The Mouse Man

I’m just going to get it right out in the open and admit that I’m afraid of mice. It’s not your usual fear that everyone seems to have…not at all. It used to be that normal fear, but this past years events have taken it to another level. As I sit upstairs and wait for the mouse man, I can’t help but feel the tiniest bit afraid that he’s going to find a colony of mice living in our walls.

This fear of mine started last May-June when I was home alone with my step-sister on night. It all started with me getting a text from T informing me that there was a mouse on the loose in the kitchen. Being the brave soul I am, I ran upstairs and hopped up on one of the bar stools at the island. I looked over at T, who was standing on the actual counter, and we brainstormed on what we should do. Our first goal? Barricade it in the kitchen area. The mouse, whom we ended up calling Stuart, was currently under the stove, so one of us kept an eye on the floor by the stove while the other one gathered the needed supplies for the barricade. We had buckets, gates, fabric bins…you name it and we probably had it. We ended up waiting for hours and hours for the damn mouse to make an appearance. What were we going to do once-if– we caught this mouse? Put a bucket over it, of course!

Now admittedly, our barricade wasn’t the best, but we were under pressure and extremely tired! Sure, a mouse can squeeze through the holes of the gate. We ended up spending hours in the kitchen alternating between sitting up and laying down on the counter tops. We even went as far as placing cheese–all kinds of cheese–as well as some peanut butter on the floor for Stuart. I believe that at some point I suggested we put glue on the floor in order to trap him (I was obviously tired). We ended up giving up after passing out on the counter tops….but not before we turned off all the lights and played the Stuart Little soundtrack. Who knew if a little red sports car would come out or not.

Something must have happened that night because a week or two later, I was laying in my bed one night when I kept seeing some black object out of the corner of my eye. Thinking it was just something in my eye, I didn’t think much of it until I finally whipped my head to the side and saw Stuart Jr. scurry across my floor. My first reaction? Make sure all my blankets are on top of my bed so no mouse can climb into bed with me. The next morning I alerted my parents to the emergency and my dad promptly set out the old school mouse traps as I shoved the tie to my bathrobe under the crack between my door and the floor. In my mind I thought that would keep the growing colony of mice out of my room even though they can chew through anything. I ended up giving myself a ‘bed time” where I would not get out of bed after about 10:30 for any circumstances just so I didn’t run into any mice. It took us catching five mice before my dad called the Mouse Man. He did his thing and once everything was said and done we had caught twelve mice in a two-week period.

Now one would think that this mice misery would be over–I sure hoped it was done and over with. A month or two we made a family trip to our old house–about a five-hour drive–to clean everything out once and for all so that when it did sell, we didn’t have to do anything else. My job was to clean out the shed in the backyard. I mentally prepared myself for the usual suspects–bees and wasps. Nothing a little bug killer can’t take care of. All it took was me moving one tote for me see a small rodent run across the shelf. I bolted out of the shed cursed my life. Deciding to grow a pair, I walked back in only to see two more mice scurry across the shed. That was it. I was done. I walked around to the front of the house and told my dad my dilemma and he, being the macho man he is, followed me to the shed and threw all the remaining boxes into the yard.

If that shed story wasn’t enough to further my fear of the Stuart Little relatives, then this sure as hell will. Once all the boxes were sorted into ‘trash’ and ‘keep’, I had the job of going through the ‘keep’ boxes. My first clue should have been the mouse droppings  on top of the box, but me being me, I ignored it and just got a pair of boxes. As I was sitting on the deck going through the last of the boxes contents, I had a random thought. “I bet there’s a dead mouse in the bottom of this.” I was fully prepared to find a dead mouse at the bottom. One more piece of artwork remained in the box and I looked down to find two very alive mice staring up at me. Letting out a loud scream, I jumped up and ran like hell into the house to get my dad. With my heart racing like I had just ran a marathon, I took deep breaths while my dad took care of the mice–which consisted of throwing them into the yard.

One would think that I’ve had enough mouse misery to last a lifetime, but the mice must not think so since they returned to the basement a couple of months later. Another call to the Mouse Man took care of them, only for them to return again. Only this time in the walls. I’m sure by now the Mouse Man knows us personally with how many times we’ve called not only about mice but ants as well. And if all that isn’t enough, then the fact that we had a mouse problem at work should be enough.

It’s a safe assumption to say that I am done with mice for the rest of my life. So as I wait for the Mouse Man, this time for the ants in the shower, though he is going to check the mouse bait he put out last time, I sure hope that we’re done with the Stuart family for a while ever.

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