So... quite awhile ago our neighbors spilled a bag of birdseed in the basement, and didn't get it cleaned up until recently. I had told them the extremely abbreviated version of the Mouse Wars horror stories, but I must not have been convincing enough, because the birdseed, and the mice whose tails I would see darting away from it when I went down there to do laundry, stuck around. I figured the first floor was a barrier between us and the vermin, and that the neighbors would get serious when they were invaded.
Apparently that happened sometime last week, and I feel both sad for them and a bit distraught that they were providing the mouse buffet for so long.
Anyway, yesterday, the invaders made it to our floor, apparently via the radiator pipes. David saw one, and went to the hardware store for steel wool and expanding foam. Although our current place is far better sealed than the last one, it is still a century old, and it looks like the mice were using those radiator pipes as their private heated highways, entering through the gap in the hardwood floor. (Also! I just remembered what David told me yesterday: that when our neighbor saw where the mice were entering the basement, he mixed up cement to seal up the hole. The mice tunneled through the wet cement. They are a surprisingly formidable enemy, for one so small, incompetent, and incontinent.)
So. David plugged up the holes. (The Small Dog was also very interested in the expanding foam; his sniffing around resulted in a little moustache that appears to be semi-permanent.)
But then, last night, I saw a fat little mouse running along the living room wall by the radiator. I shrieked, and may have continued shrieking each time the mouse moved, as David (drawn by the noise) and I stalked it as it ran to the other radiator before disappearing behind the fridge.
I ended up staying up really late as I prepared for today's first day of classes, and as I sat alone in the otherwise silent house, I could hear mouse-y scratchings behind me in the darkness. It finally appeared again, returning to the radiator and those newly-sealed pipes before running under a chair. I opened the front door, hoping to shoo it out, but it disappeared. I tried again when the mouse reemerged (all the while, maintaining what I considered an admirable silence!), but it disappeared into the office. Unable to find it, I--resignedly but determinedly--walked down to the basement and retrieved my store of mouse traps.
I set one with peanut butter, left it just outside the office, and headed to bed, leaving David a warning note. He reported this morning that the trap had its intended effect; the fact that I didn't have to witness it or bear away the results is just one more reason I love that man.
There have been no sightings today, and we're crossing our fingers that the one we saw was just a lone individual who had the misfortune of being on the wrong side (our side) of the new seals. Yeah. Fingers crossed.
On a happier note, it has been ridiculously warm here recently; today was sunny and nearly 50°! I ran errands on my bicycle this afternoon, and it was euphoric.
Also, this is Disaster Kitchen post #777--auspicious!
Monday, January 09, 2012