On with the show...
Not quite two weeks ago, The Queen and I made a late evening discovery at Castle Erickson upon arriving home from a movie. That discovery came in the form of something small crashing off the top of the refrigerator to the kitchen counter before scampering behind the stove. The Queen and I looked at each other wide eyed.
The Queen: Did you see that?
The Queen: Was that a mouse?
Me: Yeah, I think so.
It's frikkin' 12:30 at night, and we set about tearing apart the kitchen looking for the mouse. We started with pulling out the stove. That was gross. There was mouse poo and lot's off it behind there. Ewww.
But, no mouse, and no apparent places for it to use as a means of escape either.
So, I slowly and gently pulled out the storage drawer from the bottom of the stove (because, really, who wants to scare the crap out of a mouse causing it to jump straight up at you and give you a heart attack when you should be in bed snoring) while The Queen and Spanky McCloud (the cat) watched intently at my side. Nothing small and furry made a break for it meaning it was still there somewhere.
After pulling the drawer out, I looked behind it using a flashlight. Nothing but more mouse turds. Hmmm...that means....
Yes, Sherlock. The mouse is in the drawer somewhere.
Upon careful examination, I spotted a pink nose and some whiskers poking out from beneath the edge of the broiler pan. I took my eyes off it for just a second to turn to The Queen and ask her to get something to catch it with. Unfortunately, ninja mouse took that opportunity to dash from cover out of the drawer and back under the stove where it proceeded to take up residence in the insulation of the stove's side wall.
There was nothing left to do but start cleaning up some of the mess and get to bed. After sweeping up a bunch of mouse fertilizer and mopping up some mouse pee, we called it a night at the unprintable hour of 2:30 AM. Daddy Hawk was not a happy camper as my alarm normally goes off at 5:30 AM so I can get ready for work.
The next day (same day really...just later when the sun was actually up and people were supposed to be awake) after work, I stopped off at Home Depot to purchase mouse hunting supplies. I was tempted to resort to sitting in the kitchen with a flashlight and my shotgun all night, but even I knew that the neighbors would not appreciate (much less The Queen and M&M) a 12 gauge wake up call at 3:00 AM.
We started off with a pair of Victor "humane" traps situated in the most likely spots for a mouse hidden in the stove to go.
We baited it with peanut butter, cheese and apple. In hindsight, I suspect that the mouse (who some may actually accuse of being a rat) decided it was too much work to squeeze its huge butt into the trap to get at the bait.
So, after a couple of nights of no mice/rats in the traps, we brought out the less humane variety.
Success continued to elude us. Not a nibble on the cheese. Not even a stolen piece of bait. Had we found the only mouse/rat in the world that was lactose intolerant? Perhaps.
After a few days of this, we resorted to our inner Wile E. Coyote/Redneck and came up with these intelligent designs.
|My Internet Inspired Bucket Trap|
|The Queen's Vase Trap Complete with Reading Material for the Mouse|
|The Queen's Attempt at a Box Trap|
It was quite amusing watching us try and come up with various ideas actually. Too bad there is no video.
So, The Queen and I went to bed that night hopeful that we at least had a one in five chance of outsmarting a mouse.
Heh. Yeah, not so much.
5:45 AM the next morning, I hear a bang and crash in the kitchen. I jump out of bed hoping to find a trapped mouse.
Nope. Not so much.
I flipped on the light switch to find Spanky McCloud finally getting his fluffy grey hide off the bench by trying to "play" the mouse...okay, it's more of a rat. You'll see in a minute. The rat was expressing its views of being played with by the cat in no uncertain terms. I had never heard a rat call before. It's something like a combination of a squirrel, chipmunk and rabbit. Very strange.
Anyway, Spanky was not doing anything to actually catch the rat. So, I tried to bend down to catch the rat. I actually got a hand on the little bugger before it decided that now was a good time to freak out and make a beeline for the master bedroom with Spanky in pursuit.
Well, that just won't do.
I retreated to the kitchen momentarily to retrieve a large (32 ounce) plastic cup and a flashlight before returning to the bedroom in search of the infiltrator. What I found after a couple of seconds of searching was a rat sitting tensely on my house shoes giving Spanky the evil eye stare down. Spanky looked up at me sort of like..."What is it? What do I do now?"
Fortunately, rats have a reputation for poor eyesight. I gently lowered the cup of the rat who didn't realize what was happening until its tail was caught between the floor and the cup. I slid a magazine under the lip of the cup ending the great
That's about 4 inches of body and 7 to 8 inches of tail. I think it was a she, but I never really got a good enough look at its private parts to get confirmation. She was taken down the street and released next to a sewer drain.
If she comes back, I won't be as forgiving.