Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 10, 2012

The Ashbury’s have a mouse in the house.

All right, in the interests of full disclosure, I suppose I should say that the Ashbury’s have several mice in the house.

The problem is starting to drive me batty.

You will recall that in the past, we had two kitties who, more or less and for better or worse, liked to hunt. Every now and then, they would catch the odd mouse in the house, and take it outside. Once in a while, they would catch something outside, and bring it into the house.

That was life and it had a natural kind of rhythm to it. But alas, those two great hunter-kitties have gone to the hunting grounds in the sky, and we are left with our “Spooky kitty”.

This is the kitty that moved in last August while Mr. Ashbury and I were on vacation. She has adopted us and has graciously allowed us to remain here in this house.

She lets the mice stay, too, although that really is no fault of her own.

You see, Spooky kitty came to us with no front claws. Yes, someone had her declawed—and then tossed her out to make her way in the world, when she couldn’t really even defend herself. This is why God sent her to us. He knew we would take her.

But I digress.

We have mice in the house. Apparently, our Spooky kitty scores very low on the threat-o-meter, as far as the mice are concerned. Spooky has indeed caught a couple of mice. But these mice have either escaped her completely, unscathed, or they have crawled somewhere and died—a situation that we learn of only well after the fact, and is always followed by a frantic game of “where the hell is it?”

We thought we had the problem solved a few months ago. We bought these traps—black, intricate, and hard to operate. We got two of them, and they each caught two mice. And then—nothing. As far as I could see, we seemed to have no more mice.

But they came back, apparently with reinforcements, and they completely avoided the traps.

So we bought some of the old fashioned kind of mouse traps—you know the ones I mean, the wooden ones with the springs? Nope. Someone must have told our mice what they were, because again, they avoided them.

Last weekend I drove Mr. Ashbury to our local Canadian Tire Store. Despite the name, this is a store that carries all manner of things, not just tires. It has tools, and car parts, and household items, even small appliances and mops and such.

And it carries mouse traps.

You know how they say that someone is always trying to build a better mouse-trap? Well, I’m here to tell you that person has some of Mr. Ashbury’s money.

He bought three traps, special traps. Advertised as being “humane” they are clear plastic “boxes” with a one-way swing door at one end. Inside the box is a tiny tablet made of herbs and valerian root. Said table is (allegedly) irresistible to the little rodents. They nibble and then doze off, allowing you to take the box outside, and gently transfer the sleeping rodent to the garden.

I wanted to ask how humane they were if the sleeping, defenseless little critters were then afternoon snacks to the neighborhood’s semi-feral cats, and other predators. But I didn’t, because I now understand and agree completely that these traps are indeed humane.

As of today, not a single mouse has ventured into one.



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