12/30/2006 - 2:37 p.m.


We have an unwanted visitor. Actually, he does not think he’s a visitor. He thinks he is here to stay. He thinks he has found a permanent home. Well, it may be the holiday season but my generosity does not extend that far (and if Kat and Day do not stop fighting about whether Kat will clear a shelf in what has become Day’s room, it will extend even less far.) You cannot just move in, eat my hot chocolate mix, turn my lazy Susan into a bathroom, and expect to stay. Eating my sacred chocolate is an abomination. The mouse must die.

Every year, we have a mouse problem in the fall. At first, we (read: FogieKnight) tried trapping them humanely and letting them go outside but they just moved back in. We’ve tried finding where they get in but the possibilities are so endless in a house like ours that we gave up. So they just moved back in. The problem became so acute that FogieKnight did what any good vegetarian who wishes not to kill animals would do: he declared them minerals. He then got the good, old bonk-them-over-the-head traps, did his manly thing, and removed the evidence, once he’d gathered it (although I occasionally have had the pleasure of throwing the little bodies out. Yuck!)

Once, when Day was five or so, we had to lie to her about the mice. She saw one of them in the basement. She loved it and named it Miniwheats. She even declared that it had family that lived in the house next to my brother’s house which then was in Illinois. (Oh, those lucky occupants!) But Day’s love for the creature was no reason to let it stay. Perhaps I might have thought differently if there had been only one mouse but Miniwheats, I suspected, was a married mouse. And if you give a mouse a chance to stay…. So we trapped the mice and lied by omission.

But our fall mouse infestation had come and gone. Once we had had no evidence of mice for a week, I had cleaned out all of the cupboards and cleaned out all evidence. I did not know that, with this mild winter which would make it so easy for the outside mice, the mice would simply look and say, “Oh, look, Gladys. The landlord has spiffed up the place.” I was ignorant.

Actually, I was blissfully ignorant---until last night when Day and I got home from the movies and wanted hot chocolate. There was the evidence, staring at me. (Thankfully, it was the evidence and not the blasted mouse.) Something had gnawed right through the blue plastic top of the hot chocolate mix.

So, today, FogieKnight has performed what should have been a once a year ritual and declared the mice in our home minerals. (Do mice breathe? Of course they don’t.) Now, he’s off to get the traps because we are united in one goal here. The squatters must leave.

Minerals, be gone!

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