Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This post is rated PG14. Some information may be distasteful to some readers.

So – the pears spent a couple of days in the refrigerator, and then I put them in a retired and dilapidated cardboard ornament box I found in the attic. Once loaded the box was heavy, so I pulled it into the dining room and put it under the bar.

“Whoa!” said Nellie as she passed the box. “I smell a mouse. Take the lid off and let me check it out.”

I nervously complied with her request. She sniff, sniff, sniffed, then looked me in the eye and said, “There’s a mouse in this box but I can’t get to it for the pears.”
“You just think you smell mouse because the box has been in the attic,” I told her.

“Hmph!” she said, as I put the lid back on the box. “My nose hardly ever deceives me.” Her certainty made me nervous.

When I finished the supper dishes, I proceeded to stage the night’s battle against the mice. I set a plate of crumbs beside the toaster and surrounded it with three traps. More would need to be done at bedtime when Nellie was out of the house and my second in command would reload some of the traps.

Then I carried my laptop to the living room to enjoy the evening’s messages and maybe do a little armchair shopping. A message came in from daughter Hallie regarding a land auction in the Gilbert region. “Is this near you?” she asked, and Mike paused the football game to help me contemplate the maps and pictures.

Then I heard it -- an unmistakable rustle near the kitchen – and the box of pears immediately leapt to mind. Cautiously checking it out, I thought I saw a shadowy movement and then I saw it for sure as it ducked around the corner to disappear under the stove. Oh listen! – I write about this stuff, but I’m totally freaked out here! I called to Mike and he came.

Okay – something has to happen with this box of pears, I told Mike. He thought we could just set it up higher, but I explained that the enemy is quite capable of climbing. (It’s my study of the enemy’s capabilities as well as trapping methods that makes me the general and battle tactician.) Together we carried the heavy box out to the back of the pick-up. Probably not a bad thing anyway because I think we’re going to have to take them to town. Then Mike decided that we needed more traps on the floor. As he worked to set them up, he spied movement in the mechanical room. You know how the enemy is – such quick, shadowy little creatures that it makes you question what you saw – and sometimes your sanity. Mike made sure to set one trap at the left corner of the stove.

We had just settled down in the living room again when SNAP! That trap near the stove had done its thing. Whereas yesterday’s catch were large, healthy adults, this was a little one. “There won’t be just one little one,” I told my colonel, and he agreed. The trap was re-set again in the same spot. We turned out the lights and returned to the living room. SNAP! – and another young ‘un bit the dust.
“These little guys are incredibly stupid,” observed Mike, as he re-set the trap and retired from the battleground. This time a scuffle called Mike back to the kitchen where Numbers Three and Four were fighting over the bait on the trap, which snapped Number Three. Yup – it only remained to trap Number Four, and he was gone with the next re-set.
We found Number Five in the same trap this morning.

Mike says we have to remove the stove drawer and clean. I said he would have to help me. I might be a general, but I can’t face some things alone. KW


Mike said...

I did remove the stove drawer this morning but found no mice sign. I guess they were just hiding under there.

Chris said...

Buddy wants to come on a safari to your house!! I just read your story to him and he's drooling! Pickin's are slim around here anymore, so he's thinking a little visit would be just the thing.

Hallie said...

Cat rental. Great idea!

That picture of Nellie makes the all time top 5 list. Is she pointing the camera person or is that an action shot? By the position of the ears I believe she's still, but what a creeper she is staring into the camera!

Kathy said...

Nellie caught #6 yesterday afternoon. Mike suggested it was all over, but I told him we must be vigilant in the fight. Sure enough -- he and Nellie spied another at bedtime last night. This morning: numbers 7, 8, and 9.

Buddy would be welcome, though I've never cared for a cat. Not sure Nellie would take to Buddy.

Nellie is pointing a covey of huns at the south end of the pond -- just beyond the apple tree. My approach had flushed the birds, but Nellie pointed anyway -- just in case. It was a great photo op -- seldom have a chance to photograph from in front

Chuck said...

Somewhere in your interesting mouse saga, I lost what happened to the Gilbert auction story. It must have been too tame.

What? no more funny pictures?

Kathy said...

Funny pictures? -- of mouse trapping? Not right now. I'm letting you use your imagination.

I understand that the land auction involves property held in trust by the descendants of John Albers. There's only one currently developed home site -- that's the homestead -- which includes a well and septic. This is the place across the road from the cemetery, and I think it was the location of the Gilbert post office. The sale includes a lot of canyon land.

Chuck said...

I meant funny pictures required to publish comments. I haven't seen them recently when I make a comment.

Kathy said...

Chuck -- I changed my properties so that those "funny pictures" -- numbers and letters -- are no longer required. Quite a nuisance for those who comment, though perhaps the blogger is well-advised to have that. But your comment comes in without the "Blogger" symbol. I don't know how you manage that.

Leah said...

Kathy & Mike: Are you aware of the Hantavirus? It's an often fatal disease carried by rodents/mice for which there is no cure. Three people who visited Yosemite National Park this summer died recently. Eight people are known to be infected and officials are warning 22,000 visitors to the Park that they could be infected.

Please read up on this.

Kathy said...

Oh yes -- thank you for pointing out the health threat involved in a rodent infestation. I washed my kitchen down with bleach and I have disposable gloves. It is important to be vigilant in evicting the rodents. And I think it's best for all concerned to trap rather than poison.

I was really concerned when Mike cleaned out the barn a couple of years ago, but he came through it without health incident.