While other people were eating wings and shouting at their widescreen TV sets (I assume), I spent last Sunday becoming an accessory to murder. Of a mouse.
I don’t feel good about it, but then I work with people who go out with rifles and deliberately shoot deer and elk, so maybe my humane compass is a little askew.
Several weeks ago, I noticed a couple of teeny little turds in one of our kitchen cabinets. I cleaned them up and stuck some steel wool in the gap around some kind of tube coming through the back of the cabinet.
On Sunday, Rob said, “Can you come look at something and tell me if it’s mouse droppings?” Without looking, I was sure that they were. Under the sink and in the cabinets to either side. Including the one where we keep the dog food. There was no evidence of chewing, but I was pretty concerned that the mouse was actually inside the bag that I twice daily reach into without looking to scoop kibble for Isis.
“Do you want to help me clean this up?” Rob asked. Absolutely not. But I was willing to stand there and squirm as he pulled our collection of grocery store plastic bags out from under the sink. (Of course I have those reusable cloth bags, but do you know how hard it is to remember to actually bring them inside the store?) Rob wanted to throw them out, but I insisted that we put them in the recycle bin at the grocery store. Only after Rob cleaned it all up and taped up the various holes, was I willing to get close to the sink and wash every single pot, pan and serving dish that had been inside those cabinets. OK, maybe I was a little lax with the floral vases, but I don’t eat out of those.
A few hours later, I paused “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” and went into the kitchen. I looked in the cabinet and there were four little turds very close to the edge. Stupid mouse. If he’d been more discreet with his poop, he might have survived the night.
We drove to the store, I in my bedroom slippers, and Rob went inside to recycle those grocery bags and buy some traps. Which he carried out in new plastic bags.
He had eight old-school snap traps, two glue traps and a $20 “humane” trap that was supposed to electrocute the critter, but seemed to be defective when we put the batteries in.
Again, I didn’t feel good about this. But I was so scared. I didn’t know how many of them there were, and where they were, and I didn’t think to look up the Humane Society’s position on rats and mice (which is to catch and release whenever possible, or to use “humane” traps like the electronic one and snap traps, but never glue…)
Rob deployed all of them. Almost. I thought six snap traps were sufficient. Two in each cabinet.
I checked them repeatedly throughout the evening and during the night, and in the morning, one of the snap traps had snapped. Dangerously close to the dog food. (Why didn’t I take it out of the cabinet?) The thing had flipped over and I could see the little belly and feet and tails.
“We got one!” I said, waking up Rob. Who got up leisurely, ate his cereal and showered before he even looked at it. After removing it from the premises, he brought the trap back inside. So we can reuse it! It’s still sitting in the utility sink underneath some paint supplies.
The other traps remain empty, so it seems that little guy was the only one inside the house before we closed up some of the entry points. Or at least, the only one in that particular location.