing his shed.
Holbrook, an avid wildlife photographer, described the rodent's behavior as “incredible” and said it had been going on for months. “Doing this every night is unbelievable,” he said.
“You'd think he'd have had enough,” he said of the creature.
Welsh Tidy Mouse isn't the first of his kind to seem obsessed with cleaning As is Remy Disney's cooking In Ratatouille.
In 2019, a mouse was filmed moving objects inside a man's shed in Bristol, England. The rodent has reportedly been named “Brexit mouse” Because the owner of the shed She joked that she was stocking up for Brexit.
Holbrook knows about the original tidy mouse and said he named his visitor “Welsh Tidy Mouse” in reference to its location and so people wouldn't confuse the two.
Most of the time, the rodent works alone, though sometimes it has partners, Holbrook said. In one of the clips, he spotted two other mice joining the night cleaning operation.
Gareth Davies, founder of Wales-based Pest and Property Solutions, said the rat exhibits such behavior perhaps because the animals are “miniature hoarders”.
“They're very funny creatures, if I'm honest,” he said. “Mice are very curious creatures, and they are hoarders. They like to hoard food and everything else. It's in their nature. They're very different from mice.
After watching the footage, Davies said he was skeptical that the rat was deliberately “cleaning” and that it may have just been displaying “bulky collector” behaviour.
It looks like a wood rat or house mouse, and both species exhibit hoarding behavior, Davis said. “They like to drag things; “They are like magpies from the rodent family,” he said.
But Holbrooke has his own theories. “Maybe it's just having some fun,” he said. Or maybe the mouse takes pity on him as he recovers from prostate cancer. The mouse might think, “Poor guy, he's so tired I'm going to do this for him,” Holbrook joked.
Davies warned that while Holbrooke welcomed his guest, the situation could escalate because rats tend to “multiply very quickly.”
Holbrook is more concerned that the tidy night guest might not be around forever. “I saw a brown owl in the tree the other day,” he said, expressing concern that his friend, who works to combat chaos, would fall prey to the parrot.
On social media, many were quick to express their admiration for the organized rodents, describing them as “cute” with the potential to become “a great cartoon for kids”.
“I need a Welsh Tidy Mouse in my life,” one tweet read. The British media called the mouse “Mini Kondo”, after the cleaning queen herself, Marie Kondo.
Holbrook said his wife, Linda, “loves” the mouse and “thinks it's really funny.” There's only one downside, he said: She's now too afraid to go into the shed.
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