Sunday, December 6, 2015

Meeses, Mices, Whatever..I'm Traumatized.

Okay, if you're a familiar acquaintance with my blogs, you will know two things; one, I have no problem with whacking opossums to death (refer to my post, Opossums REALLY Do Play Dead!) and two, I have a plethora of unreasonable yet contradictory fears. So, with this stated, why do I suffer such wild and unabashed terror when it comes to itty, bitty balls of fur otherwise known as mice?

Perhaps because they're extremely fast, they have beady little eyes, they can chew electrical wiring and at night...this is the kicker, one can hear them scratching and eating through the walls of your house. Yes, this describes why I am terrified of mice; they're ruthless and they're coming for me while I sleep.

I have a long and sordid history with these little bastards. Like the birds in Alfred Hitchcock's movie with the same title, they seek me out. I can be minding my own business, enjoying a bag of popcorn at an amusement park when one will run directly across my open toe'd sandals. I'll be talking to my art teacher in her classroom as a mouse chases us up on a ladder. I'll be the only one out of a group of ten who gets toe-nibbled at an outdoor cafe by one of these nasty rodents. SERIOUSLY?!

Since my husband's sudden illness in September, I've been responsible for a lot of the outdoor and maintenance work for the house. I'm not complaining, it has to be done and I can't afford a handyman. I just have to take it on the chin right now. HOWEVER, while sitting on the back porch, lo and behold a damn mouse ran past me! NO, NO NO!!! Filling in concrete cracks for the winter is one thing but baiting and catching MICE?! Holy HELL!

Years ago, when I was married to my ex-husband, we had a mouse in the house (nice rhyme). We set the standard snap trap under the kitchen sink with peanut butter as bait and in the middle of the night we heard it "go off" for a better term. I, of course, sent my husband to dispose of the dead critter; however, unfortunately it wasn't dead. We had stunned it. As much as I hate mice, I felt horrible and my ex-husband felt the same. We sat awake listening to that little thing struggle for hours, neither of us having the courage to put it out of its misery until it eventually died on its own. Oh the guilt we suffered. Traumatic event number one.

Moving forward to my marriage with Eric. Before we adopted the boys, we were all cozy in bed - he was watching TV and I was snuggling on his chest. Out of the corner of my eye I saw IT! The mouse stopped mid dash when I jumped up. Yes indeed, there it was. Why on Earth, my dear friends and blog readers, would a mouse join my husband and I upstairs in our bedroom? Why not stay in the kitchen where all the good stuff was, right? Because I AM the attraction. Of course I screamed like a Banshee. I beat on poor Eric. I told him not to leave my side. What did my dearest do? He laughed at me as the mouse ran directly beneath our bed. Then Eric told me to stay put because he was going to the drugstore to get some mousetraps. HE WAS GOING TO LEAVE ME WITH A MOUSE BENEATH MY BED! I continued to scream. I wailed. I threatened Eric with divorce, all to no avail. He left me hiding beneath my sheets quivering like the coward that I am. I'm guessing that the mouse ran all over me jumping up and down having a little bounce house party while Eric was gone that half hour. I decided that once Eric returned from the store I would not speak to him for the next week. How DARE he leave me alone with my biggest fear, MICKEY MOUSE! DAMMIT. He set the traps, I thanked him and kissed him good night. Traumatic event number two.

After we adopted the kiddos, yet again I was assaulted by the presence of another mouse but this time in my kitchen. The boys were off from school, Eric was at work and I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking some coffee. Again, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the fast, but unmistakable movement of a mouse running along my baseboards. I jumped up and down. I paced. I fretted. "Oh shoot", I said outloud. "Who's going to protect mama from this awful mouse?" Without missing a beat, my oldest son, William said, "I will!" and disappeared upstairs. William has always taken the role of protector and I smiled at this. I wasn't sure what he was up to but I was still too busy worrying about the mouse. A few moments later, he came downstairs wearing a protective mask (he was probably 8 at the time), with a Star Wars Lightsaber (just in case) and then with precise accuracy set up his spy laser beams in the kitchen. If the mouse crossed the lasers, an alarm would go off alerting me and I was to steer clear of the kitchen. What a clever guy! It wouldn't kill the critter but it was supposed to make me feel safe. I never told him it made me more nervous; however, he was my hero that day. Sort of traumatic experience number three.

Current day. I AM HANDYWOMAN...yay me? So the mice in our neighborhood are looking for refuge from the cold. I have several in my backyard one of which ran up and into one of my eaves. This is NOT good for a homeowner. So traps are set. Since I've had such awful experiences with those "snap traps" I decided to go with similar ones but the kind that I don't have to see what's happened to the victim. I simply place the peanut butter in the back door, push a button, and if said victim falls for the ruse, he dies within the enclosure and I don't have to look at it. No guilt. Done deal. I went to check yesterday to see if the traps had been activated. They indicated "yes" but it appeared my dogs licked the peanut butter out and had set them off. Darn it! I brought them in the house, started rinsing them out and put the peanut butter in the wrong way. D'uh! Then I proceeded to open and close the traps to rinse out the peanut butter again. One was acting funny. I was investigating. It looked odd. That clump of peanut butter was stuck on something..I went to reach my finger in and... Oh dear GOD in HEAVEN! As opposed to a "Flat Stanley" it was a "FLAT MICKEY"!  Traumatic experience number...