Chronicles of the Rodent Slayer

My day began early. The howling dog scratching around the furniture told me there were mice to catch at dawn. Thinking I just had a mouse-filled glue trap to dispose of, I ambled over for a peek, sipping my cup of coffee. Empty. Hercules, the Rat Catcher’s Companion, was frantic, scrabbling on the hardwood floor, trying to get behind the side table next to the couch. Slowly, I started to realize that there was a mouse on the loose, and I would have to flush it out or never have a moment’s rest. At this point in the story, I could skip to the happy ending and retain my dignity, but I need to record this for historical purposes. This is proof that practice does not make perfect, that mouse-hunting (and housekeeping, for that matter) should be left to the professionals, and that nothing of importance should ever be attempted without a least 3 shots of espresso. Not only that, if I don’t write this down, I might forget to tell the furry German man when he comes home from work this evening; this is money in the bank for me. He keeps me around to do the dirty work, so this event must be documented for my job security.

The more I thought about how I would need to go about capturing that runaway mouse, the more I realized how much I would dislike a confrontation with a feisty rodent, unencumbered by a sticky glue trap. Over the past few years, I have built up a false confidence in dealing with rodents, only because I have always had the advantage. I threw down the glue traps, the mice or rats got stuck, and I used the BBQ tongs to throw them in the garbage, whilst feeling all-powerful and in charge. All of a sudden, all confidence shattered with the realization that I was NEVER in charge. I abandoned the howling Hercules in the living room, and locked myself in the bathroom. Standing there, shivering, in my pyjamas and bare feet, I considered my options. If I took action, moved the couch away from the wall, and let the dogs chase the mouse towards its doom, there was a chance the mouse would choose to run onto my bare foot and crawl up the leg of my pyjamas. Just picturing that gave me the heebie jeebies and I actually hopped around the bathroom to shake off the image. The other option was to ignore the mouse; who knew if it was even really there? After all, the dogs have been wrong before. They bark at the wind, don’t have the sense to be afraid of elk, and have even been known to eat their own poop. Why should I trust them? On the other hand, if I chose to ignore the mouse, and it decided to take a tour of the house in the middle of the night, my luck would have it crawling up my bed covers to visit my face. Visions of Pa, in Little House on the Prairie, waking to the sounds of a mouse chewing off his beard to line its nest, floated through my head. I was pretty sure I would hate waking up to half a head of hair, knowing the mouse was lining its nest with my shiny locks…

Okay, decision made, I pulled on my thick socks and trusty shitkickers. I armed myself with a sturdy broom. And then I felt a moment of brilliance come upon me. I should gather all the glue traps from every corner of the house, and place them on the floor, all around the couch. That way, no matter what direction the mouse chose to run, I would catch him without having to lift a finger, right? I’m a genius! So I searched the house and found 7 glue traps. I placed them strategically around the couch, all the while telling the dogs, Hercules and Cody, to take care to avoid stepping in the traps. Right there, I should have stopped myself. My dogs don’t speak English. Not only do they not speak English, Cody is the world’s worst golden retriever. He hates water, hates all physical activity, and doesn’t retrieve. He mostly dances around (you think I exaggerate – but picture prancing horses at the circus – that is Cody) and pretends to be a golden retriever, while his brother Hercules is actually playing fetch, hunting chipmunks, and attacking the water sprinkler in the yard. Immediately, I lost one glue trap to Cody’s tail. 5 minutes later, with the help of a pair of scissors, Cody had a bald patch on his tail, and I think my yelling convinced him to stay on the other side of his brother ( who I thought would catch the mouse if the glue traps failed).  If there ever was a more perfect time for an intervention by a guardian angel to save me from myself, that was it.  Alas, my guardian angel must have been on a coffee break.  It was just me and the dogs against the mouse; a pack of fools versus the evil genius.

My triumphant moment arrived. Broom positioned to protect my legs from climbing rodents, I prepared to move the couch and release the hounds. I even counted down for the dogs, “Ready, set, GOOOOO!” And all chaos broke loose. The couch was shoved away, the dogs leaped, the mouse zig zagged BETWEEN glue traps, I hopped up and down screaming, “GET HIM GET HIM!!!!” and the dogs proceeded to catch 2 of the remaining glue traps, while the mouse scurried into the corner of the living room where several framed pictures leaned (did I mention that we are still moving in and the house is cluttered with crap that needs putting away?) My house is Disneyland for mice. So many places to play, so many fun things to do, so much good food to eat.

