The Yarnspinners

News of anthologies by Kim Cox, Elizabeth Delisi, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper, Maureen McMahon, and Sheryl Hames Torres--The Yarnspinners!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Love Them Little Mouseys

Lately we've been involved in waging war.

A couple of weeks ago, we heard noises in the walls. Yup...mice. Well, I guess when you live in a house over a hundred years old, you have to expect mice. And really, I have nothing against them. But I'd like them to understand this is MY house; they need to get their own. Preferably outside, preferably far away. Because although they're adorable, they DO carry diseases, and they DO chew on insulation, wiring, and other vital parts of the house.

My husband said he'd set some traps. Right away I said, "Oh no, I want them out of our house but I don't want to kill them." He sighed and said he'd look around to see if we still had the Havahart mousetrap I bought several years ago, when mice were getting into the garage of a house we used to own.

Later, he came up from the basement, trap in hand. He held it up, looked at me seriously and opened his mouth to speak.

I cut him off. "Yes, I will set the trap and yes, I will check it every day, because I know your working hours won't allow it and all those little mouseys will die if left in the trap too long."

He looked astounded, opened and closed his mouth a few times, said "Okay, then," and left the room. ;-)

So every day, I've been going down to the basement to check the trap, releasing any mouseys I catch (I like to think of it as repatriating them to the woods across the street) and resetting the trap. Not as easy as it sounds, because the basement "door" is set flush into the laundry room floor. So first I have to move the cat's litter box, the vacuum cleaner, the birdseed, the mop, etc. off the door. Then I haul up on the heavy door by the little metal ring embedded in it and prop it open on the cat litter container. I turn on the light and either back down the stairs or limbo down, as there's not much head room. Then I slouch over to the trap as the "ceiling" of the basement is shorter than I am. If I catch somebody, I take him across the street and let him go, then rebait the trap with peanut butter and put everything back together for another 24 hours.

I've caught seven little mouseys as of today, and I hope and pray they're seven separate mice and it's not the same one I'm catching over and over! They're just adorable, with their brown fur, white tummies, round ears, big black eyes, and little pink feet. I'm glad we're not killing them, though I know we must be fighting a losing battle to keep them out of the house. But I like to think of it as storing up good karma to fight off the bad stuff that falls into everyone's life.

Why, you're probably asking, am I calling them "mouseys"?

It's because when I was in college, I remember a popular little cartoon that was on mugs, t-shirts, etc. It showed a cat playing a guitar and singing, and here's his song:

Love them little mouseys,
Mouseys what I love to eat.
Bite they tiny heads off,
Nibble on they tiny feet.

While I can't imagine a more disgusting meal, somehow the rhyme has stuck with me all these years. So to me, they'll always be mouseys. But I have a new rhyme:

Love them little mouseys,
Mouseys what I set free across the street.
Hope they don't come back here,
And nibble on my tiny feet!

What do you think?

Liz, the Mouse Whisperer


At 4:42 PM, September 14, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

Love your version of the rhyme, Liz. Actually, I have the original rhyme on a coffee mug along with a picture of Kliban's Kat.

Also, I love the humane way you're dealing with the tiny critters. I can squish spiders and house flies, but that's it for chicken-hearted me.


At 4:45 PM, September 14, 2006, Blogger Ali said...

Aww,'re doing such a good thing. Around our house, we worry about cockroaches...and I'm not as nice with them.

At 5:03 PM, September 14, 2006, Blogger Elizabeth Delisi said...

Kliban's...that's it! Thanks, Chris. Dan knows if he set traps, HE'D have to check them, no way I could handle the stress and guilt.

Ali, thanks. I wouldn't be nice to cockroaches either. But you can set out a "roach motel" and never have to see them. Mice are different. Besides, cockroaches are definitely NOT cute. Uggh!


At 2:42 PM, September 19, 2006, Blogger Kim Cox said...

I hope you're able to free the mouseys, Sher. I'd never heard that rhyme before either. Cute.

My cat pretty much keeps the mouseys at bay, but not too long ago we had one. She caught it but let it get away while playing with it. I think it moved after that close encounter.



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