So there was another mouse. A live one. My husband, having once again achieved that place of almost-sleep, was rudely re-awakened by the shouting of an urgent wife. I had very briefly taken my eyes off of the mouse in order to bellow my need of help to the top of the stairs; turns out that rodents, even very tiny ones, are quick on their four feet, and our small guest had hid himself in a place where we couldn’t find him.
We gingerly poked and prodded our way around the kitchen in an effort to locate the little beast. We scraped the microwave cart out of its spot, and squeaked chairs across the floor. Everywhere we looked was a place where he wasn’t.
Sean and I reconvened and decided that it would be a good night for watching “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and cozied up on the couch with our ears turned toward the kitchen. Every few minutes my husband would creep into the kitchen with the kids’ Fisher Price flashlight set on red light (so as not to disturb the mouse’s night vision or something like that) to see if he couldn’t locate the mouse’s position.
It wasn’t too long before the mouse was found cowering behind the training potty. The question of how to capture the rodent without mortally wounding it became a very serious one now that actually finding it had increased our chances of removing it from the house.
The squeaker fled to the area behind the microwave cart and refrigerator. Armed with a flashlight, I stood sentry on one end while my husband guarded the other end with a small cardboard box in his hands. I realize it was foolish to think that one of us would be quick enough to actually bring the box down on top of the mouse, but we were desperate to have thing out of our house. (We’ve never had mice before, to our knowledge at least, but we have heard that it is very undesirable to share living and cooking space with them. Unless, of course, they have mad cooking skills like Remy in “Ratatouille.”)
House mice are cute. I know they are dirty creatures and all, but their plump little bodies and shiny black eyes make a person go all kinds of squishy inside once one is over the initial fear provoked by a wild rodent running loose around one’s house. So there we were, two grown adults alternately awwing and shrieking as we chased the mouse back and forth in our feeble attempt to corner it.
Then it happened. My husband finally had a chance to drop his empty Green Mountain Coffee box and trap the vermin. He chickened out. For whatever reason he found that he could not do his duty with the carton. So we switched places.
The mouse continued to run back and forth between us without ever coming out from the safety of his path behind the appliances. Occasionally he would wiggle underneath something and then poke his nose out for a look around; once, he found a small piece of cat food and stopped for a nibble; crouched on his haunches, he held the little bit of sustenance between his front paws and turned it round as he munched away at it until it was gone.
Then came my turn to try my hand at capturing the mouse. As it turns out, I did not find it difficult to slam the box down on top of the mouse. Not exactly, anyway. I suppose I should say that I did not hesitate to slam the box down: it just didn’t actually come down on top of the mouse. I believe I mentioned earlier that those mice are fast movers. I am proud to say that although I didn’t trap the entire mouse under the box I still managed to snag his tail.
I looked down at the mouse struggling to free himself and I thought to lift the box ever so slightly, and deftly bring it down on his entire self. That little mouse was like a wind-up toy. Once the box let go of his tail he fairly flew under the stove.
It has been a week now, and we have yet to ascertain where the mouse is, or was, or where he will be. The cat has not managed to kill him. Our live trap, laced with peanut-buttery-goodness has not caught him. That first night, I would awaken with visions of our rodent-killing cat dropping the dead furry carcass on my face in a display of pride. He’s still pretty proud of himself for annihilating that first mouse.
Mostly I’m just glad that the mouse was slain after the kiddos were safely in bed, and that it’s dead body was found before the cat had a chance to eat it’s face off. I’m also thankful that the little mouse body didn’t lie on the rug until morning when one of the children was sure to find it before dear old mom.
*I don't mop under my appliances every day.*
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