We found a mouse in our garage not too long ago. Matt promptly freaked out. I, on the other hand, only get my panties in a bunch for snakes and spiders. Anything else doesn’t really phase me much. I grew up in the mountains where the critters were abundant. We took care of various baby animals of the opossum, bird, and chipmunk variety all through my youth. We also had the misfortune of dealing with a flying squirrel that got loose in our house as well as a snake that made a home in our basement. Both events have been borderline repressed in my memory and I’d like to keep it that way.
So when Matt gave me the grave news that we had attracted a mouse in the garage, I was not bothered. We set out a humane trap and within a couple of days, we caught a mouse. Easy peasy. Until we saw another one. And then another one. And yet another one. We caught 4 mice in 2 weeks. Before you get all smart and ask me if it was the same mouse because we were catching and releasing, no it was not the same mouse. How do I know? Matt released the mice in a vacant field about 10 miles away from our house so I feel confident when I tell you that we were not being outsmarted by one little mouse.
We thought we had caught all of them. We released the last mouse almost 3 weeks ago and had not seen any signs of another one since then. We were celebrating our victory over the rodent species. Perhaps we should have been less jubilant in our celebration because the mice have risen up again. This time, Matt saw a mouse in our house. He was getting ready for work and happened to glance over towards the dining room where he saw what he thought was a kids stuffed animal. Then it moved. And he screamed. I came running because when one hears her husband screaming like he’s being attacked, one comes running. Of course, the mouse had long since run off so I stared suspiciously at Matt for a few minutes, wondering whether he was suffering from delusions.
He was in a tizzy. Apparently the man does not like mice. He was ready to go all Rambo style on this poor little creature but I was not on board with that kind of carnage so early in the morning. It was decided that we would set some traps at night when we went to bed in an effort to catch and then release this mouse like we did the others. Matt went off to work, calling to check in with me at least 20 times that day. He always asked if I’d seen the mouse to which I answered no each time. He seemed nonplussed by my lack of urgency but truthfully I’m more scared of my children than I am a tiny mouse.
We set the traps out every night for 3 nights with no luck. Matt was beginning to talk about calling an exterminator to the tune of a couple hundred dollars. I had a much simpler plan in mind. When he returned home from work that night he was welcomed by a very large hungry cat that I had borrowed from a neighbor. The cat stared at us with narrowed eyes all evening long until we went to bed to escape. I didn’t know a cat could be so disconcerting but this feline was obviously smarter than your average cat. It was also apparently a lot lazier than your average cat because we found him lounging in exactly the same spot on the couch the next morning as when we’d gone to bed the night before. With a huff of disgust, I shooed him out the door and back to his own life. Matt went off to work with a little superior smile that was screaming ‘I told you so’ without saying a word. He should know better. That little smile just irritates me.
Later that night when he was fast asleep and drooling on his pillow, I brought out my secret weapon. I had raided the kids toy box and found the old Zhu-Zhu pet at the bottom. Sometimes my own ingenuity scares me. I carefully placed the Zhu-Zhu pet on top of his stomach and pressed the button on it’s back that makes it move and squeak. When that failed to wake him up immediately I let out a little shriek and cried “Mouse”. That got him moving in a hurry. His eyes shot open, he lifted his head and saw the Zhu-Zhu pet on his lower abdomen and panicked. He yelled out a very naughty word, brought his fist down like a hammer on the Zhu-Zhu pet and promptly nailed himself in the balls. Now he was cursing, retching, and moaning while holding his balls and trying to scoot away from the “mouse”. I was laughing so hard that I may or may not have fallen sideways off the bed. It was an epic moment in our house.
Matt finally recovered enough to speak and I pretended not to hear the anatomically impossible threats that he lobbied in my direction as he hobbled off to sleep on the couch. I didn’t have the heart to remind him that we still hadn’t caught the real mouse. He obviously had enough on his mind, what with having to ice his balls and everything.
The exterminator comes tomorrow.
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