Eight years ago, I decided to document in great detail the quotidian enchantments and domestic triumphs I enjoy, endlessly. Along the way, I digressed, but in the main, here we all are. Hello. I know what you like.
In the lexicon, We have a mouse. I guess what this verbiage serves is to convey rodentia -- a state of cohabiting with mice, you see -- without being infested with them crawling all over every surface, like a horror movie. But this last week, I told Mari I was rejecting his pretty talk.
"Honey, we don't have a mouse. We have probably about 16 mice, ok? I saw The Tale of Despereaux & also The Rescuers. Mice have rich social lives!"
I mean, honestly. If we had a Bengal tiger, there would probably only be just the one.
He told me he kept seeing the same mouse, fat, boldly streaking across the floor. I was still impatient.
"Ok, but did you tag it? How do you know it's the same one?"
It is July, fuck these mice, they should be outdoors! Go outside! There is nothing to eat in our house! They are eating my philodendrons! If they are going to eat plants, those are abundant outside! It's so infuriating! And everyone is on edge, vacuuming & wiping, because they know that I feel the presence of a mouse to be an indictment of my homekeeping skills. Which is ridiculous, but my issues.
Was it Dooce who penned long ago of someone asking how she kept her home so clean & she informed them that anxiety was a kind of a mental illness? Yes to whomever wrote it on the internet first anyway.
In the matter of wildlife management, we are at odds, a little. Mari loves glue traps. I can think of nothing less relaxing than having a small mammal fixed to a piece of sticky paper, crying & cheeping all night and/or until you get to its dispatch. Mari puts down glue traps on the evenings he will be home in the morning to take care of it.
I like to put poison down, you know. I get the pillow-packs of poison & slit them open to nudge in a toothpickful of Nutella, then retape them with packing tape. MmmMmmmMMMMMmmmm.
You know the poison was eaten because it is gone & then behind the stove you find one day 7 empty wrappers & that is what happens in October/November, usually. They come in, so I poison them, and then they all die or whatever. Or, at least I do not see them nor their poopy evidence -- same difference.
However, poison does lack closure. Extermination is an area in which subtlety does not appease my husband, and I understand that. Last year, when he left a trap under the stove & it stuck a mouse so I had to cover it with a sheet of newspaper and bash it with a shovel after Fox moved the stove for me, I mean ... I knew the world was rid of one mouse.
Anyway, this regiment of mice in the summer of 2014 was refusing to be vanquished. Ok. First we went away for 9 days & they refused to starve to death. Then upon our return, no mice would surrender themselves to the fixatives!
We were taking Garçon's suggestion to cover the entire counter with sticky paper, sure, why not? One night, I came home & went into the kitchen & saw a mouse climbing out fom the vent in our stove console & very gingerly reaching over the traps bordering the appliance to try and land on a package of votive candles.
WHAT THE FUCK, HOW ARE YOU STILL ALIVE? is what I screamed at him.
I promise you, in that moment, where I saw it trying to ford the moat of sticky paper, I turned into Wile E. Coyote. That was it! I was going to get this tricksy mouse & his whole goddamned family! Get them & dance on their graves!
Mari was surprised at my sudden murderous rage. I explained to him that it was because of the nest.
July 3, a branch fell down from the silver maple across the street & a robin's nest came down with it.
A real baby was blown onto the trunk of the car belonging to our neighbors' weekend-visiting friends.
If all those baby birds had to die, well, every mouse in this house anyway. Those birds were just waiting to hatch & call bitchy robin calls too early in the morning! These mice are just pathetic & unwelcome.
Still elusive, night after night, even with the entire counter covered in paper! Secretly, I was happy, because Mari was away at this next conference, because the cheeping & chirping all night, crying in terror, but mouse! In my house! Desperate, angry, I used Google to search for "electrocution mousetrap."
I thought I would get some old Make magazine-y tutorial on the matter, and while there are those, the mousetrap people make an electrocution mousetrap! Yes! It runs on 4-AA batteries! It kills 100 mice with that charge! You can buy it for $20 at The Home Depot! Our nearest store had 11 of them in stock! I bought two! Because we have more than one mouse, ok?
In my joy & rapture, I called Mari to report the electric-chair news! He made me explain to him a million times how the thing was constructed & then asked me to send him a photo.
"Honey, you're never going to get a mouse to walk in there."
Oh, ho, ho, darling. But you are wrong.
Mice are wary of new things, but mice are trainable. That is why they have all those great laboratory jobs. I mixed up some poisoned Nutella paste & smeared a little here & there inside of the unset electrocution mousetraps. I left the lid open on the electro-chamber. The next morning, both traps were licked clean as a whistle. Nauseating!
The next night, I closed the lid and put the poisoned Nutella paste inside the circle entrance, but not so far back as they would have to go to get electrocuted. Again, the next morning, the plastic was clean.
On the third night, I put the paste back as far as they would need to come along to get jolted. Again, they ate all the bait. (I did worry that I would poison them to death & so they would never return for the pain, but whatever.)
Last night, I didn't bother poisoning the bait, because why waste poison on a dead mouse? Et voila.
Ok, that mouse is pretty fat. I mean, it barely fits in there. If I hadn't trained it to expect delicious food, there is no way it would have wedged itself in there like that!
I thought the best part of this trap would be that I could just lift the lid & dump out the mouse carcass. I was wrong because there is a better part: the mouse does not even make it to the bait, so you do not have to fool around again, carefully icing it with the right amount of Nutella to be the bait without leaking onto the electro-area nor attracting ants.
I dumped the mouse (I had to shake it, hard, like a ketchup bottle, to get him out. God, like Violet Beauregard!) and set the trap back on the floor, yk, because there is more than one mouse in this house.
See? We went out this morning, after breakfast & when we returned, the circuit light was flashing again! Who knows how many I poisoned, teaching them to eat from the trap? I am not a mouse ethnographer. I am a mouse executioner! This is in the category of defending hearth & home! Domestic triumph! Châtelaine, hourra! xoxoxox