Sunday, December 17, 2006

I'm with Jinx the Cat

(Note: If you're a serious vegan or some kind of animal rights nut, I suggest you stop reading right now.)

As far as I can tell, there are few good things to be said for living with another human. Fobbing off pest eradication duty on that other person is one of them. My pal ST has learned much about getting rid of mice in the years that she's lived alone, and she's passed her wisdom on to me. I know that I have mice in the basement but, without someone to assign to mouse patrol duty, I generally ignore them. A couple years ago they decided to nest in my kitchen towel drawer and that put me in serious trap-setting mode. ST's technique is to put the trap into a paper bag which is laid on its side, so that all you have to do when you've caught, i.e. killed, one is pick up the bag, fold the top over and toss it in the trash.

Recently, I've seen meeces in my garage when I go out there in the morning or open the door to drive in at night. They must be getting in the wall between the garage and the house because Florie often sits in the hall and stares at that wall. They're nesting in a heating unit that's suspended from the garage ceiling. Needless to say, I'm never going to turn that heater on! But the sight of them running up and down the wall was getting to me, and I put a trap-in-a-bag in the garage a couple weeks ago. After about a week without finding a mouse in my trap, I had almost given up on it. Then one day I looked in the bag and the trap was gone! No sign of it anywhere. A mystery. Slowly the realization of what I'd done sank in -- the mouse had no doubt been caught by the trap, but not killed, and carried the trap off with it, to die a slow death somewhere. There's now a faint odor of rot that greets me when I open the door to the garage, but I'm not going to move everything in search of the putrefying mouse carcass.

This brings us to yesterday, a Saturday afternoon of chores and pre-xmas tasks. I'd brought a bunch of wrapping paper down from the storage room, and was planning to sit on the living room floor and wrap gifties but got sidetracked by another trip upstairs for something. When I next came downstairs, what did I see but a MOUSE among the rolls of wrapping paper and Florie circling around it! With the horror of what I'd done to the garage mouse still weighing heavily on me, I didn't want to kill this one. (Anyway, how could I do that without making a mess on the carpet?) I shoved Florie aside, grabbed an box that was in the hall and put it upside down over the mouse. That bought me some time to think.

Now what? Get the mouse out of the house. Catch and release. I carefully slid the box across the carpet to the edge of the lino in the front hall. Not quite sure what to do next, I saw the carpet doormat -- flexible yet sturdy -- and slid it under the box. Then I slid the whole assemblage, with mouse still inside, onto the front porch. Lifting the lid, I saw the mouse lying on its side. It didn't look dead, though, so I ran back in the house and turned off the porch light. I wanted it to leave, but I really didn't care if it did that under its own power or if it was taken away by a neighborhood critter.

Five minutes later, I turned the light on and saw that it was sitting up, looking out towards the steps. Another five minutes passed, and I checked again. It was gone, probably to creep back into my garage and start this whole thing over again. I hate those meeces to pieces!

1 comment:

  1. ShadowbrookShutterbug11:41 AM

    Excellent mouse account. Rivaling "The Perfect Storm" and "Endurance" in suspense and horror.