Lyda again. Nature is apparently sending me big messages.
We have mice!
One night, I strolled into the kitchen to fix myself something to eat (the Sith Master being otherwise engaged for the night) and I saw movement – A MOUSE! A MOUSE IN MY HOUSE!
Now, I know that some people have Encounters of the Rodent Kind regularly, but it was my first time to have a mouse INSIDE my house!
So, I did what any properly raised Southern lady would do – I screamed, and then went next door and “borrowed” the neighbor’s husband to deal with it.
Sidebar: I was amazed at my girly reaction. I’m usually the one that deals calmly with this sort of thing. The weekend before, I had trapped and released a mouse in this same neighbor’s garage – the man of the house being gone – with perfect calm and gentleness. Conclusion: I never know when I’m going to channel the stereotypical Southern belle who feels faint when confronted with wildlife, instead of channeling my practical maternal Grandma who could deal with rattlesnakes and stallions calmly. But I digress…
Nice neighbor man came over, with wife and toddler in tow, and battled the beasty for me. He caught it eventually and got it out of the house for me. Gentle reader, you don’t want to know what happened to the mouse. I asked my neighbor to release it, but on the way to do that something happened. It became an ex-mouse, a mouse no more.
So, later, after I had recovered and eaten dinner, I took my plate into the kitchen – AND SAW A SECOND MOUSE! This one was much tinier, and I figured it was probably the baby of the first mouse. Oh, the guilt!
At this point, I was seriously freaked. Was this the beginning of a massive invasion? Were the mice establishing a beachhead in my kitchen, preparatory to taking over the house and then the world? Maybe rodents have already taken over the world. Certainly mice and rats are very successful and they definitely enjoy human proximity – “Wow, these big guys leave food everywhere! Let’s make more babies!”
I called the nice neighbor man over again, but he couldn’t catch it this time – it ran through the stovetop and then into a hole in the wall! So we plugged up the hole temporarily and I called the landlady, who sympathized and said she’d send an exterminator over as soon as possible.
After several days with me expecting mice to leap out of every cabinet and closet, the exterminator came over and put down traps and sealed some “access points” –“holes in the wall” to the rest of us – but not the one that we had seen the mouse escape into. Instead, he opened that one up so the mouse would come out and get caught.
The next day, he came back, and sure enough, there was a little mouse in one of the traps. Two days later, the exterminator found two more mice in traps he’d put outside.
For now, the invasion seems to be over. And the Sith Master is rolling his eyes over his mom’s sympathy for the poor mices. They were just doing what they do, and I can’t blame them for moving in. They found a great source of food and shelter. They were willing to put up with us as roommates. I was the one who had the problem.
Where was Tommy the cat during the Great Mouse Invasion?
Completely oblivious to the whole thing.
Obviously no one had told him that it’s HIS job to deal with Rodent Uprisings.
Did you know that hobos used to put messages in code on back fences, saying things like “Don’t go here – they’ll set the dogs on you” or (what they put on my Grandma’s fence) “She’ll feed you but she’ll make you work for it.”
Do you think that mice do the same? Is there a little mousey message on our fence, saying “Soft-hearted human, stupid cat, move on in!”?