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Thursday, March 16, 2006

They Can Polish It Up and Screw A Little Gold Chain Onto It

Living in an old house we have more than our fair share of mice, especially this time of year.

Do you know how fast mice reproduce? I don't know exactly either, but I remember reading that it is really quickly. And they are not bothered by incestuous relationships. So basically one day you have two mice and three weeks later there a million. No, I'm not exaggerating.

Last week we set four traps, and caught three mice. Or so I was told since I refuse to look at them. The fourth trap, which was still set but had not caught anything, Rob decided to hide behind the freezer. That way none of the little children would be able to reach it, but should one of the little mice be brave enough to come out during the day the trap would be ready for it.

I felt a bit queasy at the prospect of hearing the trap go off during the day since I like to convince myself that they are purely nocturnal creatures, that they can not climb stairs, and can not ever enter a bedroom. Yes, those are the lies I tell myself so that I survive in an old house.

At some point during the day we caught a mouse. One of the kids noticed it and then had to call everyone into the room to peek behind the freezer and have a look.

My two year old daughter, who has been badgering us for a cat, or dog, or penguin, pushed everyone aside to have a look.

"He's so cute. I keep him?" she asked.

"He's dead." I informed her.

"When he wakes up, I keep him?"

"He isn't waking up. He's dead." I said, a bit more emphatically.

"When he not dead anymore I keep him?"

I didn't know how to fully explain it to her. I wanted to say, "Look at his head, it is all squashed and flattened. And his body is all stiff and hard. There's no coming back from that."

Instead I said, "We'll see," which is parent-speak for, "It's never going to happen but I can not deal with the tantrum right this moment so let's save it for later."

I'm not a complete monster. We have had pets before.

We had Sea Monkeys for a while and I thought they were the perfect pet. Ranking right up there with a pet rock.

Until one day my husband saw the container sitting on the counter and thinking it was just a container of cloudy water poured the contents down the drain. I quickly filled the "aquarium" back up with tap water before any of the children noticed and pretended the sea monkeys were still in there.

I did feel slightly bad when they would peer inside day after day wondering why they couldn't see anything. And when they broke out magnifying glasses for a better look, well if I had a soul and could have stopped giggling behind my hand, I would have felt really bad.

Eventually they got bored of the sea monkeys, because who wants an invisible pet, and I was able to put the "aquarium" away. Poor children, they are so deprived.

Now we have a cat that keeps visiting our yard. The kids love him (her? I'll admit I haven't looked closely) It is obviously pet of someone in our neighborhood and not a feral cat because it is fat, well groomed, and picky about it's snacks.

So the kids have been whining about getting our own cat, which is not going to happen since I have cat allergies as well as a general dislike for cats in general. I told the kids they should just pretend the cat is their own. It's like having a pet, but only the fun part. You get to play with him, feed him snacks, pet him, but you never have to clean out a litter box or clean cat vomit off of the floor. They even named him. Really, what else is there?

And if that doesn't make them happy, we have lots of rocks in our yard for them to chose from.


Blogger Gigi said...

You should try a hermit crab! They're almost as trouble-free as a pet rock, but you can truthfully claim that your kids have a pet.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I, too, tried to convince my mother to let me keep a dead mouse as a pet when I was about five, gently explaining to her (since she clearly didn't understand) that I could bring him back to life.

8:05 AM  
Blogger aka_Meritt said...

ROTFL... I actually published a short 'movie' of my sea monkies this week. You can gather your kids around the computer screen and let them watch the blurry little things swimming around on my site.

Too funny!

8:41 AM  
Blogger J said...

I can't believe you forgot to mention your beloved pet weasel.

And if you got one of those icky hairless cats, they'd totally destroy your mouse population. Of course, then you'd have a creepy hairless cat to deal with. And the little mouse "presents" laying around.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

too funny!

