DH has been going in early lately so he has been taking care of the cats and I've been doing the morning routine for the dogs and birds. I typically let the birds out of their cages first thing, then after a while feed them--rinse the water and veggie dishes and refill them with fresh water and veggies, check their kibble dishes and rinse and refill them as needed. There are 6 dishes so it takes a few minutes to do usually. When I went to check Pickles and Kiwis kibble dish I got a nasty surprise--MOUSE POOP! Mice apparently squeezed through the bars of their cage and had been snacking in their kibble. I also found mouse poo floating in their water! :yikes: So then after being totally grossed out (mice disgust me) I had to soak the dishes in hot water and dish soap and scour them. I just decided to pitch the kibble dish as it was plastic and I didn't trust that I could get all the mouse cooties out and replaced it with a stainless steel one. There were no mouse droppings in Yodas cage but he's gotten pretty territorial lately so I have no doubt that he would have gone ballistic if he caught a critter in his cage poking around his dishes. I scrubbed his dishes though, just in case. By the time I got done with all that and rounded the birds up to put them back it had been a half hour, and it was time to take the dogs out. Our yard is fenced but I took Jack out on a leash so he didn't run around like a ninny and bother his leg and I let Sally out loose in the yard. When Jack finished I called Sally but she didn't come. That happens sometimes, so I crated Jack, got their food dishes ready, and went out and called. Still no sign of Sally. So I go my shoes on and searched the yard--she was nowhere to be found and I started to panic. Thinking she somehow escaped I went out and searched the neighbors yards calling and still couldn't find her. By this point I was in full on panic attack mode and called DH in tears. After about 15 minutes of searching I went back to check the back yard again and there she is standing by the door like, "Ok, I'm ready for breakfast now. WTF is wrong with you? Why are you so upset?" I still don't know if she got out of the yard and got back in or was hiding somewhere in the yard (she could have been stalking something under the deck or shed and just ignored me when I called). All I know the it was the worst 15 minutes of my life, and not only is DH checking the fence thoroughly, but we are going to do some serious recall brush up and miss Sally is getting her very own set of cat bells to wear outside so if thus happens again I can at least hear her. I ended up being late to work, but thankfully my boss was understanding and I didn't get in trouble. We are also setting up several different kind of mouse traps tonight. I called the avian vet and they really only seemed concerned about parasites. The birds are going in for their wellness exam tomorrow anyway so they will have fecal exams.