Wednesday, December 9, 2009

There’s a Mouse in the House

As a little girl we had only a couple of incidents with mice. We lived in an old Victorian house with alcoves, fireplaces in bedrooms, and pecan trees—a bit creepy really—so mice and worse were to be expected. Thankfully, our assortment of cats kept us virtually free from pests so my dealings with mice were limited.

Until now.

I don't know if it's the no snakes thing, the fields and mountains nearby, or the rubbish (see previous post) but I've had more to do with mice in my four and a half years here than in the previous couple of decades. On the morning of my 35th birthday I was awakened by a scratch, scritch, scratch coming from somewhere in the bedroom. Paul stomped around, throwing things here and there and the little grey culprit leapt out of one of Paul's shoes and fled under the bed. AHHHHHH! There followed much screaming, yelping, and jumping up and down on the bed in toe curling terror.

We took care of that first one and many more of his kin. It turns out to be a gruesome business, made worse because mice are actually kinda cute in a cartoon, storybook way….think Goodnight Moon, although we were saying 'goodnight little mouse' in a much different way. We got wise and began to expect the little buggers to visit when the days got shorter and colder…the small cracks and spaces in our old wooden floors were just too tempting an invitation of warmth for them to pass up. And so it began, every autumn.

When we moved to a newer house with proper wooden floors, no gaps or holes, we believed our mouse killing days were over. Not so fast.

For two weeks we have been dancing with this one little dark grey mouse. The first time I saw him Paul was away, Sofia and I were up late watching Hannah Montana….I screamed, as you do and rang him in Germany or Amsterdam or wherever he was, "There's a mouse in the house!!" I'm sure he appreciated being taken from his business dinner to hear this bit of news from home.

The next morning, Sofia told Rowan about the mouse. He's the man of the house when Paul's away and takes his role very seriously. In skateboard pyjamas and Ben10 socks my son began stomp, stomp, stomping—bam, bam, bam all over the living room singing, "I'm the man of the house and I'm not afraid of a mouse!"

We finally caught him this past weekend, having given up on the steel wool in his hidey hole and the useless sonar sound plug-in thing that only mice can hear; our mouse must have been hearing impaired. Paul bought some 'humane' traps and placed them strategically. We went for a long walk and when we returned…..stomp, stomp, bam, bam—one of the traps had a little grey fuzzy mouse sticking out the back of it. Fascinated, the kids wouldn't stop looking at it, making Paul show them for ages before they'd let him dispose of it. The mixture of remorse and elation at our successful catching of the mouse lasted the rest of the day. "Poor little mouse….we caught him…. he wasn't even that big….he went into the trap so fast….and he was so fuzzy and cute……oh, Daddy why did you have to catch him?"

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