Monday 28 November 2011

Working in Alberta this week --Mouse Hunt

Good day gentle readers, this week I will be working in Alberta, first Edmonton and then Calgary. I will be accessible via email and cell and Lync with some frequency.
Sorry in advance for the extra wordiness today.  Am sitting on a long flight to Edmonton and the words kept flowing although I did take a break to eat some pancakes and watch a movie.
So, today's topic?  IMF plans for a 600 billion € loan for Italy, Spain?  NATO air strikes on Pakistan? Egypt's political Frankenstein, their electoral process?
Nope, nope, nope.
We have a mouse.  Not the Royal We, not God and I, not you and I, not you, but me -- Sharlene and I.  He showed up quite recently and sans invitation.  My first indication was Sharlene calling from the kitchen, "Daniel, we have a mouse!".  I did appreciate that she stated "we" instead of "you" which did make it our problem instead of solely mine.
I reviewed the evidence that lead to Sharlene's conclusion and although I did not perform an extensive examination of the feces being pointed to, I was satisfied that they belonged to a member of the Mus family of small rodents.
Small tangent here, the common house mouse is one of perhaps thirty members of the rodent family genus, Mus.  they showed up somewhere between 10 and 5 million years ago during the late Miocene period.  Hey, that's almost 10,000 in fundamentalist years. (not picking a fight with Creationists, I think that we have evolved past that :)
Some weeks ago I had filled with expanding foam a few large air gaps in the basement wall where AC lines, a few water pipes and some electrical connections passed through, so I re-examined the basement for possible fortification gaps, infiltration passages as Carlo the exterminator might call them.  Yep, you got holes, as his straight talking sidekick Bob calls them.  I had Carlo and Bob around earlier as I had some squirrels in the attack.  I had chased them out by placing a ghetto blaster tuned to 107.1, volume at max up in the attic.  Bob scampered up on the roof to repair the missing shingle and the small hole the squirrels fashioned. Bob is one of those sure footed guys that can work at the edge of a roof in the rain up 25 feet off the concrete patio without flinching.
For this current foreign incursion, my sense of master of the house, lord of the manor, king of the castle actually prevents me from calling in an exterminator after all by all indications there is but one small mouse.  I detected no problems with the holes that I filled, but it looks like I have some gaps around the dryer vent duct, and the vent cover itself fits poorly.  This will need to be patched up on the weekend.
My attack started out last night utilizing what has been described by Jennifer as the only acceptable method, the humane mouse trap.  This is a plastic contraption, effectively a box with one open end and a door that swings down insecurely should a mouse venture inside and cause the center of balance.  Yes, I said insecurely.
I had placed some small pieces of nacho chip, pretzel, and Cheetos! into the enclosed end and placed two of these contraptions on what I figured was a likely mouse pathway.  And then went to sleep.  6 A.M. I opened one eye.  Slid one leg out carefully to the floor.  Then the next.  I quietly creeped downstairs to the front line.  Joined the Sgt. in the trench and asked for a report.  Seems there had been activity but all was quiet now.
The doors were both closed.  Had I caught two?  I picked up one then the other, giving a slight side to side shake, I determined that both were devoid of Mus musculus.  I opened each to find that they were both empty.. really empty, no mammals no chips no Cheetos! there was however an appreciative note thanking me for the Cheetos!.
So next I am afraid that on my return from points west I will need to bring out the lethal ordinance.   --the Victory brand wooden and spring mousetrap.  Recognized by all from its large, red 'V' inked into the wood platen.  And this is my regret.  You see I have no desire to kill a mouse, spiders, hell yes, but not mice.
We had a mouse once when we lived in Etobicoke, but I caught him with a pair of tongs --really -- and tossed him out the front door to the bewilderment of Nova the cat who watched the entire display from the sidelines.  We had a mouse in the spring and I had (the very bad) thought that I could simply vacuum up the little feller once I cornered him in the powder room.  It was a quick decision and thought it would survive the process and I would simply free him outside.  Poor guy died somewhere in transit through the vacuum hose.
And now I will need to engage in this severely unfair and lopsided contest again.  I would feel better if was a fair fight, if the mouse was 6 feet tall and sported a few hundred pounds of rippling muscle then I could claim, "hey, it was him or me, could have gone either way!".  But no, not a fair fight at all.
I think that somewhere in my mind, I will be thinking of Mr. Jiggles the mouse that befriended Delequa in The Green Mile or the lovable Pinky of Pinky and The Brain fame.
"Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
"The same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world!"
and Amos in Ben and Me; Atomic Mouse; Mighty Mouse; Basil and Dawson; Three Blind Mice; Socrates from Willard --oh wait, he was a rat; Benjy mouse and Frankie mouse in Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy; Jerry Mouse of Tom and Jerry; The Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland; the Hickory Dickory Dock mouse; Itchy on The Itchy & Scratchy Show; I would have mentioned Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse but the Disney guys are real sticklers on copyright infringement; Mortimer Mouse in Outland; Morton the Mouse in Horton Hears a Who; Pixie and Dixie in The Huckleberry Hound Show; Speedy Gonzales --damned annoying little bastard; The Space Mice from Voltron: Defender of the Universe;
and I just can't remember the name of the mouse or the book that I read when I was maybe 8 about a mouse that drove around in a toy metal car..  nope.. It's gone, but I'll be thinking of him too.
Have a good week.


  1. I think the last one you were thinking about was Stuart Little.

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