Thursday, April 8, 2010
When Ed's away...
Ed occasionally has to be out of town on business. Sometimes it is one week, other times just a day, this time it is 3 weeks (home on the weekends). We all miss him, but there is also the fact that life is easier when he is here. Although he is at work all day, I do count on him being here for dinner and then to help with the kids at bed time. When he isn't, it just makes the day seem longer. It's amazing what a difference it makes to have another parent helping with brushing teeth, or cleaning up after dinner. And then there are things that happen that make me realize how much I miss not having a man around the house. Things like broken garbage disposals, or closet doors that fall off the track, or...mice.
Yes, we have had mice issues since moving in this house. Sometimes worse, sometimes better, but Ed has always been the one to deal with the dead mice and the mouse traps. Once we got our cats, we haven't been as vigilant with setting the traps, hoping that the cats would take care of the problem. Shortly after we got Jasper, he "caught" his first mouse. Ed and I were in the living room watching T.V., all of a sudden, Jasper darted across the floor and Ed said, "He's chasing a mouse!" We both jumped off the couch and found a poor little mouse limping along, trying to get away from Jasper. We didn't want to see the mouse suffer, but we didn't know what to do with it. I suggested that we get our electrical mouse trap and zap the mouse, to put it out of its misery. Ed, of course, took care of that. He got the trap and placed it in front of the mouse. The frightened and dazed creature saw the opening in the little black box as an escape, crawled in, and was immediately electrocuted. It made us a little sad, but it was better than the alternative of being mauled to death by the cat. Anyway, we haven't seen any evidence of the cats catching anything else until yesterday.
I was on the phone with Jess, when Ben came running up to me and said, "Jasper has a mouse! A real live mouse!" At that point, I saw Jasper running into the laundry room, so I followed. Sure enough, he turned around to face me and there was the poor creature, in Jasper's mouth, little legs wriggling around, frantically trying to get away. I gave a little yelp and locked Jasper in the laundry room, hoping that he would finish off the mouse quickly. Jess was horrified at the situation, and I was a bit worried that I would find bits of mouse or step on a head. After I got off the phone, I checked on Jasper, and although he was interested in the space behind the dryer, I didn't see any injured or dead mouse, so I figured it had gotten away and had found somewhere to die in peace.
When E came home, I was telling her the story when I saw Blossom overly interested in a pile of books on the playroom floor. She was playing with something underneath and I had my suspicions that it was a mouse. "E, go lift up those books" I urged.
She looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "No, YOU go pick up those books!"
"No, YOU!" This probably would have continued indefinitely had KK not been standing there, and watching. As we argued, she went over and lifted up the books. E and I took one look, saw a mouse, and ran SCREAMING up the stairs. I think our arms were over our heads too. Once we got our breath back, we went back downstairs where K was still standing next to the mouse, confused as to what made us run for the hills. I grabbed a clear plastic toy container, put it over the mouse, and then came in for a closer look. At closer inspection, the mouse was very small and cute, but obviously injured. It was curled up, panting and close to death. I didn't know what to do- it probably wouldn't be able to make it into the mouse trap, but I didn't want to just let it lie there and die in front of all the kids. I went to look for the mouse trap, and that is when I found mouse #2, or maybe it was the original mouse. In any case, it was lying in the middle of the laundry room floor, very dead. Now, if Ed were coming home I would have left that mouse, and probably the other one, but I now I was forced to take care of the situation. My mom called in the middle of this and I told her about the 1/2 dead mouse. Her first suggestion? To cut off the mouse's head, using the cutting board and a knife from my kitchen. I yelped, "Are you crazy?!" Her response? "That's what the farm wives used to do!" Needless to say, I didn't take that advice, or her other suggestions to "crush it" or "drown it". In the end, I got up my courage, gritted my teeth and scooped up both mice, put them in plastic bags and threw them in the garbage bin. I know it wasn't the most humane thing to do to that little injured one, but I couldn't find the trap, and I just could not kill the mouse outright. Hopefully it was close enough to death that it didn't suffer long. I am proud of our little mousers. I think that the message is getting out to the mouse community that this is not a "friendly" house any longer. We've got hunters on the job!
Now I am just wondering what other (mis)adventures we will have while Ed is away.