Sea monkeys...I remember those things being advertised in the back of comic books when I was a kid.
Aren't they brine shrimp or something?
I can still see the ad though, a little seahorse like creature dressed in a crown with all his subjects around him.
talk about false advertising!

God remember Mexican Jumping Beans? What were THEY?

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and there were mice here when we moved in and I refused to deal with traps (and since my DH is never here) I put out DCON where the kids couldnt get to it and in 7 years have not seen one more mouse!

Never found a dead mouse body or smelled anything dead.

I highly recommend that stuff!

9:21 AM  
Blogger moe said...

I think that's the one thing I HAVE to keep my husband around to do. Yes, there are other things he does well... plumbing, wiring, drywall, oh yeah and sex. But, I could handle most of that on my own if I HAD to. For removing the moustraps with the dead mice, I'd be lost without him.

No pets here either. I'd feel to guilty if they died. And yes, if I had to take care of them they would die.

I did have mexican jumping beans when I was a kid. They died too.

9:38 AM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

We had mice a few months ago, set a bunch of traps, got 'em all (she says optimistically), took down the traps, and two days ago found a very dead, mummified mouse in a trap we'd forgotten about UNDER OUR BED!!!!!!!!!!
ew,ew, ew
Mary, mom to many, and hopefully mouse-free at the moment

9:39 AM  
Blogger Wicked Stepmom said...

I'm a cat owner, and am happy to report that we are MOUSE FREE. Have had an occasional present left for us, but it's better than traps. I could not deal with those!

I don't know which is worse at this point. Mice or a rabid skunk which I had to deal with last week,.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Gabriela said...

So funny! I thought pets were great growing up so I have been willing to try it as a mom, but it is a lot of work. Since my oldest was 3 we have had 5 cats, 7 birds and an assortment of fish (not all at the same time). I'm thinking the invisible sea monkeys or a dead mouse sound pretty good right about now.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Jillbert said...

You know, though, keeping a cat inside would help with the mouse problem --- but it's such a toss up --- sneezing, barf & litter box or mice in the spring and fall?

We're cat free now, and it's nice. :) But the mice are back. :(

9:58 AM  
Blogger TBG said...

As much as I dislike cats I will say they will keep the mice population down or completely gone!

10:29 AM  
Anonymous surcie said...

"When he wakes up, can I feed him?"

Lord, THAT was funny!

10:35 AM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

I had to stop to laugh for 15 minutes before I could type. Poor thing, you are traumatizing her! She needs a pet dead mouse!

My dogs seem to keep the mice away too, thankfully, because I haven't seen any. Do you want to borrow them for a week?

10:44 AM  
Blogger Geggie said...

I just love reading your blog! It keeps me laughing everyday. I figured I needed to stop lurking and leave a comment! Great job!

11:21 AM  
Blogger Sleeping Mommy said...

It's a shame you have cat allergies (and don't like them--shame on you!) A good mouser would clear up this problem pretty quick.

I've got one--he's downright viscious. He killed a gopher for God's sake. Got rid of our gopher problem along with the mice.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Claudia said...

We had a rat! making noise in our crawl space and set a humane trap outside the house and caught her and set her free about 10 miles away in the woods. I say 'her' because the next day there were 4 little baby rats in a herd on our lawn, so one by one we caught them in the trap and took them for a ride and left the trap out just in case and caught baby #5 and took that one to the woods and we haven't seen any rats around here since, thank goodness. Good we caught them before they multiplied I guess! They weren't big ugly scary city rats, they were little jumpy wood rats.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I'm definitely NOT a cat fan, but it would help out your mice problem!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going straight from the title of this post to the dead mouse really had me concerned for a minute! I thought you might be going towards a homemeade twist on the lucky rabbit's foot. Ewww.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Chuck Pierce said...

Grab a 20 gal tank and get a couple Gerbils. Females both.

