Opened the cupboard under the kitchen sink yesterday afternoon, and next thing I’m doing a pretty fair impersonation of the stereotypical woman standing on the kitchen chair screaming and pointing at a mouse. (Or like that Aussie ad for some sort of mouse or rat bait, where the cartoon mouse is standing on the chair pointing at the product and screaming.)
Only, at least I didn’t stand on a chair, and the mouse quickly disappeared, of course. And it was only a couple of fairly mild exclamations. I swear!
We’ve had mice before, but we’ve been mouse-free for a few years. (Or they’ve been cleverly quiet and unseen.) Back then I might have been a bit more tough, I think. The Man of the House worked away a lot, so I’ve had to do my share of spider-catching and mouse-baiting.
Back then we found, at least, some mousetraps that didn’t require handling of dead mice. Peanut butter smeared on the catch plate, and sometime later, whammo. Just pick up, squeeze the levers to open, and drop to dispose. I didn’t like it much, but it was effective.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve got more squeamish again. It’s just.. the man of the house has been home more often, and, as unfeminist as it sounds, I don’t mind a bit of specialisation of jobs around the house. Chivalry shouldn’t be completely dead in the water. I don’t mind my man being a bit chivalrous and tough.
So yesterday I made the mistake of skyping him at work about the mouse sighting, so of course that meant I had to do something about setting a trap. Dammit. I rummaged around the back of the cupboard and found one of the old traps, set it as I’d done in the past, and crossed my fingers he’d be home in time to deal with it.
And so he was. Over dinner we hear a noise coming from the cupboard. But not the one-off sound of a trap springing shut. Oh, no. There’s rustling and clunking noises.
He goes to investigate, and bugger. We have the situation of a little mouse caught in the trap just by his leg, flopping around frantically. And making little squeaky noises!
OMG! Mice! They actually do squeak!
Thus ensues a mexican stand off, where he tells me I have to help, and I’m at the table (trying to finish my salad), with my hands in my head saying “But I can’t! I can’t!!! I’m no good at this sort of stuff!”
And he’s also telling me I set the trap wrong! It should have been placed in a confined space where the mouse couldn’t access the bait from the side. Wtf?! I never did that last time, and it always worked. Guess who won’t be setting any more traps then!
Eventually he convinces me to hold a plastic bag open, while he manages to get a hold of the trap – not an easy task, as by this stage the agitated mouse with trap attached has fallen out onto the kitchen floor, and is gyrating around with it.
He drops it into the plastic bag, and thankfully the mouse lies still. (I was afraid it would go off like the proverbial frog in a sock, and I’d freak out and drop it.) I hold the top together and swiftly pass it over to him.
He takes it outside and lets it go, with a stern lecture to not come inside again.
Oh, but it was so small, and cute! It makes you feel like a right bastard for setting traps that kill. (And even worse that they might just maime.)
And now that I’ve googled mouse traps, I’m finding all sorts of forums where they recommend humane mouse trapping and releasing. What a dilemma! (And no, don’t suggest keeping it as a pet!)
Anyway, that’s my mouse story. It probably doesn’t quite eclipse Bush Babe’s one of finding one (dead or alive, I can’t remember) in the toaster when they got back from a week away. (I think she might have just twittered that one!) Or Potty Mummy’s ongoing mouse problem.
Checked the reset trap today – or rather, I got the Man of the House to check the trap HE reset yesterday – and nothing there. Phew. So either the mouse is a fast learner, or he’s found somewhere else to live outside. He just better not come back and get himself caught tonight whilst Himself is out.