Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm seeing things. Really.

A rapid-fire movement caught the corner of my eye. I turned, dreading the approach of the all-too-often-sighted, southern-bred cockroach; instead, something even larger sped toward me! I screamed, scaring the critter into a hidey-hole, or so he thought, being only slightly camouflaged by the tangle of computer wires underneath my desk.

As I caught my breath after a couple of more screams, I began to talk to him: “You are so cute! You are SO cute, but you are a mouse.” And just in case he didn’t know it, I screamed, “YOU ARE A MOUSE!”

If only I had had a camera trained on me, I would be winning big-time on America’s Funniest Videos (or maybe not—no one would have been harmed in the making of this film, and that seems to be a requirement). Yelling at him to stay put, I ran to the kitchen, scrambled for a cracker, slathered PB on it, grabbed a large paper bag with handles, and tore off toward the den.

Shoving the cracker in the bag, I propped it open and urged the mouse toward the trap. He didn’t fall for the ruse.

I ran to the kitchen again to get my yardstick. Using it, I tried to herd the mouse into the bag. He started a mad dash around the perimeter of the room with me in hot pursuit. When he got close to the door, I shut it, thinking that the quarter inch at the bottom could not possibly allow exit. Ha! With me screaming, “Don’t! Don’t! DON’T YOU DARE!” that mouse wiggled through so fast, he made my head spin. I quickly opened the door. As he tried to hide underneath a corner table nearby, I handled that trusty yardstick with finesse. Luckily for me, his tiny feet had to shake off dust bunnies; they slowed him down, enough for me to successfully herd him back into the self-contained den.

So then the little devil re-started the perimeter run. Ending up where he started—behind the computer wires—I once again yelled, “Don’t you move!” and dashed toward the kitchen to grab the broom. Running past the front door on my way back, I opened it wide.

A determined woman, I pinned the terrified, little mouse underneath the broom, dragged him through the den, and swept him out the door in one big swoosh. He landed in a bush about five feet away. I imagine it dazed him for a short time.

I shut the door, locked it, and did a victory dance.

The next day, I found a mouse on the road. He was tiny. He was cute. He was dead. He was gray. My mouse had been brown.

While minding his own business the next day, my husband heard a sound. He yelled to me, “I think our mouse returned!” I joined him, only to hear what sounded like a beaver gnawing on a large hunk of wood. My husband slowly opened the drawer underneath the oven. Movement. He removed the drawer and crouched, spotting a cowering mouse. But we weren’t quick enough. The mouse sped here, there, and dashed underneath the dishwasher. At one point, he fishtailed around the corner with his tail high in the air, mimicking a cartoon critter.

We can’t have a mouse in the house, no matter how cute. Project Extermination was launched.

My husband set three traps with peanut butter; two of them were licked clean. He reset them, adding a fourth, and adding attic locations.

Bye-bye, mouse.

Hello, mouse family!

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