We have had every pet you can imagine, and some you can't and the gerbils are by far my favorites. They eat all the boxes we would recycle and that is their litter. Whe the cage gets to full, i burn it all or use it for mulch and we start filling it up again.No smell, and very happy. Very cheep to feed, and great fun to watch. They run "to fast" to be let out of the tank and they do not bite.

Hamsters on the other hand stink..

1:50 PM  
Blogger kalisah said...

I'm not really a cat person, but if I had rodents, I would totally get a cat. Or two. Then you could teach your children about the food chain. It'd be like "Wild Kingdom" in your kichen.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Gigglin' And Screamin' said...

I have lived in soo many house that are overrun with my mice when we move in (okay that doesn't sound good) Anyways, traps don't cut it when you got a real problem! Get that mouse poison (the green pellets) open about three or four and toss them under your house in different directions. It always works! And if you don't like cats, it works on them too! Just put it under the house! I'm kidding! All our pets are OUTSIDE! I can handle that one.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

Your blog cracks me up!

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Tina said...

I'm with you on the cats! Yick.
We live in an old log home and have mice every now and again. Best trap on the market: D-Con box-like things. I can only find them at Target; they run around $4.50 but it's hard to snap your finger and all you see is the tail after they're kaput! Hope that helps.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Sea Monkeys!!! that is a great idea. Thanks. We do have a dog, but my daughter is always talking about more animals. Maybe Sea Monkeys would work for a while.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Annalise said...

We used to have a part-time cat when we lived in Durban - the neighbour's cat used to hang out at our house all the time, because it liked to be around lots of people ... definitely the easy pet option - all the fun and none of the responsibility :-)

5:31 PM  
Blogger eko said...

"I like to convince myself that they are purely nocturnal creatures, that they can not climb stairs, and can not ever enter a bedroom. Yes, those are the lies I tell myself so that I survive in an old house."

Sounds like what I used to tell myself about COCKROACHES as to survive living in a home in the south!

I can just see her pushing everyone aside to get a good look at her future wannabe pet - lol.

So priceless!

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Elena said...

Oh, I can so totally relate to mice in an old house!!! One cold winter they invaded our got so bad that when I opened the door and turned on the light, I could hear them running for cover. One time one of those creepy little rodents even jumped at me from one of the shelves and landed briefly on my shoulder (he fell off rather quickly when I went into convulsions). We set traps way back in the pantry (where inquisitive little fingers couldn't reach) and caught 11 mice within 4 days. (EEEEEKKKK!!!) We still catch the occasionaly mouse, but the infestation seems to have ended. However, I'm always very careful to get that light on well *before* I step into the pantry now.

Good luck getting rid of yours!

7:54 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Oh Elena, I am going to have nightmares now.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous tiddlywinks said...

My husband is a sissy. I do ALL of the killing. In Minnesota it was bats in the toilet. Then opossums on the breezeway.

The only trap that worked for mice was the sticky trap. but then you have to drop a really heavy book on the mouse to kill it.

I caught a couple of kids that way too. But I refrained from the book dropping...

12:23 AM  
Blogger Ms. Mamma said...

I like what 'j' suggested way at the top. One of those 'ugly hairless cats' would be perfect and think of the fun you would have being all Dr.Evil(work that pinky, sista!)

"we'll see..."

1:55 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh Chris, not like cats? (Ok, I get the allergy part.) They do take care of the mice problem. And how can you not like their screw you attitude.

7:31 AM  
Blogger kalisah said...

for what it's worth, I just got one of those chain emails from my mom (I rue the day she ever got email....)about Bounce dryer sheets and it swears that they repel bees and mosquitos and MICE. It said if you lay them around your foundation or something it will keep them away.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Kim C. said...

Ya know...the odor would only last a few days, then she would have a quiet, trouble-free pet that stayed put and didn't require any care at all...

Boy do I feel like a fool, with 1 dog, 1 cat, 8 gerbils (umm...we did start out with 2, but they're not both females), 7 kids, and 23 mini lop rabbits...

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:32 AM  

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