One day this week, while I was making my lunch, I saw a small mammal streak across the back of the counter against the backsplash. I shrieked--a bonafide, girlish shriek. I managed to locate the critter--his long tail gave him away--and I had managed to get my mouse-trapping towel in hand. The wee bastard looked up at me. Face to face. The cheek! The nerve! Brazen, shameless, clearly without a clear sense of his place in the scheme of things, i.e., not allowed in my kitchen while I am making lunch!
After several fruitless sallies with the towel at the very bold mouse --alas, to no avail!, hence the term "fruitless"--I gave up. The mouse leapt from the counter, across the floor, and to parts unknown, i.e., parts invisible to me, in the crazy mouse-lair that is apparently my kitchen. The thought of it made me a little twitchy. I called the historian to announce this mouse activity, information which he absorbed with his customary equanimity.
Our cat has done a fair degree of mouse-killing this winter, as well. It's because we live on the verge of a big field, and it's been a very cold winter. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway. Luckily I had, with a fair degree of prescience, ordered this, in a very prudent set of four:
Humane Mouse Trap!
You bait it with a cracker smeared with peanut butter, which, in the fiendishly clever ("humane," they say in the ad--HA!) design of the trap, the mouse cannot ever reach, but can only smell! Thus, when the mouse enters the trap, driven mad by the divine aroma of roasted and ground nuts, the back door snaps and the mouse pounds the perforated walls with its little paws, saying "Attica! Attica!"
At this point, you take the contraption outside and release the rodent, preferably with a little blessing. "Vaya con dios, wee bastard," for instance.
Three mousies so far, and it's been only twenty-four hours since we set the traps. Tomorrow, we start the mad disinfecting. Like, forever.