I found out that I am less squeamish than I thought.
I went out for a walk this morning, and in the middle of a sidewalk, I suddenly spotted a mouse. First I thought it was a small furry mouse toy, as it looked like a perfect little mouse, completely motionless. But then I realized it was the real thing, probably dead… but no, wait, it was still kicking. When I touched it with the toe of my shoe, it squeaked loudly and tried to crawl away… but even though I was trying to steer it towards the grass with my shoe, it didn’t get very far. I think it was badly injured, probably a broken leg or something. Eventually, fears of hantavirus and whatnot notwithstanding, I just grabbed it by the tail (loud squeaks followed) and threw it in the grass.
I mean, what was I supposed to do, step on the poor thing? Yes, I know, too much empathy is bad for your health, but apart from their size, mice are not that different from other mammals… they have hearts, lungs, a sizable brain, and the ability to feel fear and pain. In all likelihood, this poor critter has since been found by a cat, but at least it’s not expiring in the middle of a sidewalk half crushed to death when someone steps on it.
Yes, I avoided touching my face afterwards and washed my hands as soon as I got back home.