Murphy’s law dictates that, since The Husband stayed at his brother’s place overnight, that sneaky snacking mouse would choose last night, the night I’m snoozing alone in the house, to finally walk into a trap on the kitchen counter, thus preventing me from doing anything but pacing back and forth a safe distance (7 feet) from mouse corpse when I discovered it this morning. It effectively blocked the toaster, microwave, coffee mugs, my self respect and anything vocally sensible other than “oh my god. oh my GOD what the hell do I do?!?”.
Yes, I understand that the mouse was having a much worse morning.
Like a forgotten dream, the memories of Vancouver vermin came sweeping back into my mind. It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered this heebie-jeebie thing with mice – we were living in a dive of an apartment, and Bert had been claiming to see mice out of the corner of his eye when he watched television, and of course me and the Neighbor Boy mocked him horribly for it. One night Bert is in the other room and sure enough, Neighbor Boy and I see a mouse saunter across the kitchen floor. So we do what every good friend does – we closed the adjoining doors to the room, and tried to quietly eradicate the mouse so that we would never have to admit to Bert that he was right. NB, on hands and knees, fed the meter stick under the stove and I was standing ready with a box to throw over the mouse once it ran out. NB said “READY??!”, and then I was suddenly and inexplicably sitting on the counter top. NB cocked an eyebrow and asked if I was afraid of mice. My only response was “apparently”.
Shortly after, we learned the hard way that kill traps don’t necessarily kill, and that the two of us (Bert and I) were completely inadequate in any Mouse War. Even against these unhealthy mice that actually died NEXT to traps – I suspected genetic heart problems in the population – but it didn’t make the situation better. NB eventually moved away two weeks before The Husband was to join us. Our greatest obsession was not saying goodbye to NB and wishing him well, but scampering to prepare for what we’d do when NB was no longer across the hall and available to “take care of bidnesS” should a mouse appear: Plan A was to find a car to live in until Jay arrived, Plan B was burn the building down. I do feel somewhat apologetic for not giving NB a nice sendoff – I was too concerned that we were about to be left on the battle lines alone.
We eventually moved to a non-divey townhouse, but the war continued. I so vividly remember being huddled near the upstairs window watching below, trembling, creeped out and unsure how to manage. After living in the neighborhood for months, those condo-building-money-grubbing-nazis ripped down two old abandoned houses on the next block, and the rats and mice within were suddenly homeless and gang-warring in the back patios. Yes, Gang Wars. Ever seen a rat swinging in a hanging planter, geronimo mouse jumping from the roof onto its back, only to have said rat freak out, fall out of the planter, and hit hard against your patio window before scampering away? That’s just one of the highlights of a several week neighborhood battle with and between the vermin. 5 containers of poison just in our back patio. Me not going onto the patio for two months (the Mouse War took my concentration away from the Slug Battle). Patio door had to be closed at all times and I slept with the awareness of a ninja. (shudder)
So this morning coming around the corner and seeing that the trap had moved from where it was *supposed* to be, I quite literally heard Bert screaming, trying to dig himself into the wall above the futon (in a rather dramatic echoing flashback sequence sort of way), and my own shaking squealing returned for a moment until I decided to take charge. My version of taking charge was throwing a plastic bag over that icky area of the counter, put on my jacket, left the house, locked the door, went to a pottery sale and tried to forget that I had a dead thing in my kitchen. I’m very good at evading.
The mouse and trap are now in the garbage can after a support-line call (The Husband) where I was walked through the process. The garbage can is now outside on the back step with the corpse within, my kitchen has been wiped down with alcohol (not the drinking kind although i’d be ready to sacrifice good rum if it would disinfect the counter), and I’m ashamed that I needed The Husband’s help to deal with such a thing. I’m sure that marriage has made me weak. Or maybe just mice and mold make me weak squeally and give me reason to display a fit of really stereotypical girlie behaviour. However, I’m quite proud that, even though I did need to squeal (poor neighbors) repeatedly through the disposal, when it comes right down to it, I myself put on the gloves, got the broom, and got rid of the corpse. Me me me. Disposer of Dead Things. Jay covers mice and everything without armpits, and I cover insects and whatever else shows up. UNTIL TODAY! I was a frontline warrior in the continuing Mouse War! MEMEME!
And I unset all the traps. We’re just gonna have to learn to live together in peace when the house lacks the presence of a Brave Mouse Avenger. Just because I’m capable of serving on the front lines doesn’t mean I want to, so this battle in the never-ending Mouse War is officially ON HOLD.