Thursday, November 1, 2012


If you're squeamish about mice you can stop reading now.

I am rather fond of them. And though I can't tell one from the other, we have several that romp around the house, most frequently around the kitchen, where they skitter across the counters when the lights are out and we're immersed in something cultural on TV, like Survivor or Dancing with the Stars.  They are usually unnoticed except for our occasional need for refreshment.

They also tend to rustle about the candy wrappers that sometimes find their way to the floor beside the bed, intermingled with the rumpled pages of 6 month old copies of the New Yorker, a toppled tower of paperbacks, and a dusty sock. Or two.  I enjoy their company on wintery evenings, bundled under my down quilt, fire crackling, nose to book. Such happy little things they sound.

If I have pause, it is only on the occasions when we have guests and I notice one or several flitting across the room, which always surprises me since they tend to be so shy. Admittedly it is a behavioral issue that needs addressing. Should they survive the Prince, we will work on it.

Look at this Face!
His most recent announcement, of a few days past, is that the health department would shut us down were we a restaurant.  Now really. Does he honestly believe that these sweet little creatures are any dirtier than Lula the Murderess who lolls around in mud puddles with her filthy tennis balls, licks her rump with a tongue coated in god knows what, and then plants that tongue on his face?

Having tried with no success the poison and the snappish traps he has once again laid in a supply of glue traps. Devices that fill me with such disgust, I can't tell you. While there are several, perhaps even more than several, people that I would enjoy seeing stuck to such things, chewing their feet off to get free, I cannot countenance doing so to our plump and fluffy little near-pets.

He dealt these disgusting traps like cards around the house, no doubt chuckling to himself as he went. Behind the sofa went several, more were dropped behind the bed, behind the stove, under the kitchen counters, and around the basement.

That time, the only thing that was caught was my foot, clad in a pale pink sneaker that had been recently purchased in a dreadfully chic Georgetown shoe shop with pink and white striped walls and black chandeliers and shoes racked on glass shelving to reveal their red soles. French they were, these sneakers, and terrifically expensive, at least originally. I pulled them out of the bargain basket next to the front door. I felt so....Bardot padding about in them, even if they had absolutely no arch support and the little metal things around the eye-holes came quickly detached.

Ohhhh no!
OUT! Went the traps.

Now here they are again. I told him FINE then, but if any of our mice are caught YOU will handle the SITUATION.

And this morning I hauled him out of bed at 6 a.m. to do just so. For there, on the kitchen counter, was a sweet little mouse SCREAMING for help.

He was displeased. I was more so, retreating to my bird room and sitting down on the ottoman singing We Shall Overcome loudly to myself as I heard water splashing in the sink.

I told him if he wished to use these traps the least he could do is go buy a tiny gun that he could put to the mouse's tiny head and -- pow.  But this torture on torture?

Later this morning, while dusting up because Margot is coming to dinner --  she's German and therefore does not appreciate concepts like A Little Dust Makes for an Interesting Woman -- my swiffer caught in a trap under the dishwasher (where there should be a bottom panel but I assess no blame for its absence) and I found another tangled in the fringe of my mohair throw.

This is neither here nor there, I'm just saying.

If you know how to clean one of these, do tell.
And then I was on the internet trying to find out how to clean my computer mouse which has gotten fidgety and I tripped across instructions for FREEING A MOUSE FROM A GLUE TRAP.

Is this not fate? I'm almost anxious now to trap one just so I can free it.

Anyway, all you need to do is coat the mouse and the trap with a little oil, being careful not to drown the mouse, "NEVER USE ANY KIND OF PETROLIUM, SYNTHETIC OR LUBRICATING OIL...and do not submerge the mouse's mouth and nose in the oil" the instructions stress. I love instructions.

If the mouse has gotten really stuck, you might have to poke it a bit, but use something well padded because he or she is probably pissed off --even if you had nothing to do with its predicament-- and might nip.

Now place the oily mouse on its oily trap into a plastic container with a lid and "lock it down" because the mouse will work its way free in a few minutes and leap for the safety of behind the stove.

They suggest driving the mouse to a place far away, at least a mile, otherwise it will come right back. A fairly ridiculous suggestion in the middle of a city.

Personally, I would make the gesture of releasing it into the garden, where it might consider partaking of the hospitality of one of our neighbors. I might even point out a promising direction or two.



  1. I've had recent experiences with those glue traps too. I had to put a few outside because we had spotted a couple in the yard and my wife was starting to refuse my requests to go outside with me to look around. I did catch one mouse but it was dead, dead, dead by the time I saw it. I also caught my dog's paw. That wasn't fun.

  2. In the YARD? In the WILD? Oh the poor little fuzzy wuzzies... attacked even in their own natural habitat.

  3. every so often I find a little strip of grey fur - tail of squirrel - in the grass outside my gate. Just saying.

  4. My love for mice vanished when they turned my basement into their own personal toilet. They're only cute till they start to poop and then they've gotta go! But that being said, I have gerbils in my classroom and have been known to take them to the vet. Fat and Happy are excellent patients.

    1. But this is murder most foul. And the plan IS to send them next door...

  5. I have been stricken with plague--well a cold--and I think this post may have cured me, it was all so funny, and so eerily familiar.

    Mice are adorable--they are so tiny and they run with those tails up like antennae-- but to keep their Streaking across rooms to a minimum I got a cat, who lasted well but not forever, and now I have a terrier. Still there are millions of mice, in the walls, in the floors, under the sink. They must have a system of pulleys and wires to access counters like they do and really we may be dealing with Mice from Space or ones maybe with iphones. Anyway, I feel your pain.

  6. The Plague! The Plague! I've had that! Poor you.

    I'm glad SOMEONE appreciates mice. In the meantime, they've made themselves scarce since I wrote this piece. Perhaps they fear my freeing them more than they fear the traps?

  7. I'm with Casa Mariposa here. Mice are not good indoors. My neighbour found a nest of mice in her cereal box and my former flatmate had mice make a tunnel right through the middle of a loaf of bread. It would be ok if they stayed at floor level and outside of food cupboards. Do you train your mice to behave?


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