Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This Ain't No Mickey Mouse ...

There exists, in my house, a mouse.

I know this because I've been finding half-eaten grape tomatoes on my stove. Always in the same place. Like a little calling card. Yeah, I was here, it says. I was on your kitchen counter. I was in your little green bowl of grape tomatoes. And I ate my fill. And now you can toss my trash. Bitch. (I think my mouse has an attitude.)

This isn't the first time a mouse has felt compelled to crash my scene. No, a couple years ago, I discovered a mouse in my basement. I set traps. I caught mice. Yes, more than one. The rule about mice seems to be if there's one, there're more.


There are stray cats in the 'hood. A couple of kittens were cavorting on my deck earlier today. Um, hello, cats. Earn your cat keep. Kill the mice, wouldja?

But somehow, a mouse got into the house. I set the trap downstairs. I checked this morning, peering around the door to that part of the basement.

I have a good mousetrap, a black box that hides the carnage. All you really see of your mouse quarry is the mouse butt and tail. That's enough.

But when I peered around the basement door this morning, the trap was empty. I came into the kitchen and looked at the stove. There was no tomato.

Oh, except there was. Still in the same general area, but down by the burner. Mouse bastard.

So mom came by with another mousetrap, which she picked up for me on a run to Target.

I set it before I ran out to lunch.

Now, the thing is, based on the tomato calling card, I know that the mouse has been on my counter. ICK. So I set the trap (baited with peanut butter - Skippy Natural; hey, at least the mouse won't ingest any nasty trans fats before its neck gets snapped) and set it on a paper towel. It just seemed better that way, if I was going to catch a mouse, that it wouldn't be lying dead in a trap directly on my counter.

I returned home. I rounded the corner into my kitchen, and Houston? We have a mouse. ICK.

What to do with a mouse corpse? I couldn't just leave it sitting there on my counter. I could make my father come over after work and get rid of it for me. I could ask my neighbor to come over and get rid of it for me. He's a guy's guy. He'd do it. And he's so sweet, he probably wouldn't even make fun of me.

But I vowed to deal with it myself. My cousin Patty, who has experience with mouse disposal, assured me that it's not really a big deal. So I grabbed a couple paper towels with which to pick up the trap, held it over my garbage, depressed the lever to raise the Bar of Death, and PLUNK. I covered the mouse in the garbage bag with the paper towels, reset the trap with another dab of peanut butter using a plastic knife, which also went into the trash, and took the whole nasty business out to the garage. Too bad trash pickup was this morning. Then again, it's cold outside. My garage will make a suitable mouse morgue until next week. ICK.

I've checked the trap throughout the day. Nothing. With any luck, there was only one offender. But I won't be surprised if there are more.

When I first encountered the mouse issue, I asked my cousin Barry about no-kill traps. He assured me that I wanted them dead, that if I released the mouse outside, it would simply find its way back in.

It feels weird, to kill a fellow mammal. But it's not like I'm wailing on its little mouse ass with a frying pan. I let D-Con do my dirty work.

But really, how stupid is a mouse? "Oh, here's a big black box that I haven't seen before. Lemme look inside. Hey, what's that? Peanut butter!" SLAM.

EOM. End of mouse.



Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

Yup, where there's one, there's usually more. If they're in your living space that probably means you got at least a few. IF you're in a mouse prone area it's a good idea to keep the trap always baited in the basement so you can get the strays before they tell their friends. Happy hunting.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in the woods and the mice figure my finished, carpeted basement and attached garage are nice winter resorts. I've caught more than a dozen over the past few years. I always keep traps baited in the basement storage and garage, plus poison tucked away, plus sonar devices in the basement and attic ... and I haven't seen any mice or evidence of mice in more than a year. I win! Now, if I can figure out how to keep snakes out of the laundry room, I'd have it made.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Oh, snakes would do me in. I think I'd move. My reaction to snakes is like Pee-Wee Herman's in "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" when he saves all the animals in the burning pet store: He leaves the snakes for last, and eventually grabs them, but faints as soon as he gets outside.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

better snakes in the basement than on a least you have a chance to grab a shovel...

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A stool makes a great anvil; a wallboard taping knife a great chopper and scooper-upper. Snakes in my yard (along with chipmunks, deer, foxes, bears and a stray emu (yes, a stray emu) are fine. Snakes in the basement are NOT.

4:10 PM  

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