You know, I never had a real issue with mice.
My kids enjoy America’s Funniest Home Videos, where it’s common to see men and women on tables.
Screaming, because a mouse is in the house.
That was never my style.
I’m not freaky, but I enjoy watching spiders weave their webs, catch prey, and do their thing.
I used to play with snakes…not the poisonous ones, of course.
But still, we had a wild black snake of considerable size who had her home under a rock.
We pet her whenever we could.
She was very nice, and allowed it, never even tried to bite us.
Guess that’s why I never had a problem with mice in my childhood home.
We named the black snake Dorothy, and she did her job well.
Kept rodents out of garden, and Mom out of our hair…Mom being terrified of snakes.
If my Mom saw a snake, she’d stay in the house for a minimum of three days.
There was a reason my Mother was pale and pasty in my childhood home.
Snakes were a every day sight for us, so she stayed in.
We had cats who caught both mice and snakes and presented them for my Mother’s approval.
We laughed at it, but she was terrified..and we were pretty naughty kids for laughing.
No, my problem with mice didn’t present until well after adulthood had set in.
One year, we discovered we had a problem with mice in our home.
We saw them flitting from corner to corner.
At the time, our two youngest were babies, so we weren’t willing to put out poison.
Instead, we used glue traps.
We aren’t cruel people.
We took the mice well away from our home, still safely ensconced on the glue boards.
Then used vegetable oil to set them free.
Unfortunately, this method didn’t seem to work too well.
Either they got wise, or were breeding like crazy.
I didn’t freak when I saw them run by.
I didn’t scream when I heard them.
Hell, I didn’t even panic when I heard one scuttling through my closet late one night.
My side of the bed is right beside the closet.
None of this fazed me.
It was when my older sons decided the hunt was on one day I got startled.
They located a mouse and tried to capture it.
I was aware of what they were doing, but cleaning house.
I was in my bedroom vacuuming when they came roaring in.
I was well aware of what they were after, when the goddamn mouse ran over my feet to find safety.
My sons threw all caution to the winds, slipping under the bed with a bowl.
Yes, a bowl.
They were going to slip the bowl over the mouse.
What their plans were after that, are beyond me.
I stood, mouth agape, watching them corner and then trap the mouse.
Well, of course they just HAD to remove the bowl.
Whereupon the mouse ran back over my feet and escaped to safety.
I assume he did, the rush of wind that accompanied my sons dashing out of my room threw my hair in my eyes.
Plus, they were very disappointed.
But elated that they’d gotten that close.
This served to startle me, if only because I know most rodents carry some really nasty diseases I’d rather not catch.
I know when backed in a corner, mice will fight.
Teeth happen to be a very handy weapon.
I wasn’t willing to have a mouse that close to my skin again.
As if I had a choice.
A couple weeks later, I opened the closet door to get more toilet tissue.
This is my responsibility because I am the lone female.
Obviously, I go through a great deal more toilet tissue than the males.
So I am the re supplier.
As I reached in to get the tissue in question, a mouse ran over my foot.
I didn’t scream.
But I was considerably startled.
It was three nights later.
I was rooting around in the lower half of the vanity in the bathroom, searching for something.
I didn’t scream when the mouse ran up my hand, forearm, and upper arm.
But I did look like a woman having a epileptic fit.
Jerking my entire body repeatedly seemed a much better idea than trying to grasp the mouse.
I didn’t want a bite, you’ll remember.
The mouse leaped off my shoulder to parts unknown.
That is when we decided to adopt a stray cat.
Lovely grey and white female, who was only too happy to be in a warm, secure house in winter.
She still liked to go outside and hunt here and there.
But she was kept busy in our home with the mice we had.
Waste not, want not was her motto.
She ate every scrap of whatever she caught.
However, there were simply some spots she could not get to.
Hunting, as I have observed it in the animal kingdom, is a iffy thing.
No certainty of success, no easy kills.
Our cat already knew this.
My husband knew that mice were in the cabinets where our cat could not reach.
So it was, one night, my husband cornered a mouse in the cabinet.
He used tongs to wrestle with, and procure the mouse within the tongs.
The cat was watching with great interest.
My husband gracefully twirled around and proffered the tongs containing the mouse to the cat.
The cat sniffed at the mouse in total disbelief.
It took her a moment to realize this was a gift my husband was offering her.
Let us just say she took the mouse from the tongs, and had a splendid dinner.
She also looked at my husband with a great deal of respect from that moment on.
We had a significant drop in sightings of mice around the house with her around.
But when Spring came, she wanted out to soak up the sun, and of course hunt.
We let her out every day, and put down glue traps just in case any mice remained.
I wandered down one day in late spring, only to find a live mouse on a glue trap.
I didn’t think.
Luckily for me, the cat was right outside.
I snatched her up and ran into the house with her.
I gently pushed her nose down to the mouse on the glue trap.
I walked away as she er, pounced.
I was folding laundry in the next room and singing la la la in my most obnoxious voice.
I didn’t want to hear the bones crack, you see.
She came winding around my feet after her meal, greatly satisfied.
I earned her respect that particular day.
But I’ve lost all dignity in the face of that horrible year when mice ran amuck.
To this day, when I know for good and certain we have no mice.
When I open the closet door to get toilet tissue?
I step aside for a moment.
Granting free passage to any mice wishing to get out.
I’m not taking any chances.