Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We've got a bird, some fish, and now...

We've been extrememly fortunate--living as we do in an 80-year-old townhome surrounded as we are by students who rent and at least one vacant property--to have never had a mouse infestation. When we first moved in the house had been vacant for a year and there was one emaciated field mouse who ran out the front door when I opened it for him. Since then, nothing for 8 years.

Until now.

When Cha quit her job with Baltimore County Schools she packed up all her tote bags and left them sitting on the floor of her office overnight. In several of these bags were various candies which she sold to staff for money on the side. Admirable entrepreneurialism is one of her strong points, but when she finally carted those bags home she brought along an unexpected profit: several mice. We discovered this about a month ago when, after our nightly devotions, she jumped out of bed to freshen up and screeched like Mammy in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. A tiny black mouse zipped along under the bedroom door and into her studio, which is so loaded with junk it's impossible to find anything, let alone a mouse. I went in there as best I could and found at least one bag left over from Halstat Academy of Arts and Sciences with a now empty box of chocolate bars and a load of tiny turds. There was also a bunch of chewed paper in several of the other bags and sacks, and I said "Aw, you brought us pets."

Last night I was watching bleary TV at 3:30am and a mouse ran along the molding beneath the set, up the stairs to the landing, ran under and then peeped out from under my guitar, before finally bounding upstairs. Another rustled along under the loveseat upon which I sat. I stood, picked up one end and he froze, did a double-take, and fled along the same path recently taken by his chum. They're so cute!

Cha refused to let me buy traps, and bought a "humane" device that purportedly would close and encage the beasties when they pressed a little lever with food on it. The one she bought, however, is for racoons and squirrels. I could barely trigger it with my fist, and told her so, but she claimed it would work. For weeks now she's been putting chocolate and cheese in there, only to find the food gone the next day. Now our little pets have bred into a thriving community, I'm sure. One badly in need of mice-sized insulin doses.

I'm afraid I'm on point--she's got to clean out her room so I can get in there and catch these guys (though the last time I caught a mouse and freed it outside it ran directly under a truck on York Road--that was when I worked at Borders).

Cha just now called me here at the Liberry to tell me she heard some rustling in another tote bag she left on the living room floor last night and she threw it outside and onto the front porch. I asked if she had food in it and she admitted that she did. Ugh.