(Mom, skip this post. Just trust me on this.)
One mouse does not an infestation make. However, THIS house is not big enough for me AND The Mouse.
The Mouse has to go.
I know, he's only a little field mouse. If he were in a FIELD instead of my HOUSE, I wouldn't have a problem with him.
The Dog used to be good at keeping critters out of the house. Once he caught a rat before it could nest in my laundry room. The down side was that he had the dead rat on his doggy bed. Daddy removed the rat, and Mommy burned the doggy bed. I can't have dead rat cooties near my dogs. What kind of conscientious pet parent would I be?
But back to the mouse... at first, I just wanted him gone. Relocated safely back to the field, government check in paw. I also thought The Dog would take care of this little problem quickly. Then, I didn't just hear the mouse, I SAW the mouse. And of course, screamed like a little girl. I'm not afraid of the mouse, I'm just completely grossed out by his presence in my home. He's tracking in dirt and disease after all.
After screaming the walls down, I would have thought that The Dog would have cut short his mid-morning nap to see what the hell his human was up to. I was wrong. So I stopped screaming, ran to the living room to get The Dog, brought him to where the mouse had been spotted, and proceeded to start screaming again. Because it made me feel better, that's why. It's what housewives in America do, it's what Mom would have done, and that's worked pretty well so far.
The Dog was unable to spot the mouse. Apparently, it's a sneaky mouse.
Fast forward a few days, and I'm in the living room working when I see something out of the corner of my eye. It's just a bit too small to be Bella, the mini-Dachshund. I looked down and saw The Mouse, checking out the titles on my lowest bookshelf. He's an intelligent mouse. A well-read mouse. A cheeky mouse.
Again, The Dog proves worthless as rodent deterrent. As I'm watching the mouse scurrying along the floor, The Dog has his nose firmly planted in a book instead of chasing the mouse. I'm struck with a sudden memory of a book I read as a child called The Mouse and the Motorcycle. This mouse is no Ralph, but maybe I should get him a little toy motorcycle. If he can ride it, he can stay and I'LL relocate. To the field, government check in hand.
This mouse caper has raged for a week now. This morning I pulled out of the driveway to get coffee and saw the neighbor's cat sitting next to our truck. I rolled down the window and asked, “Hey, are you a Mouser? Can I borrow you for a few hours?” I'm starting to feel my Italian roots showing, as I realize this cat conversation could be construed as contracting a hit. Fortunately, the cat declined. Apparently her occupation is keeping windowsills warm. She doesn't diversify.
The Hubs suggested getting a snake. Anybody know a snake named Guido who works cheap, fast and brings his own ice pick? The snake was vetoed. I explained to The Hubs that yes, a snake could get rid of a mouse but it would also definitely get rid of The Wife. Also, contracting a hit on a mouse would probably bring the wrath of PETA down upon us. Or worse, the Field Mouse Relocation Rights Association. I'm not looking for more trouble, I just want my house back.
As of this posting, the mouse is still in the house, The Dog is so fired and I'm negotiating with a nice cat from a good Italian family, named Vitto. He sounds like Dom de Louise in Robin Hood, Men In Tights.
Me: Can you catch this mouse and relocate him?
Vitto: Relocate, sure, we can call it that.
Me: Seriously, I don't want to kill the mouse, I just want him out of the house.
Vitto: Details, details. Forget about it. You ask Vitto for help, Vitto helps.
Me: Vitto, are you gonna whack the mouse?
Vitto: You don't need to know. All you need to know is you come to Vitto with a problem, Vitto takes care of it, and you don't got a problem no more, Capisci?
Me: (plunks down dime bag of cat nip and walks away)
And now we wait, while my Sicilian great-grandmother spins in her grave, somewhere in New York at the cultural blasphemy I just committed.