Monday, October 22, 2018

That Time We Caught and Nearly Lost a Mouse in Our House

Country living is a critter-filled existence. Gophers in the lawn. Foxes in the back forty. Deer down the middle of the road. Skinks in the shed. Snakes in the driveway. I could go on...

Thankfully, beyond the occasional small creepy crawly, we've only had one giant barn spider, one potato bug, and one baby lizard wander inside the confines of our house during our 5 years here. But Friday night, our relaxing Netflix binge on the couch was interrupted by a new intruder.

The cats sensed him first. Powell perked up and looked toward the ceiling at what I assumed was just a harmless flying insect of some sort.

When I noticed something between the wall and wooden light bank in our living room, I initially thought I was seeing a big, furry brown moth. But instead of crawling, it ducked its head. And then its head popped back up from the edge of the wood.

"Is that a—?!" Mr. W gasped.

"MOUSE!" I shrieked.

I jumped onto the couch even though the thing was basically on the ceiling, not the floor.

Mr. W immediately headed to the garage to get the ladder and a trap. And I immediately told him we were not killing our new visitor. If we were going to catch it in a sticky trap, we'd also be freeing it from said trap and letting it loose in the lower backyard.

Of course when he got up to the beam with his flashlight, he couldn't find it. We waited. The cats waited. And then he heard some sound (Help me?) that indicated it was stuck to the trap.

Mr. W carried the sticky tray into the kitchen where a Rubbermaid bin was waiting. The poor little mouse was teeny and as cute as a brown velvet button. I wanted to cry when I saw his heart pounding in total terror over his predicament.

We had warm water waiting, and Mr. W gently poured it over the trap until the mouse freed himself inside the Rubbermaid bin.


Mr. W grabbed a dish towel. I grabbed the cats and shooed them out of the room. And then we commenced a game of mouse-catching ping pong, bumbling back and forth along the counter, trying to whisk him into a cardboard box.

I had just done the dishes and that little guy must have run over every spoon and pan that was sitting on our drying pad. He ran behind the upright mixer and when Mr. W tried to grab him, he ran into the sink. I thought we had him but he somehow scaled the wall and was hanging from the metal rack where we dry wine glasses.

It was like a scene out of Ratatouille.

He disappeared behind a frying pan and when we moved it, we discovered he had climbed up the splatter guard Mr. W had used over our pan-cooked salmon dinner. It turned out to be the perfect lid to our cardboard entrapment box, so Mr. W grabbed it and swung it over the box like a tennis pro spiking a ball.

My heart was pounding as hard as the mouse's.

Mr. W took the box outside and relocated our friend about a quarter acre from the house.

I scoured every dish for the second time and he scrubbed all surfaces and items within sneezing distance of the kitchen counter. We'll be re-spray-foaming the light bank in the living room, as well.

Though our visitor was a cute little guy and we do live in the country which seems like it just begs for the occasional surprise rodent, the only furry friends I want in my house are those two spoiled felines.

Let's just hope Mr. Mouse's family doesn't come looking for him anytime soon. Especially on a night when Mr. W is working in LA!