Friday, September 07, 2007

Building a Better Mousetrap

There's a mouse in our house.

As Chris has already mentioned, the mouse was a gift from one of our cats. HIS cat, to be more precise. On Wednesday night we were sitting on the couch happily enjoying an episode of
Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Chris heard a hairball-type noise and got up to let Sam (the cat formerly known as "The Assman") in from the deck. I glanced at Sam as he came in and thought to myself, "hmm. . .what's that on his face?" Then Sam lowered his head to the floor and the something on his face became a little brown mouse on our living room floor.

"Oh, ewww, aaaaack, oooooohhh, MOUSE!" I shrieked as I moved from a sitting to a standing position on the couch. And then two things happened: A) the little brown mouse scurried across the living room to take refuge under a bookcase, and B) I realized how dopey it was to be shrieking and waving my hands around from the top of the couch in the face of something as mighty and fearsome as a little brown mouse.

So I hopped down and said something to the effect of, "Here, little mousey," and then Chris and I spent the next forty minutes or so trying to capture the poor little guy (could be a girl. . .I really don't know). It didn't work. For one thing, Chris is afraid of mice. I noticed him flinching every time the mouse poked his little head out from under the bookcase and I promptly relieved him of his mouse-catching bucket. "What? I just don't like mice," Chris responded. "Think of him like a hamster," I said, "he's really cute." I'm pretty sure Chris shuddered.

Anyway, Chris kept trying to scare the mouse out of his hiding place and I kept trying to reason with him (the mouse, not Chris). "I just want to help you, little mousey," I explained. But neither of us was successful. Every time the mouse ran out from under something I became more focused on not squishing him than on actually catching him, and eventually the mouse ran into a hole under our kitchen cabinets. "He'll have to come out eventually and one of the cats will get him," Chris said, relieved. "No!" I exclaimed. After all, if I wanted one of the cats to get him I wouldn't have just spent forty minutes chasing his cute little mouse ass around the house.

My mom told me recently that my dad had discovered two dead mice in a fabric-covered wastebasket in his study. They reckoned the mice had scrambled up the outside and fallen in, and then were unable to scramble back up the slick plastic inside. I figured this could work to our advantage, so I emptied our bathroom wastebasket, wrapped the outside in a towel, and placed it near the hole. Then I sprinkled a trail of cheese from the hole up the towel and into the wastebasket. Then I went to bed, worrying about the poor little mouse stuck under our cabinets. "He must be so scared," I said to Chris.

In the morning, there was no mouse in my trap and the trail of cheese appeared undisturbed. (Probably because I used shredded taco-flavored cheese -- it is a well-known fact that mice abhor monosodium glutamate.) So I dismantled my mousetrap and hoped that the little mouse had somehow found his way outside. Yesterday passed without incident, and today was fairly uneventful until I sat down to write this post, at which point I saw the mouse run across the living room.

Now, a mousetrap is obviously entirely out of the question. I don't even like killing wasps; I'm certainly not going to kill a cute little brown mouse who is probably more upset about being in my house than I am about having him here. No, we have to SAVE this little mouse.

So when I saw the mouse run across the living room this afternoon, I barricaded off the rest of the house and sequestered the cats. Then I overturned the couch and the cushy chair, leaving only the TV to hide behind (see, if we didn't have that TV, this mouse would be gone by now. yet another good reason not to own a television). Finally, I reached behind the TV and tried to catch the little mouse in a plastic cup. But he kept scurrying out of reach. I sighed and kneeled down near the little mouse. "Come on, buddy," I crooned as I gazed into his little beady eyes, "come on out of there."

But my little buddy did NOT come on out of there. Instead he wedged himself somewhere so far out of sight that, well, I can't even see him anymore. I know he's still back there, though. For one thing, I made it nearly impossible for him to get out of that corner without my help. Also, a few hours ago I put a bit of cheese (smoked Gouda this time) behind the TV, and the cheese has since disappeared.

So now what? I considered ordering this no-kill mousetrap, but it's Friday and even with expedited shipping we wouldn't have it until next week. I will most certainly run out of Gouda before then. Fortunately, my Google search for a live mousetrap turned up this:


So I've emptied the bathroom wastebasket (again) and rigged one up behind the TV.

Chris says if I actually get the mouse outside I get a BIG surprise.

I hope it's a cute surprise. I hope it's a pet mouse.

15 comments:

Skylers Dad said...

Open all of your door and windows and reason with the mouse in the house to leave, and for all the other outdoors creature not to come in.

Hey what the hell, it might work, and if not, more blog fodder!

vikkitikkitavi said...

Thank god for the interwebs!

Good luck catching him. I think hardware stores carry no-kill traps too, don't they? Maybe only in CA.

Sans Pantaloons said...

I applaud you for your compassion Megan. I hope it all works out amicably.

A Ghost's Story said...

we've gone from "The Assman" to "Sam"?? W.T.F.??

wonderturtle said...

I bet Sam is still waiting to be thanked for his gift.

'Bubbles' said...

I guess you could use the glue traps and then unstick him, megan.

I'm with Chris. I don't like mice. They get my dogs all upset and I always think of them as plague spreaders, or something like that.

Good luck, and keep us posted. This post was a riot!! I'll be grinning bout the gouda for days!

Oh, my mom always used peanut butter for bait. She knew everything, so I'm sure it must work!

Megan said...

Skyler's Dad - So far reasoning has really not been workin' for me. That mouse is impervious to a rational argument.

Vikki - We acquired a no-kill trap at our local hardware store prior to our farmer's market visit this morning. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sans Pantaloons - Thanks. I sure hope so too.

Ghost - You can't go around calling a cat "the assman." Plus it's kind of like a partial anagram.

WT - We did thank him, but we've also glared and cussed at him an awful lot too, so he's probably real confused.

Bubbles - There were probably several points at which I could have scooped the mouse right up with my hands but I didn't want to get their germs, so I'm with you on the ick factor. And peanut butter is the current bait in our no-kill trap. Come ON little mouse, get IN there!

clare said...

I applaud your compassion for the mouse, but what about compassion for the cats? Poor kitties - prey right in their house and they're not allowed to get it. It must be messing with their heads to see you trying to make friends with the mouse.

Dale said...

The gift will be catnip on your nachos I'll bet.

lulu said...

Mice love Snickers. I caught many a mouse with a piece of Snickers when I lived in the ghetto-ass house in Wisconsin.

I like the visual of you standing on the couch squealing--like the woman in Tom and Jerry.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Good luck Megan (with Chris, not the mouse)!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Yikes! I hate mice and rats.

gizmorox said...

I once did the same thing when we had a tiny mouse behind the radiator. I was on the floor, poking at one side of the radiator with a stick, hoping he'd come out the other. When he did, he was too fast for me to catch, but ran under my knees. I slapped my feet together and managed to catch his tail in between my toes. My roommate, afraid like Chris, just about had a heart attack, but I was laughing hysterically. At least I caught the bugger.

I hope you have similar luck!

Megan said...

Anonymous - nobody's reading that comment. . .it's WAY too long and crazy.

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