Monday, March 4, 2013

Of Mice and Men

The Homeowner and I have been dealing with a rat infestation.

Ok, so it's not really an infestation - we've caught like 5 or 6 - and they aren't rats, they're mice.  Nevertheless, they are disgusting and even just one is one too many.

I absolutely cannot deal with rodents of any sort.  Mice, rats, hamsters, and/or guinea pigs are all vile creatures. Everything about them disgusts me, from their beady little eyes to their weird claw-ish feet.  Plus, they are all sneaky and carry diseases.  No joke, I almost have a panic attack and physically shut down in the presence of these monsters.  Call it a phobia if you wish.

Our problem with these foul things started a couple of months ago.  I was sitting on the couch watching television, when I heard a rustling in the kitchen.  I glanced up just in time to see a stealthy shadow pass across the counter top.  Thinking I may be hallucinating, I shrugged it off.  The Homeowner and I are neat and tidy people, surely a mouse had not moved in.  I went back to minding my own business when something scurried across the living room rug, just mere inches from my feet, and darted underneath the entertainment center.  With lightning quick reflexes, I jumped up onto the couch, pulling my appendages out of harm's way, and through text message, demanded that The Homeowner come home at once to kill this small beast.

At first, The Homeowner did not believe me, but I was finally able to compile enough evidence that showed a need to invest in some traps.  Initially, we were winning the war.  In just a few days we had caught four of the filthy things.  Each mouse causality was a victory and an adrenaline rush.  Of course, I made The Homeowner clean up the carnage.  Even in death, I couldn't bear to look at their beady eyes caught underneath the icy cold metal of the trap with flecks of peanut butter stuck to their pathetic whiskers.  

Weeks had passed and the set traps started to collect dust.  We hit the battle lines hard and had proven to be victorious.  We had gone almost a month without a mouse murder.  I figured that since the weather had warmed slightly and so many had fallen during the winter, that perhaps the remaining critters had gotten wise and moved on.  The Homeowner and I let our guard down, and pay back would be a bitch.

This past Saturday, I was suddenly jostled out of a peaceful slumber by The Homeowner.  Apparently he heard quite a rustling noise in the kitchen and had assumed it was me preparing a late night snack.  However, after quite some time and finally realizing Jambo and I were tucked snugly in bed, The Homeowner went to investigate.  The scene in the kitchen was nothing I'd like to relive, but I'll be strong and describe it anyway.

Stuck in the trap was the fattest mouse I had ever seen.  This beast really could have been a rat.  It was much more than a mouse.  This hulk of a thing had actually managed to move the trap and itself out from underneath the bar cart in the kitchen and made it out into the open next to the refrigerator.  Somehow it managed it travel about 16ish inches from the trap's original location.

The worst was not yet over.

The mouse was actually still alive.  The trap did not snap down and break its tiny little neck, causing a quick and painless death, but instead it merely caught the mouse's paws.  The mouse was alive and its beady eyes were piercing into my soul.  Every breath of the mouse rang in my ears, and I was convinced it was summoning its mouse-friends and in moments the entire house would be under attack.

The Homeowner and I were completely beside ourselves, and I was rendered essentially useless.  Before I knew it, I was in full on panic mode...I was quickly getting hot, sweaty, and anxious.  I feared the mouse breaking loose and making a made dash across the floor to savagely attack my feet.   We needed to get the mouse, preferably dead, out of the house.  From the top of a chair, I offered a couple of solutions to The Homeowner; he could grab a hammer and just quickly give the mouse a whack, or he could put a Tupperware container over the mouse and the trap and starve the mouse of oxygen, causing it to suffocate.  He didn't care for either of these options and insisted I hold open a shopping bag, and while using a dustpan, he would scoop the mouse into the bag and throw the whole thing into the trash.

There was no way in Hell that I could hold open a bag while he attempted to throw a mouse into it.  We were two grown men, panicking over a mouse.  I was in such a state of shock that I couldn't even wake Jambo up to help me.  So many irrational fears were rushing through my mind.

At one point, The Homeowner tried to pick up the trap, but the mouse moved and we both ran screaming from the kitchen.

Finally, The Homeowner realized that I was useless in this battle, and if we were going to win, he would have to take action on his own.  He manned up, and in one swift motion, scooped up the mouse, put him the plastic bag, and threw the plastic bag out onto the front porch.

Great.  Now we had a live mouse, barely stuck in a trap, inside of a plastic bag, out on the front porch.  This creature could now summon all of its outdoor rodent friends.

Through a miracle, I was able to talk myself off of the chair and get back into bed.  All the while, Jambo remained asleep, completely unaware of the tragedy unfolding just feet away.  I was barely able to sleep that night, and it did not even get cold enough for the bagged mouse on the porch to freeze to death.

Once the sun rose, I was ready to face my fears - somewhat.  I marched out to the porch, and using an incredibly long golf umbrella that had been left at the house, I slowly slid the tip through one of the bag handles.  The bag opened just enough, and I got a glimpse of it's creepy little eye...peering straight up at me.  I didn't let this bother me, I needed to be strong.  In my sweat pants, slippers, and grandpa cardigan, I ran across the lawn with the bag hanging off the end of the umbrella.  I quickly threw up the garbage can's lid and slipped the bag down inside.  Then using the umbrella again, I pushed one of the garbage bags onto the mouse bag just to ensure he couldn't get out.  To further guarantee the mouse's demise, I triumphantly slammed the garbage can lid down, and frankly justice will be mine.      

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