Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mouse Capers

When you are through changing, you are through. Bruce Barton
There is, in my view, very little more humbling than a mouse. For such a tiny creature, they sure can pack a mighty scare.

Last week, our dishwasher sprung a leak in the outtake hose. C.C. pulled the machine out, unscrewed hoses and cords and drove around the city looking for the right replacement. Amidst expletives and scraped arms and fingers, he reassembled the whole thing, plugged it in and voila! A working dishwasher.

Until Saturday morning when it sprung a leak in the hose, again.

Same procedure, this time with a couple of extra trips to the hardware store due to the wrong size of hosing and two days of dishwasher parts spread out across the kitchen floor. Yesterday, after several hours of maneuvering, the machine is once again assembled, and operational.

This morning, while making coffee, I thought I heard water dripping in the cupboard between the sink and the dishwasher. I opened the door to check and a tiny black figure scurried out of view. I screamed. Slammed the door shut and raced into the bedroom where a sleeping C.C. lay oblivious to the drama unfolding in the kitchen. Ellie watched from her mat at the foot of the bed, impervious to the seriousness of the situation.

"Eeek!" I screamed. "We have a mouse."

C.C. raised his head from the pillow. Ellie, took the opportunity to jump up on the bed and lie down.

Both of them eyed me and did nothing.

"Aren't you going to get up and look?" I asked C.C.

"Did he scurry away when you screamed?"


"Then they'll be nothing to see."

Ellie continued to eye me in the hopes I wouldn't make her get down. "You!" I said pointing my finger at her. "You're supposed to be the mouser. Go get it."

She looked at me with disdain. "I am a dog. Not a cat," she seemed to say, her face as smug as a Buddha sitting on top of a mountain.

When C.C. had first pulled out the dishwasher he suggested there could be a mouse in the cupboard. I had vehemently insisted it was impossible.

This morning, the impossible is evidently possible and I am humbled.

And now I have a dilemma. I don't like mice. I don't like killing anything. And nothing is going to change about the mouse in my cupboard until I change my attitude -- except of course that I will not be opening that cupboard until something changes about the mouse in my cupboard!

It is, only a mouse. But that mouse has a purpose in this universe. It has a reason for being here -- perhaps to teach me that all creatures, big and small, need care. Personally, I would prefer if it were living its purpose outside my kitchen. Somewhere in the back yard, perhaps, or on the other side of the fence... in my neighbours yard!

In the interim, I'm going to have to give my mind a shake. Loosen up my thinking on how to take care of the mouse in the cupboard.

I can't kill it. C.C. said he's going to buy a mousetrap today. I'll not enjoy my kitchen if we kill it. I'll always know it was there and died while there.

But.... mice carry disease and what if that mouse has some weird strain of Swine flu that will kill all of us? What if that mice is actually a descendant of Popo Gigio, the rarest of mice, a talking mouse with a sense of humour and a six figure income? What if he is the bread winner of his family and only came into my kitchen because the recessionary times have dwindled the supply of food in his world too and he's searching for sustenance the only way he can -- he did look kind of skinny in the two seconds I saw him flash before my eyes!

Oh my. What to do? What to do?

Change my attitude. Change my thinking. Change my glasses.

There are many ways to catch a mouse without killing it.

Or, I can just let it be and let C.C. take care of the whole situation so that I can pretend I had nothing to do with its death!

Or, I can dress Ellie up as a giant mouse stalking cat and put her to work.

Ahha! Now that might work...

No questions today. Just a lot of confusion of what to do with the mouse in the kitchen. What to do with my conscience and the realization that I can take myself rather seriously sometimes! But then, killing another creature is a serious situation. If everything I do causes a ripple effect, what kind of ripple am I sending out if I contribute to the untimely death of a tiny mouse.

Then again, if it were a mosquito would I experience the same angst?


S L M Moss said...

Thank you for the laugh today. Not at your expense, but in enjoyment of your expressions of angst. It also reminds me of my sister who was once locked herself in the bathroom at work because there was a mouse in the office.

May you find peace in the situation. My advice? Let CC take care of it. I can't envision my sister trapping and freeing a mouse and I suspect that would be dreadfully difficult for you to do too. :)

Have a great day!

Brandi said...

oh girl, you made me laugh with this post!!
first of all, let me express how deeply i admire your sense of not wanting to kill a living creature...truly...bravo!
i never thought of harming another creature...until a mouse thought he could move into my house. my husband said 'if you have one mouse, chances are there can be more...and they will breed in your house'. then i transformed into some ruthless mouse hunter until they were all gone...one was caught humanely and let go.
i wish you the best (and quickest) resolution!

M.L. Gallagher said...

Ah yes, all its takes for my principles go out the door is to put a mouse in the cupboard.

Alas, the mouse must go.

C.C., the great mouse hunter, is at home preparing to do battle. Last I saw, he was polishing up his hunting rifle. Now if only he doesn't find the bullets I hid before leaving the house this morning.

thanks for your support ladies! I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

Would it help you to know that the mouse knows exactly what it is doing? And I heard that there is a male 23 yr old mouse wanted by the police for not only B&E, BUT also theft. The mouse has a long wrap sheet and has been found to be criminally insane.

M.L. Gallagher said...

I feel better already! A wanted mouse is so much more exciting than an unwanted mouse. :)


Tee hee!

dee said...

If it makes you feel better my sister once was in the bathroom when a mouse ran under the door. She screamed and got up on the toilet and continued screaming while her husband tried to get her to unlock the bathroom door. Apparently, the mouse watched her dancing on the toilet and screaming for a bit until her husband banged on the door trying to open it. Then the mouse ran back out under the door right by her husband and down the hallway and escaped for a time, but was apparently killed by her husband later to prevent another screaming fit by my sister.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Too funny Dee!

Thanks for sharing. I feel better already! And the mouse still feels better -- he's still alive.

i am storm. said...

it would be one thing if the mouse were invited in....but he did arrive uninvited and technically is tresspassing.....

i will keep a thought for CC's success....

a second thought...you could always rescue a cat from a shelter.....it would deal with the current situation and hopefully prevent any future ones....

then it is just nature.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Storm! Hadn't thought of that, he is trespassing.

Liseanne, my youngest daughter has already voted for the cat idea, as have I.

Unfortunately -- she is allergic as is her sister as is a very dear friend...

I suppose we could always 'rent a cat' from a friend who has a cat until the 'trespasser' is untrespassed!

This morning, I knocked on the cupboard door before opening -- and no mouse! Tee hee! Perhaps I scared him so much yesterday he skeedaddled for the neighbours yard or possibly the hills!

S L M Moss said...

Glad you had a mouse-free morning. Isn't it interesting what one little mouse can do for conversation fodder? Hope it resolves quickly for you. It just might work to borrow a cat - just make sure you get one that will actually hunt... How does Ellie feel about cats?

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...


My mom locks herself in her bedroom and puts her cowboy boots on until we 'take care' of the problem LOL! So you're not alone!


M.L. Gallagher said...

Well -- right now we're at Marvin the Mouse -- 1. C.C. -- 0

We're on the 4th dishwasher hose in a week and no sign of Marvin leaving, despite the traps we've set for him.

Ellie is unperturbed. A mouse is easier to live with than a cat -- cat's hiss at her and scare her. She's not happy when she's scared. Marvin (Liseanne had to name him) hides in the cupboard and travels in the joists. He's not disturbing anyone -- other than me!

The saga continues!