Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Mouse In The House

We moved into this house three years ago this November. The people who lived here before us kept food in the basement. In addition to a refrigerator (or was it a freezer?), they had a large collection of non-perishable foods. They also had mice. I know because after we moved in, one of our cats caught a few and we set up traps which caught a few more. Sorry, mice, but this is our house not yours. Go make your home elsewhere. Anyhow, we do not keep food in basement, and what with the cats and traps, the problem was solved. So I thought.

A couple of weeks ago I found both cats intently interested in the china cabinet. Specifically, the place beneath the china cabinet. Yes, there was a mouse under there. I am convinced that the mouse hunter cat caught the mouse in the basement and brought it up here to play with (goodness knows why he doesn't kill and eat the prey). My reasoning is that there is no evidence of mice up here (no poop, no bit marks on packages of food, no mouse nests) so they musty be in the basement. Anyhow, the cat wasn't killing the mouse and I wanted it out, so with Captain Adorable's help and a few irrationally frightened screams from me and I trapped the mouse under a clear plastic bowl, slipped cardboard underneath, and tossed it out in the yard. It had a suspiciously short tail, which I think may have been bitten off by the cat. I know it may come back and that I should have killed it, but I couldn't. How would I kill the thing? Smash it? No way! (And even if I could do that, then I'd have to clean up smashed mouse. Vomit.) Anyhow, that was the end of that. So I thought.

On Tuesday morning we discovered the cat had another mouse. This one was cornered under the shoe rack near the door to the garage. I carefully pulled out shoes so the cat could get the mouse, but this only resulted in someone (ok, me) screaming in fear when it ran away to find another hiding place. Then it hid under a chair. As I was going to get something to help us catch it, Captain Adorable unfortunately scared it away and it ran under the couch. Now we couldn't get it at all. Dern.

Fortunately, it got scared again and ran into the kitchen, under the stove. I pulled out the bottom drawer and looked but did not see it, and figured it had escaped behind the counters or into the wall. I had to drive my son to school, so I left things as they were. When I got back from drop off, I decided to vacuum under the stove (so dusty!). Out popped the MOUSE!!! Another scream. It ran back under the stove. I had no idea I was so scared of mice. I tried to get the cat to get the mouse but the cat did not want to go under the stove and was not interested in anything I wanted him to do. He hissed at me when I tried to shove him under there. After a conversation with my ever-inventive and supportive mother, I tried to vacuum the mouse up but just succeeded in chasing it under the fridge. Gah! I gave up and baked apple pies. I asked Captain Obvious to pull the fridge out but all we found was dust. Maybe it was under there, walking along as the fridge was pulled out?

However, that night while I was putting Captain Adorable to bed, Captain Obvious saw the mouse again! He thought it was under the couch for a while but could not see it and gave up. We watched the Presidential debate (Go Obama!) and went to bed.

On Wednesday morning it was clear that the mouse was still around. Here's how I knew:
Yes, the mouse hunters were ready to pounce. I took Captain Adorable and the pies to school, and when I came back they were still in exactly the same spots. I thought about pulling the drawer out again, but decided against disturbing their vigil. I went for a walk with a friend and when I came back the party was over. I didn't know if the mouse was caught or what, but the cats had gone to their beds.

Later I saw them watching the fridge, then the stove, so I knew the golly-derned mouse was still in the house. I decided we'd have to Do Something, and announced to Captain Obvious that we'd have to set up traps that night. However, at dinner time, while I was out of the room, the Captains spotted the mouse again! It came out from beneath the stove. The mouse hunt was on! Captain Obvious blocked off escape as well as he could and got out the vacuum! After a few tries, the managed to vacuum it up!

He took the vacuum outside and cut open the bag. There was the (alive) mouse! A very, very dusty mouse that definitely could not see. He released it into the backyard and it was gone this morning. Thank goodness.

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