Vulcan’s Peak

I think mice are nice…but not today

June 6, 2007 9:24 am

Well, it’s been an eventful morning… and it’s not even ten-thirty.

I opened my door this morning after getting dressed and found a mouse staring back at me from about three feet away. I closed the door again.

This is the part where I look like a wuss. I don’t mind rodents outside; I don’t even mind the mice that sometimes scurry around the subway tracks. My brothers used to have gerbils, for crying out loud, and I held them all the time. Poke had a mouse for a weekend once and I held him, too. But this morning, I let an animal smaller than the palm of my hand barricade me in my room for about twenty minutes while I worked up the courage to go do something about it. And yes, when I cracked the door open at the end of that, the mouse was still sitting there.

By that time, I could hear my roommate and her boyfriend getting up and I was starting to run late myself, so I picked up my trash can (sans trashbag). The mouse was finally starting to move into the living room. This was doubly good: it wasn’t coming toward my room, and I could see that it was limping. When the gerbils got out at home, they were tough to catch, being fast and skittery. And then at least we didn’t mind picking them up.

The mouse had headed for the card table and cowered, making it, in the end, fairly easy for me to plonk the trash can over him. Jack slid a flattened paper bag under it and we carried bag, can, and mouse outside and released it. Probably going to be cat food pretty fast, but I’m inclined to cheer on the cat.

I saw one of our friendly maintenance guys while I was outside, and he said he would come by while I’m home during the day tomorrow — he was talking about traps; I want to figure out how it got in and plug whatever holes we might have (and I know there are a couple around the radiators). We’ve never seen mice in the apartment before and we haven’t noticed droppings or anything, so I’m more interested in prevention. Besides, as my roommate pointed out, if we woke up and found a mouse in a trap, we’d be pretty squeamish about that, too. (Unless it were something like a bucket trap…which might not be a bad idea. This version drowns the mouse — ew, wet mouse corpse to dispose of — but I think I’ve seen a version like that without the water, so you just have the mouse waiting for you at the bottom of the five-gallon bucket, and you go deposit him Somewhere Else. Pretty sure your average mousie couldn’t climb out of that big a bucket. And if so, get a ten-gallon bucket?)

At home, sometimes we’ll get little nocturnal lizards that slip in an open door when you come home at night and then hide in the house for days. Those are a beast to catch because if you don’t aim your tupperware (or whatever you’re trying to catch it in) quite right, the tail pops right off and you’ve got a writhing tail stuck to the wall. Ew, ew, ew. The mouse was lame, but he was all in one piece.

As a fun little coda, the word of the day from (yes, I’m a nerd and I get those e-mails) is abulia, which apparently means “a loss of volition or the ability to make decisions” (new one to me). Picture me peeking around the door and shuddering at a poor, helpless, lame, little mouse.

One Response to “I think mice are nice…but not today”

Pug wrote a comment on June 6, 2007


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