Maybe we need to rent a cat

We had more guests this weekend! One was the good kind, a friend of my brother (we'll call him M) , who stayed over here Saturday night on his way to Minnesota, where he's re-locating permanently. We have some really good pictures of him with Daniel, but I don't want to post them unless it's OK with him. Trust me, they're cute.

You can guess who the other "guest" was.



It was Saturday evening. Daniel was asleep in our room in his crib. Stu, M and I were in the kitchen eating dessert. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a shadow.

"Oh no," said Stuart.

"Mouse?" said I, and I knew the answer before he gave it.

This one did not go directly into the basement, but instead led us on a quiet chase (sleeping baby, remember?) all through the upstairs of the house. I use the term "us" somewhat liberally, as Stu and M did all the chasing etc while I watched from my frightened perch on top of the couch. Mouse #2 scurried behind the stove, into the living room, under the piano, behind the bookshelves, into the bathroom, out of the bathroom, and very nearly into the room where Daniel was sleeping. At that point, I very nearly came unglued. It's a good thing Stu had his wits about him. As I was freaking out from my watcher's post atop the couch, Stu stuffed a rug under the door to our room so the mouse couldn't get in there.

Meanwhile, M was waiting in the living room with a broom, ready to chase the mouse out from its hiding place and out into the open. As I cowered and squealed - so useful, me - the mouse dashed behind the TV, where it hid for a minute or so, giving Stuart time to re-bait and re-set the trap. He set in on the floor where he thought the mouse would run while M went after it with the broom. No dice. Finally after about three tries, it ran straight into the trap and SNAP! - it was caught.

Now all that was left to do was dispose of it, which involves Stu (not me, no friggin' way) going out to the woods in our yard and dumping it there for the crows to find. M went out there with him, I guess because he was curious to see how this trap works.

They were out there a little too long. Evidently, there was some debate as to the deadness of the mouse.

"What's the problem?" I asked, not really wanting to know.

"Well," said Stuart. "See, the trap is supposed to break the mouse's neck, but-"

"That's all I want to know," I said, and went about scouring the kitchen in hopes of preventing another mouse attack. Pre-emptive cleaning, I call it.

Stu and M were outside with an old paint bucket, drowning the not-quite-dead mouse. I heard boyish giggles, exclamations of "Ew! Gross!" At the point I heard one of them utter the word "Chunks!" I turned a deaf ear.

Daniel slept through the entire incident without a peep.

So what prompted visits from two mice in three days? I figure it's just a fact of life in a neighborhood with lots of wooded areas and not enough predators to keep the rodent population in check. M figured Mouse #2 was sent here on a reconnaissance mission when Mouse #1 never returned to the fold.

In any case, I hope I never have to post about this again!


Jenn Hacker said…
I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but one mouse can have hundreds of babies in its lifetime - and they don't live that long. So, when you see one or two mice, that usually means you have many, many others in hiding. I've heard a rumor that it's starting to get chilly in other parts of the world right now (but not in Texas), so this is the time when the mice come in from the fields and make cozy nests in your home. You might need to invest in a four-legged mousetrap.
Tooz said…
I echo the idea of chilly weather driving the mice indoors, especially since you have wooded areas where they feel safe the rest of the year. Where do you suppose they are getting in? I know you live in an older house, so you may want to do some careful examining for possible points of entry and close up those access points.
Becca said…
I'd recommend, if you get a cat, go to the shelter and don't get a cute little kitten. Adopt one of the big barn cats--there's always a bunch of >1 year old cats people don't want because they aren't cute, but should have the natural instinct you need to get rid of the mice.

Little kittens won't work--they'll be too domesticated to do anything but play with mice, if they go near the mice at all.

Also, cats love other critters, like crickets and roaches. I love multi-purpose solutions that purr.

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