My Weapons

The evidence shows up about this time every year. The weather gets cooler, leaves change, and the mice move in. It's like clockwork. While fall is my favorite time of year, I could do without the invasion of mice. I'm not wholly opposed to mice, just when they're in my home. They belong in fields and forests, not indoors with me.

I got a bowl out of the pantry the other week and the evidence was there. A small brown dropping in the bottom of the bowl. Stupid mice, soiling all things in their wake. I've used traps and more traps and another variety of traps. They're effective, but only for the ones stupid enough to get caught. It seems that I can only eradicate the house of about 5 before word gets out that traps are to be avoided at all costs. Stupid mice and their communication skills.

I asked Josh to set traps in the pantry. If the mice were going to move in early, I was going to take action early. He baited 2 traps with peanut butter, which is always a win for catching mice, and set them in key locations inside the pantry. I woke up the next morning nearly wringing my hands with sadistic glee. I would not let the mice get the upper hand this year. But alas, the peanut butter was still awaiting discovery.

It was around this time that I moved my sewing room to the basement. I set up all my fabric and fun in a corner, and in that corner I made a happy place for Louie to join me. He has a bed, some toys and a bowl of food in the basement to keep him content when I'm busy. Louie normally cleans up his food when I feed him in his own bowl, but he was so busy exploring the basement that he didn't snarf his food that day. Or the day after. In fact, he hasn't eaten that food yet. While I was sewing this evening, I checked that food bowl again. The food is still there, and even more shocking is that there are no mouse droppings in the food bowl.

You guys, clearly we have no mice. I'm still processing this. I'm trying to figure out exactly what I saw in the bottom of the bowl in the pantry. I'm wondering where all the mice went in the house, because after nearly 10 years here I've given over to the fact that we just have mice and there's not much I can do about it. The pantry bowl aside, I have come to a conclusion that I have the cats to thank for helping us achieve mice-free status.

I got those cats last fall while Sam was away, because Sam doesn't like cats. They're outdoor cats, so I figured he could fuss, but it's not like they'd be a real nuisance. And for the most part, they're not. Except that part where they walk on cars. Cats do things like that. They walk where they want to. But they also do things like catch mice. And we have some winners that way, because I've seen them firsthand hunting the chipmunks that play in the hedge. Come to think of it, we're rather chipmunk-less up in here also. Those cats. They rock. And even more shocking? I haven't seen rabbits in the yard this summer. I used to love the frolicking bunnies, until they ate $200 worth of shrubbery one winter. It's been all-out war since then, and I'm clearly winning with cats. If I'd known half our problems with four-legged nuisance things would be solved by the addition of cats, I'd have added them to our menagerie years ago.

I should probably go buy those felines some catnip.

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