Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Mouse in the House

We acquired a mouse in the house. It was not a boring old house mouse with little beady eyes and a slinky body. It was an adorable mouse, because it had enormous doe eyes and a soft round body. I think it was a Texas Mouse.

Byrd spotted this cute little creature late one evening as we were getting ready for bed; it scurried under our dishwasher as he entered the kitchen.

One flashlight, two screwdrivers, and several minutes later, we peered under the dishwasher and saw the furry little thing staring at us like a deer in headlights. I love deer, and I love little fuzzy things. The giant eyes on this little mouse seemed to plead "Help me! I shouldn't be here! I want to be outside but I can't find the way out!" Byrd thought the mouse's gaze was much less innocent and adorable, apparently, because he immediately decided to rip the dishwasher out.

I interjected with a bit of reason before Byrd went all out. I proposed to place a cereal box along the baseboard of the cabinet so that if the mouse ran out from under the dishwasher, it would run into the box. Then, a second cereal box (flattened) could be lowered over the opening, trapping the mouse inside. The box could then be stood up and taken outside where the mouse could be released.

I set up my cereal box immediately.

Byrd did not approve. In fact, he made fun of my box idea. It was not action-packed enough, I guess. Furthermore, I was a tree hugger for wanting to save the mouse. But in exchange for nonstop mocking of my box trap, he consented to catch the mouse alive.

Byrd's plan: Rip the dishwasher out of the countertop. Use the vacuum to suck up the mouse. Take the vacuum bag outside and cut it open, allowing a half-suffocated mouse to stagger meekly away.

Needless to say, I saw a lot of flaws with Byrd's plan. Undaunted, Byrd got started.

As our kitchen became more and more unusable, I dryly observed that Byrd was doing more damage and disruption than the mouse was likely to do.

But the dishwasher finally came out. We looked behind it. The mouse had smashed itself into the farthest corner, hiding in terror. In this picture you can see its little butt sticking out from behind a piece of 2x4.

Here is the video of what happens next. Basically, Byrd decides he can shove the mouse into a milk jug. And guess what really happens? (Warning! There's profanity!)

I am sad to report that the camera wasn't angled properly to catch the exciting conclusion, during which the mouse ran into the box for a SECOND time, and Byrd--whose middle name is Impatience--failed to follow my plan as outlined, e.g. by covering the box opening before picking up the box. The mouse therefore leapt from the top of the box as Byrd was moving the box upwards through the air, with the net result that Byrd practically threw the mouse on me. And there was much more screaming.

The newly emancipated mouse quickly found a hidey-hole under the oven. The oven, unlike the dishwasher, could not be torn out of the wall, much to Byrd's disgust and frustration. And that was where the evening's adventure ended.

The next day, I quietly set a mouse-sized live trap up in the kitchen, along the baseboard near the oven. It is a plastic box that tips shut when a mouse goes in; there's peanut butter in the back end as bait.

I am pleased to report that it worked as intended (albeit a few days later), and shortly thereafter I tumped a disoriented, peanut butter-covered, owl-eyed mouse out of the trap into the grass in our backyard. He was gone in a blur.

(The dogs, by the way, were useless throughout the whole event. They slept through most of the kitchen chaos, including the screaming and cursing tirades. Some days later, Star brought the live trap to my side of the bed at 3 am, when the mouse got trapped inside... though her intent was to chew into the trap, not to alert me or anything helpful like that.)


forsythia said...

This is hilarious. I bet "allanimals", the magazine of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), would be interested in publishing it. They are also interested in stopping illegal dog fighting, BSL, and puppy mills. You probably have enough on your plate, but if you want to contact them, the editor-in-chief is Nancy Lawson, 2100 "L" St, Washington, DC 20037. They probably receive a lot of submissions, but I think yours have a special point of view---you're a realist, but you have this great sense of humor and a lively writing style. I am just a member of the HSUS and do not know anyone associated with the HSUS personally. I'm just sayin.'

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, I feel both sides of the arguement. Quizz and Charlie had their own 'mouse' experience a couple of years ago in the form of a flying squirrel that had gotten into the house (to this day it is a mystery). I humanely trapped and released it, much to the horror of the male animals who wanted a new squeaky toy. ( Yep, so not amused in the process. Excellent job in the removal. I'm just glad, aside from peanut butter intoxication and a dishwasher, no one was harmed in the adventure.

PBOforlife said...

Thank you for this. It looks exactly like what would happen at my house. I would be trying to trap it alive, my husband would want to kill it and there would be cussing galore. Have a great day!!

Paxton said...

This was just toooooo funny for words - loved the video clip! Moral of the story - never argue with a woman; she knows best LOL

Dennis the Vizsla said...

This reminds me of when we had a mouse infestation. I was catching and releasing them for weeks. (One apparently perished of a heart attack or something but the rest ran free to be eaten by hawks or snakes or whatever.) Our cats were worse than useless when it came to mice; Trouble would ignore them, and Pooh Bear would chase them and try to play with them rather than catch them. And the only thing the dogs could catch is a sandwich of the counter.

susan said...

How perfect he would doubt such a flawless plan of action. I used to catch mice and blue tailed lizards in paper bags the same way. People thought it was some kind of magic trick! Great story, loved the added sound too.

Daisy Dog said...

ROFLOL!!!! Great to hear from you!! Love this story! :) Hope you guys are all well!

Matt Robison said...

Mine go crazy over birds. And vacuum cleaners.

You can read of some of Bauer's adventures here: