The evening after Halloween, kiddo asked me if he could have some left-over chocolate Freddo’s. I nodded in the affirmative and moments later, he brought me the whole bowl – asking why so many of the wrappers had been torn, and the chocolate eaten.
It turns out we have a mouse.
A mouse that favors Cadbury Chocolate Freddo Frogs.
Of course I was horrified at the mere thought of a mouse running around my kitchen while I slept, and out came my trusty humane trap, something I have used previously to deal with such incidences.
Regular traps just aren’t an option for me. The idea of waking in the morning to find a dead mouse splayed out with a metal rod across its back is too much for me to bear – and the alternative thought of it not actually being dead, just suffering endlessly until I have to hit it with a brick or something – well, I simply cannot imagine.
We have a deal in our house – I can use humane traps and my husband will empty them for me – far, far, away from our home. Our house backs up to a reserve of forest-type land (an area kept protected for the wildlife), and as a result we see the occasional field mouse.
My husband set the trap with chocolate inside (since this was obviously the mouse’s poison of choice), and I put the bowl of remaining chocolates up high, away from the place where the mouse first tasted the decadence.
The next morning the trap hadn’t been touched, but the bowl had once again been raided! I was incensed! I triple-sealed the remaining untouched chocolates in zip-lock baggies and went about my day, as hubby left on a business trip.
To be honest I forgot all about the trap, until last night.
I turned off my light at about 12:30am and prepared for sleep, it wasn’t more than 15 minutes later that I heard someone trying the handle of our front door – or so I thought.
A strange jiggling sound had me on high alert (granted it would have to be the loudest burglar in the history of the world, but that’s all I could figure). I got up and turned every light in the house on, as I checked all the doors.
All had gone quiet and I went back to bed, perplexed.
Of course it started again, and it was so loud, it sounded exactly like someone trying to get into the house! I went checking again and nothing! I repeated this one last time, and this time I picked up my iphone as I lay in my bed hearing this strange noise and I turned on my voice recorder to record it.
What I was doing, I can’t tell you. If I were to be found dead in my bed, the cops would all be shaking their heads…“she had time to run for her life, but instead chose to lay in bed and record the burglar coming to attack, what was she thinking?”
Apparently people do strange things when they are tired and perplexed. And by people, I mean me.
A few minutes later I remembered the trap and considered the possibility that it had something to do with the noise. I ventured to the cupboard and sure enough the trapdoor was closed, signalling entrapment.
I was terrified – much more terrified than if it had been a masked burglar. I was all for ‘saving the mice’, but I didn’t want to have to be actively involved in the disposing of them.
This is why one finds a husband. Rodent removal, diamonds, and to teach sons how to pee.
I went back to bed hoping that now I’d figured out what it was, I could ignore the mouse and get some sleep and my 7-year-old could deal with it for me in the morning (parenting at its best).
The subsequent noise was incredible. Reaching a crescendo of epic proportions this mouse had clearly decided to throw itself with all its weight at the trapdoor, time and time again, in the hopes it could break free – at least that’s all I could figure.
I felt vaguely sorry for it as I imagined its fear and desperation. I threw a pillow over my head and willed myself to sleep.
Moments later, the kiddo woke up from the deafening noise and called out to me, asking what was going on. I told him to go back to sleep and I gritted my teeth and told myself that I was going to have to deal with this – there was simply no other option.
I opened the cupboard door and gingerly picked it up (making sure to keep the oh-so-important door sealed) and headed for the front door.
As I opened the door, the dog pushed past me and ran out. He had seen a kangaroo (they often feed on our lawn at nights), and was now taking off down the street in chase.
I broke into a run of my own, all the while doing the yisper (you know that thing you do when you are yelling; “get back here now!!” But you have to do it in a loud whisper, because its 3am and you live on a super quiet street in a cul-de-sac, and you don’t want to piss off the neighbors?)
Your mind is yelling, but your voice is loud-whispering. Yisper.
So this is what it’s come to.
A kangaroo being chased by a labrador, being chased by its owner (while balancing a trapped mouse), at 3am down a quiet, suburban street.
We chased each other through 3 gardens, 4 yards, an empty block of land, past a “Koala Corridor” sign and over a roundabout. At which time I realized I was a more than a street away from my home, my 7-year-old was alone asleep in bed, it was 3am and I was in my pyjamas with bare feet, holding a trapped mouse.
(It’s stories like these that get people arrested. “No officer, I wasn’t going to streak or break-in, I was chasing-my-dog-chasing-a-kangaroo-holding-my-mouse. I just didn’t have time to get dressed.”)
Logic took over and I turned around.
The dog would have to work his way back – thankfully the kangaroo is way faster than the dog anyway – he would soon realize it was a hopeless cause.
I got to my driveway and looked at my trapped mouse (who probably had awful motion sickness by now).
I set down the trap in the forest area opposite our house, lifted the trapdoor back…and ran like hell back to the house. As I did, I heard the door fall again and I realized he wouldn’t be able to escape this way. The mechanism that makes this humane trap work is based on the principal of a sea-saw.
When he walks towards the door, the contraption tips and the door closes. There was no possible way the mouse could get out without me standing there and tipping him out – and that couldn’t happen with my phobia and history of bad-ass luck – if I did that, he’d be sure to turn and run over my foot and up my leg and I might have a heart-attack.
I couldn’t believe that my nightmare wasn’t over yet, and now I was going to have to start a damn craft project!
I made a decision and headed back to the house and returned outside, bringing a tape dispenser out with me. As I sat on the roadside rigging my plan in my pyjamas, I thought about what a complete idiot I would look like if someone saw me.
I placed two large pieces of tape to the front of the door and got ready and pulled back the door and taped the remaining ends to the back of the trap, all in one swift motion …and hightailed it back inside the house.
I never looked back (until this morning when the kiddo wanted to know what happened to the trap and I pointed to the other side of the street as we left for school).
Later, I thought about how much crap my hubby was going to get from me when he got home, for being away on the one night this all had to happen. One night a year that he has to be “the man of the house” and deal with a mouse – and he’s not around for it!
I’m thinking of trying to get a refund for him. “Excuse me sir, mines not working, he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to – whats the return policy?”
- Mousetrap (amritham99.wordpress.com)
- I think I just did the third worst thing I’ve ever done in my life (skydancer7710869.wordpress.com)
- The Mouse Diner (workthedream.wordpress.com)