Me against mice

Believe me, it is not a good way to be welcomed home from a trip to find that a varmint has left a mess in your bread door after hanging out there for some time. Of course no one was still there by the time I got home, but mice had left behind their calling cards and bread crumbs from part of the loaf of bread they chewed.

Welcome home.

Somehow, this was not what I planned to do when I got home after nine hours on the road that day, but I rounded up my mouse traps and set one in the bread door and another in the pantry. The next morning, I gingerly opened the drawer in my kitchen to check the trap. I had caught one overnight. Later in the day I found I had bagged another little rodent.

Now, emptying a mouse trap is definitely one of my least favorite tasks, but my pliers and I got it done. Often I just simply throw away the trap with the mouse in it, but it’s a good thing I didn’t this time, because by late the next day I had caught two more mice.

By this time, this felt like a vendetta. Me against mice, and I wasn’t real sure I was winning. Early the next morning I heard something in my pantry, where I had also set a trap.

When I cautiously opened the pantry door, there was the offending mouse, still alive but caught in the trap. Maxine my cat, sitting on the floor right at my feet, didn’t move a muscle to go after him.

So I shut the pantry door while Maxine sat right there most contentedly. After all I’ve done for her since we became roommates in January, feeding and housing her, giving her safety and love, Maxine did not demonstrate any ability-or interest in-being a mouser, even when I discussed it with her.

I can’t figure it out. But I think it might be because she’s declawed, she’s never lived outside, and she’s more than ten years old. Still, wouldn’t you think that somehow instinct would kick in? Well, I haven’t noticed it yet.

What I really want to know is just why there is a mouse problem at this time of year. Generally, they’re around in the fall when it’s colder and the grain is coming out of the fields, not in the middle of the summer.

I have plugged some holes with steel wool that I found outside, so I hope that will solve this issue permanently. For now, there are no uninvited visitors in my house, I’m glad to say. But Maxine and I are ready for them, each in our own way, should they choose to return.