(UPDATE: turns out, after more research, they're actually short-tailed shrews. but all the details are the same)
They're awesome because they looks so cute and soft with their velvet grey fur, but they're take no prisoner carnivores and will EFF YOU UP if you give them a chance.
Once we had three mice (shrews) in there at once, 2 alive, 1 dead. We got one out and released it but the other one was NOT LEAVING. At one point he turned and looked at twin and opened his tiny mouth to issue the highest pitched little shriek you've ever heard. Freaked us out.
Turns out northern grasshopper mice howl and eat other mice (as do shrews).
Also turns out the way to get them out of windows is by putting the other dead mouse (shrew) in the bucket, and live, crazy mouse (shrew) will panic that you're stealing his food and will run into said bucket to try and get the dead mouse body back. Then you can just scoop him up and let him go in the park with his precious dead mouse meal.
Anyway, aside from shrews we also once had a baby bunny. Which was clearly the cutest thing we've gotten down there.
The egress window leads to Brother's bedroom in the basement and he's the one who lets us know when something is trapped in there because they scratch at his window and make a racket.
Saturday morning, Brother came upstairs and told us we had one guess as to what was in the window, and it wasn't something that had been down there before.
Our guesses of squirrel and bird were not correct.
No. It was a Muskrat!
right here he was deciding if he should rush us or not...
He was kinda cute looking. We grabbed our usual bucket and twin climbed down thinking we could just scoop him up (she always does the animal wrangling since she helped with the wild animal SOPs at her shelter. And in case you're wondering, muskrats can't carry rabies)
Turns out muskrats hate buckets. A lot. He kept attacking the bucket, which was kinda scary since he filled it.
Finally he attacked the bucket, landing inside, and didn't jump back out. Twin lifted the bucket up and he hopped into the yard.
Then there was a tense few moments where the muskrat glared at Brother and I and we glared back. It was totes a "it's up to you what happens now, muskrat" but instead of attacking us he decided to go on his way.
Of course his way meant he'd calmly walk across the patio and contemplate the weather.
We finally managed to shoo him out into the park. There's a pond about 6 houses down and I'm sure that's where he came from (though why he came all the way down to our house and all its doggy smells is a mystery)