Thursday, October 27, 2011

MOUSE IN THE HOUSE

Right around this time every year we have an unwanted guest or two that sneaks into the house. No, it’s not one of the children trying to move back in, it’s those furry little vermin that are seeking a warm place to hide, a bit of food and a bathroom for their little black droppings. Yup, it’s mouse season.
The other night the wife and I were watching a bit of TV and one of the little buggers just walked across the kitchen doorway like he owned the place. Both of us screamed and he scurried back under the counter.
So I set up the trap and lo and behold we caught it the next morning. One down, I don’t know how many more to go. I reset the trap and, sure enough, we caught another one within a day or two. Happily, there’s been nothing since then and that’s about par for the course around here, one or two every fall and spring and that’s about it. Thankfully.
You know, they make the animated versions of these creatures look so cute like Mickey and Minnie Mouse or Pixie and Dixie from the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons but in reality they’re not that cute to me. Especially when I grew up in a house with six sisters and we lived in an old two story war-time house with a dirt basement which the mice loved to inhabit. I guess I just got sucked into all the girl’s hysteria, too, whenever one of the mice would make its appearance and the sisters would all be jumping up on the furniture and screaming and everything. Learned behaviour, you know. It didn’t help that Dad was a big tease and would chase us around with the mice he’d caught in the trap.
I remember staying at my sister and brother-in-law’s house on the farm, while I worked there for a summer or two during high school, and they had a bit of a mouse problem there, too. I slept in a converted office/den which the creatures used as their convention centre or something, it seemed, as there were crowds of them meeting in that room. I knew they were in the room with me and I got used to hearing them scurry around a bit but I drew the tolerance line when they bound across the bedcovers. Yuck!
I suppose there are worse things in the world, but still, they give me the creeps and you just never know what they’re getting into. I usually start my day with a bowl of porridge and the cereal mix is kept in the cupboard that the little beast had been caught coming out of. Once he/she was caught I didn’t give it much thought until I poured some of the cereal mixture into a bowl and because of my faulty vision I was unsure whether the dark brown/black things in the mixture were flax seeds or was this mouse using my cereal as his/her litter box. Again, yuck! And again, thankfully, it was flax seed this time and the cereal mix is going into a Tupperware container from now on.
Legend has it that Walt Disney got his inspiration for his Mickey Mouse character from a “cute”, (his word not mine), pet mouse that he either had when he was growing up or one that he befriended at a studio he was working at early in his career. He was even quoted as saying that he loved Mickey Mouse more than any woman he’d ever known! Really? Must have been an interesting tidbit of information for his wife of forty-plus years. I’m guessing they must have had an understanding. Whatever. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but one of the last animals that I’d want as a pet would be a mouse. But that’s just me.
I’m not sure if I’m related to this guy I’m quoting but I sure like the way he thinks:
“One of the simple but genuine pleasures in life is getting up in the morning and hurrying to a mousetrap you set the night before.”-Kin Hubbard (1868-1930).

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