Posts Tagged ‘mice’

So, we have a mouse again. Or, rather, mice. Unlike as described in my earlier post this year, I haven’t had to club anything to death because the trap hasn’t done its job. At least not yet.

The trouble started last Sunday when I went to get a new bag of flour to refill the cannister and found that it had been violated by a set of tiny teeth and claws. The flour, of course, had to go. Who knows how far the critter(s) burrowed inside? There may have been small naked mouse babies in there, in addition to whatever excrement was spread about.

That being said, I really hate having to dispose of, er, kill, the mice. I actually feel very sorry for them. I mean, really, all they want is a warm place to raise a family and get a bite to eat. It doesn’t sound so bad, right? The American Dream, for crying out loud. If they asked for food politely, didn’t destroy everything, have billions of babies, and poo everywhere I would be more than happy to help them out, but they insist on fornicating constantly, having the aforesaid billions of babies, and destroying food/property. Since they won’t behave properly and won’t leave when they’re asked, they must be lured to a peanut butter laden trap where they will painlessly (please, God, let it be painless) meet their Maker and go to Mouse Heaven where they can poo to their heart’s content, which is pretty much what they did on Earth as it was.

Our neighborhood cat, Charlie, used to keep us free of mice. For years, he hunted them (and chipmunks) fearlessly and would occasionally deposit them on our porch as a gift. But, like all good mousers, Charlie has advanced to his golden years and would now rather spend the winter indoors near the heating vent rather than outdoors keeping mice out of the Browns’ house. Go figure. If we get one more mouse, however, I’m sorely tempted to go to Charlie’s family, our good friends, and offer to buy them another outdoor cat that will mouse for us. It just feels so much better to know that we’d be helping the food chain along rather than just tossing it into a plastic Kroger bag.

During the warm weekend coming up, I plan on going around the outside of the house to find any cracks or crevices that they’re coming in through and sealing them up. I have a pretty good idea of the spot, so hopefully that will put an end to our problem. In the meantime, the cupboard food is on a card table in the living room, again, and the traps are being set nightly, except for tonight, because we ran out.



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I am a murderer of a mouse. Well, technically, if you count setting mouse traps, I’ve murdered several, but the trap usually does the dirty work. Marty Man and I set the trap, go to sleep, and voila… mouse taken care of.

That doesn’t mean that I enjoy doing this. I hate it, as a matter of fact. I wish wholeheartedly every year that no mice decide to find a refuge in my kitchen cupboards and, thankfully, for the past several years, none have. This past spring was the first time we had a mouse since the year we moved in and we had two that were gone in just a few days. It’s always a brutal business and I really hate that it has to be done, but I would hate having a fire in my house from chewed wires or eating food seasoned by mouse poo even more.

Yesterday morning, I found the tell-tale signs of a mouse: little poos everywhere in the round-about cupboard and a shredded bag of animal crackers. My heart sank. The killing would have to begin again. Boy #3 and I drove to Aco to buy the obligatory traps. Marty and I set the peanut butter- filled traps in two strategic locations and went to bed, expecting the usual gross-but-normal outcome in the morning.

Flash forward to this morning. Boy #3, despite my warnings to never look at the mousetrap the next day, came up to me as soon as I came downstairs saying, “The mouse is still moving!” I was sure he was mistaken. A trick of the light, perhaps, or a young boy’s imagination. Nevertheless, as I went to open the round-about, I took a deep breath, just in case. I slowly turned the cabinet open and almost immediately, there was a sharp quick movement. No, I did not scream. I’m not much of a screamer. I did jump however and shut the door, heart racing. It was still moving. My worst nightmare. I deliberately avoid sticky traps for that very reason. I think they’re cruel and unusual punishment for a rodent just looking for food and shelter. At least the traditional traps kill quickly enough so that the poor mouse doesn’t know what hit him. (At least, that’s what I hope.)

Anyway, I opened the cabinet again, and there it was: beady black eyes looking right at me. At closer inspection, I saw that it was caught by one back leg, which I knew had to hurt. What now? I really didn’t know what to do. Fling the whole thing outside as an easy meal for Cleo next door? Tie up the plastic bag the trap was in and just throw it away? (I’m shuddering at the cruelty of both of those options.) Letting it go was not an option. I knew I’d get the heck bitten out of my hands if I tried and then what? Let it go just so it would find its way back inside? No, the poor thing had to die and I wanted it to be fast and painless.

I finally decided on a plan that, while really difficult to carry out, for me, seemed to be the only viable one. I went and got an old towel that we use for when rain water starts leaking in. I tossed the towel over the frightened thing, judged its position, and gave it a huge whack with a rolled up ESPN magazine through the towel. Just to be sure, I gave it a couple more and then, with shaking hands, nudged the towel gently to make sure I got it. It seemed I had, so I gingerly scooped up the whole towel and dumped it into a small cardboard box. The box went into a garbage bag and the bag into the can. I cleaned up after the mouse with bleach disinfectant and took a breath. It had taken me almost an hour to go through this whole ordeal. I know, I know, it’s nothing compared to what the mouse went through, but I think that I was probaly a better alternative than the neighborhood cats. At least I hope so.

After I washed my hands, I went to seek out Boy #2 for a hug. I really needed one at that point. I was a mess, wiping away tears and apologizing to a mouse for what I had to do. He’s the one who’s as sensitive as I am and even though he hated what was going on, he knew it was really difficult to do. Boy #3 joined in and we had a nice group hug for a moment before I went off to start the rest of my day.

We’re setting the traps again tonight, just in case. I bleached out the cupboards and took all of the cardboard containers so nothing gets chewed if Mouse #2 happens to be waiting for us to sleep. This is definitely not the way I planned on spending my weekend, maiming and killing. I feel so much more horrible that I would if it was a simple trap clean-up this morning. Hopefully, there are no more mice or the next one will have vital body parts in the right spot. I don’t need anything else on my record.

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