Monday, March 12, 2012

Way Too Much Fun For A Monday Morning

We have had a mouse living in our kitchen for quite a few months. Every few days we see him, dashing from under the fridge to the dishwasher, or, most disturbingly, hopping out of the trash compactor when someone opens it. He has been getting steadily fatter as we are a great family to host a mouse, crumb wise. No matter how often we sweep the floor, it is a matter of moments before someone wanders through and drops more.

We have been trying to trap this mouse for months. At first (because he is awfully cute, just a little brown field mouse) we tried building a humane trap. After some internet research, Jay went off to Lowes and came back with buckets, wood, and various other items to build an elaborate trap. He covered a soda can with peanut butter, built ramps so the mouse could get up and then arranged the can so it would spin when touched, thus dumping the mouse into the bucket where we would find and release him the next morning. We didn't count on the dog, who licked all the peanut butter off the can overnight and then promptly got sick. Fail number one.

Next, we called pest control and asked for help. They set sticky traps at common entry points to the house. We never caught a mouse, but instead caught a baby snake. Seriously. We haven't felt quite comfortable at home ever since. Fail number two.

Then we set classic traps with cheese and peanut butter in his favorite hiding places. By this time, humane was no longer a consideration, we just wanted the mouse gone. Every morning we would wake up to find the traps licked clean and unsprung. This is one smart mouse. Fail number three.

During this time, we got a cat. She is a really great cat and we enjoy her on many levels, but it certainly crossed our minds that she could be of use to us as a mouser. Over the months, she has noticed the presence of the mouse and spends many hours staring under the refrigerator where she most often has seen him run. One time she caught him in her mouth but when Jay ran after her to collect the mouse she got scared and dropped him. Fail number four.

This morning, about 6:00am, before anyone else was awake, I was in the kitchen making the kids' lunches and the cat was in her usual position in front of the refrigerator. I opened the trash compacter and jumped when the mouse hopped out. Happily, the cat did not fail to notice this and within an instant had the mouse in her mouth. I started screaming, "Mittiny has the mouse, Mittiny has the mouse" and people started crashing out of bed and throwing open their doors. What a way to get the kids out of bed for school!

Mittiny ran up the stairs with the mouse in her mouth, lickety split, and proudly delivered it to Lindsey (her actual owner). As soon as she released the mouse and it ran, she grabbed it again and--get this--tossed it in Lindsey's bathtub where it could not scrabble out. What a smart cat!
We shut the bathroom doors and braced ourselves for carnage.

After about an hour, when the noises had stopped, Jay ventured in to see what we were dealing with. A very happy Mittiny came out, satisfied that she had played properly with her prey and pleased her owner, but the mouse was still very much alive and uninjured in the tub. Fail number five.

So, we had the mouse trapped, but the cat was clearly not going to finish the job (got to keep her a little hungrier, I guess!). Jay, my brave husband, scooped the mouse into a tupperware, got in the car and released it in a distant field, certain that even if it could remember how to get back to our house, no amount of crumbs would be worth another possible hour spent "playing" with the cat in the tub. I don't expect we'll see this mouse again.

See? If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!


Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh.... I am laughing sooooo hard right now !! See you guys Wednesday, and I may even show some love to Mittiny........ Do cats like snakes? xo

Emily Aoun said...

I've read this post about 3 times so far! Too funny!! You write so well, I thought I was there witnessing the whole thing!! Never a dull moment!!

Bob Coldiron said...

Great story! Thanks!

anna lisa said...

So great to hear you sounding "up". I am totally impressed with the St. Francis-like humanity for a rodent!!