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A Game of Cat and Mouse, where I am the Cat.

November 9, 2009

When I was young (but still old enough to know better) I used my allowance to buy an illicit hamster from the pet store. I smuggled it up to my bedroom, and my brothers and sisters “helped” keep the hamster a secret from Mom. When I say they helped, what I really mean is they giggled and whispered loudly to each other about it, and made such blatant innuendos during dinner conversation that it’s a miracle Mom didn’t know exactly what was hidden in the critter cage under my bed. Probably she did know, and just didn’t want to have to deal with the situation if she could avoid it.

Well, even denial has limits, and eventually Mom reached that point. My brothers had been playing with my hamster (his name was Chuck, if that interests you) and accidentally let him escape. The Great Hamster Hunt didn’t turn up anything, and Chuck wasn’t tempted by all the morsels of food us kids tried to trap him with. Apparently he had decided that the hamster cage with soft bedding and personal water bottle was inferior to his new chosen home…. Mom’s shoe. It’s rather ironic that all of us kids, searching frantically, couldn’t find what Mom’s foot found with such ease. And Mom, for all the blind eyes she’d already turned, couldn’t ignore one furry rodent foot-warmer.

I don’t quite remember what happened to Chuck, other than that I was soon hamster-less. That part isn’t as memorable, I guess. What I do find amusing is that I was so frustrated that Mom was so unfairly anti-rodent. Turns out I’m rather anti-rodent myself, especially when the rodents are illegal aliens stealing their daily bread out of the loaf I’ve got saved for supper!

At this point in our lives, Tim and I have a little home in the country. We’re happy here, and that’s really what’s most important. Gabe loves his home. It’s a special little place. Even the little creaks and quirks that come with it are part of the special-ness that we love. There is a line that I’ve come to draw in the love-fest though. I may love my house, but I do NOT love the annual fall mouse invasion that comes with it. When the wind has a bite to it, and the first snowfall’s on the ground, all the mice around here start thinking about their winter vacation, and my home, with it’s ready supply of kid-dropped food, warmth and cozy quirks,.. well, it’s kinda like Bora Bora, mouse-style.

Last year Shaun was living with us, and his puppy Mia helped evict the mouse invaders. This year Shaun’s in Germany, Mia’s three hours away, and our first line of defense is gone. The mice know this, and for a few weeks now, it’s been a war between me and the mice, with the mice winning. I’d set traps (okay, I’d have Tim set traps, because those wire thingies HURT when they snap on my fingers!) and the mice would eat the peanut butter, and leave the trap. I’d find special mouse turd presents left behind, like little taunting “While you were sleeping” notes just for me. Thoughtful little shits, pun intended!

This weekend I started “Operation Ocelot”. I thought about naming it “Operation Cougar” instead, but I just don’t feel old enough to identify myself as a cougar quite yet. A-hem. Anyway. And, I’m winning! I’ve got this pulse thing that you plug in and it makes it uncomfortable for mice to be in the walls. It appears to work, considering the scare Tim got when a mouse jumped out in front of him last night (2 hours or so after plugging it in). It also seems to scare them right into the traps, which are finally snapping on something other than fingers. And, today I discovered that some sneaky mice had crawled into a storage area we barely ever use. They were lucky to find something to nibble on in there… unluckily, it was mouse poison left over from last year. I call that suicide by gluttony. Between the electronic pulse emitter, traps and unintentional poison access, I can finally say that we have inflicted more casualties than we have received. I am victorious!

Granted, tomorrow is another day. Hopefully one in which I do not have to share my bread. Turns out I’m not very good at sharing.  🙂

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