It’s late. It’s usually late when I’m sitting at the computer. The house is quiet. I’m waiting for the mouse traps to SNAP shut, making me jump off the stool. There are 8 mouse traps in my sweet little ranch house. That’s a house on a ranch, not a ranch style house. Though, in retrospect, it actually is a ranch style house. If one wants to get technical. Which at this hour just doesn’t seem all that necessary.
Back to the mouse traps. 8. Eight. Ocho (not sure if I spelled that one correctly, but you get my drift). That seems to me to be a lot of mouse traps. But then my dear husband finds it necessary to tell me just how lucky I am as one of the other houses on the ranch caught 11 mice in one day. That’s eleven. Not sure how many traps they have set. I wonder, was that 11 different traps or six traps with five of them doing double duty and one going solo. You see how the mind wanders in the wee hours of the morning? I do digress.
Back to the mouse traps in my lovely home. Again, I think eight is excessive. Problem is…each trap has had at least one mouse in it at some time in the last two months. That’s how long this has been going on. We’ve been here just over two years now and nary a mouse. My husband assures me it’s normal for houses out on ranches, in the middle of nowhere. For some reason, the beady little eyes and the scaly little tails just don’t seem to affect him the way they do me. It’s not that I’m scared of a mouse, per se. I mean, being a veterinarian, there really shouldn’t be any inhabitant of the animal kingdom that would make me squirm. Right?
And thus, the thought that I really should be writing these things down. Because I really think my dear husband is wrong. Yep, that’s right. W-R-O-N-G. I don’t think it’s normal. I think there are people who live lives without traps snapping shut in the middle of the night, who don’t have to figure out how to extricate the corpse of a deceased mouse from the jaws of the trap. Who don’t wait anxiously in the darkened hallway wondering when the mouse is going to finally die and stop banging the trap around in its’ final death throes on the hearth. Who don’t then stand in the darkened hallway realizing that the shrill, high-pitched cries are coming from that same mouse in a most unnatural way. Who then cautiously approach the keening, shrieking, trap-clanging mouse (who had his snout caught in the trap…NOT his head)to finally free said mouse with a stern warning that “You get one chance dude. That was it. Next time you’re a goner.”
Who does this???@!?#? If it was the first time, perhaps I could let it go. But it’s the second time I’ve rescued a mouse caught in one of the eight traps. The first had his front paw stuck and was desperately trying to gnaw the trap, thinking somehow he could get himself free. (Note: nothing I learned in veterinary school gave me the ability to look at a mouse, in all of its’ mousiness and determine its’ sex. So I refer to them all as he, realizing of course, that they could just as easily be of the female persuasion.)
So what do I do? Take an empty trap into the laundry room, dig out a screwdriver and see if I can spring the trap without having to touch the furry little, beady-eyed body. It’s a go. I throw a towel over the cowering furry being and somehow scoop him into the trash can. Then I reach down (after much self-talk), grab the trap, pry it open with the screwdriver and drop everything down into the garbage can. After a call to the husband, NOT necessarily to ask him what to do…more like just letting him know how OUR day was going, I decide the mouse needs to retire to the barn. But not after placing a small saucer of water in there with him. The daughter and I trek down to the barn, find a dark corner, lay the trash can down on its side and quickly pull the towel away. We get one long look from those beady little eyes before he scurries off into the dark. I tell him, or rather the empty space where he was, that he gets one chance. And that was it…and to stay away from the house…and so on and so forth.
Do you see the problem here? It’s all just a bit much for me. Mouse traps are to kill mice, not maim them and then spring them.
Don’t even get me started about the mouse whose hind leg was trapped, who my husband tossed out the door one morning at 6 am because he was naked (the husband, not the mouse), who then could not be found by said husband 45 minutes later, who then showed up directly outside the door at 9 am (still in the trap, still breathing, barely, with ants all over his snout/whiskers). Don’t ask me. Cause I won’t tell you how I hyperventilated, then called the husband to berate him, then squatted over the mouse, sobbing, as I brushed the ants off of him and released the trap. Don’t ask me how I ended his suffering. Or how I struggled to hit his heart with a too-large gauge needle with expired euthanasia solution. Luckily this one didn’t shriek.
And that is why I’m truly mad. As in crazy, insane, nutso, loco, totally off-my-rocker.