Okay okay. Time to regroup. Hercules and Cody looked at me, panting, one glue trap dangling from Hercules’ left ear, and one glue trap attached to Cody’s front left paw, lifted up to me in an offering. Both of them had such eager looks on their faces, asking me, “Aren’t we great? Aren’t we manly hunters?” Resisting the urge to yell, “YOU SUCK!”I reached out my shaking hands and patted their heads. Eyes on the mouse corner, I once again used the scissors and gave the dogs 2 more bald patches so I could remove the glue traps from their fur. Those glue traps sure are good at dog catching. Hercules, freed from his glue trap, guarded the corner while I ran to get a flashlight. I had to be sure the mouse was there, and not crawling towards the bedrooms. DOH! The bedrooms! Quick detour to shut all the doors in the house, then returned with a flashlight. Climbing up onto the easy chair (yes, still afraid of leg-scaling mice), I leaned over and shone the flashlight between the picture frames. Sure enough, 2 beady black eyes stared back at me. And you know what? He wasn’t even breathing fast. I was the one hyperventilating, while he stared me down, daring me to make a move. That was when all of the spirits of my housewifely ancestors came rushing into the room, brooms collectively raised in solidarity, causing me to take up my broom and start hysterically waving it around and banging it on the floor, yelling expletives, cursing the mouse and all of its relatives. The mouse made a mad dash for the other side of the room, with Hercules on its heels, and Cody danced around in circles, gluing himself to 2 of the remaining 3 traps. And I lost the mouse. In the struggle to stop Cody from more dancing (he glued his own tail to his ribs, and when he finally obeyed my scream to “SIT!” he promptly sat on the back edge of the glue trap stuck to his back right foot, effectively glueing his butt to his foot), I lost track of where the damn mouse had scurried. My living room looked like a bomb had exploded, my dogs looked like mangy mutts that had been attacked by killer giant moths, and I had been beaten by a mouse. Resigned to my plight, I told the dogs that we were losers, cut Cody loose from his trap, let them out to the front yard to chase chipmunks, and made myself a pot of tea.

As the tea was brewing, I tried to make a plan for living with a mouse on the loose. I thought about wearing my shoes to bed. I also thought about wearing a snow suit and a bike helmet to bed. Every few moments, I tossed out some trash talk to the mouse, to keep it on its toes. “Don’t get too comfy out there, mouse! I WILL find you. Oh, and by the way, if you really want to visit someone in the middle of the night, maybe go to Hanna’s room, instead of mine? The eatin’s good under Hanna’s bed. I’m just sayin’…” Nothing. Not a squeak, not a scribble-scrabble sound. All I knew was that the couch it was originally hiding under was safe to sit on. Nothing in the house was safe, just that couch. So I perched myself on the couch, criss-cross-applesauce to keep my legs mouse-free, and wrapped my hands around my cup of tea, in surrender.

Minutes passed. My heart rate returned to normal. I began to make peace with the thought of a mouse wandering around (after all, I knew there were hundreds of his kin living in the cellar and in the walls). I began to accept that he had won and I had lost. Mid-sigh, sipping my tea, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. The mouse was making its way to the kitchen. He didn’t even have the decency to run. He sashayed over the threshold of the kitchen doorway, tail held high, and ducked under the refrigerator. Not believing my good fortune, I sat frozen for a moment. Then I jumped to my feet, grabbed the last surviving glue trap, and ran to the kitchen. There is only one way in and out of the the path to the fridge, so I wedged the trap in the path, and returned to the living room. If the gods were smiling, I would need to do nothing more. Sure enough, by the time I had finished my cup of tea, I could hear the scrabbling sounds of a glued animal (the dogs had given me enough practice to know that sound anywhere).

Confidence returned, I sauntered over to the fridge, and used the BBQ tongs to pick up the spoils of war. A plastic shopping bag shroud, a few words of blessing (“haHA! I told you not to mess with me!”), and the enemy was tossed into the bear bin outside. I am victorious. I am all-powerful. I am Woman, hear me ROAR!

Still, I just might wear the bike helmet to bed tonight. There was a stretch of time unaccounted for, where the mouse may have had an opportunity to send a message to its brethren. If he did call in the troops, I’d best be prepared. Maybe the bike helmet AND my shoes…and a ski mask…Does anyone have any more glue traps I can buy?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Connie :)
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 06:17:25

    Eeeeek! I don’t know how you do it. There is no way I could have hunted down that mouse. I can let you borrow one of my kitties for a while if you like.

    Like

    • Suelinhess
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 07:14:42

      But if I hadn’t gotten rid if it, it would be dancing on my kitchen counters or WORSE on my sleeping face. I couldn’t live with that!!!

      Like

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