Only in Amityville do we have sugar ants in December (E.V. calls them “buggies” and tries to play with them…), a woodpecker who doesn’t understand the house is siding not wood (Will he ever learn?), and now…a mouse in the house.
Ryan and I were recently watching TV late at night with the dogs cuddled up next to us on the couch when we swore we heard crunching coming from the kitchen. We investigated to no avail, only noting that there was a considerable amount of dry pasta on the floor (What, that’s not normal?) from an activity that had occupied Emma Vance pre-bedtime and had yet to be cleaned up. Every time we left the kitchen, we’d hear crunching, run back and see nothing. We cleaned up the pasta and determined that it was the ice maker that we were hearing. End of story…or so we thought.
Last night I cleaned out a few items from my car but didn’t have time to “deal” with them. Not wanting to clutter up our living room, I threw them on the pantry floor. Let me take a minute to pause and mention that I’m a BIG FAN of a clean, organized pantry. Nothing drives me crazier than a cluttered pantry (because I inevitably end up buying food items we already own), so ours is very neat most of the time. The pantry in Amityville is 70s-style, i.e. a non-walk-in deep closet. The bottom two shelves are only half shelves so that you can utilize the floor space. We keep empty beer growlers :) and a few other non-food items on the floor and just a few things on the bottom shelves–pasta, tea, protein powder and hot chocolate. Truthfully, since the shelves are hard to maneuver, these items are not often used–except for my hot chocolate, which I drink every night in the winter. (I’m not into wine, coffee, tea or beer, so it’s my equivalent of a daily must-have drink.) Needless to say, I can actually see the floor of our pantry, which I notice at least every night when I get my hot chocolate out.
I woke up this morning, opened the pantry to get out the oatmeal and gasped. What in the world?!? There were mouse, um, droppings all over the floor and my hot chocolate had been ransacked! Apparently we have a mouse in the house, and that mouse has a sweet tooth. Arg.
I’d like to note at this point that, as far as I can figure, the mouse must’ve used my extra junk piled on top of the beer growlers to scurry up to our half-shelves, bypassed all the healthy stuff like herbal tea and whole wheat pasta, and singled out MY hot chocolate, which was kept in two separate places on the shelf–open packets in a basket and a box of a more expensive persuasion. Mr. Mouse must’ve been feeling the chill and in need of a sugar fix because he chewed through those packets whole-heartedly. Ugh.
Here’s the dilemma: I know if there’s one, there’s more. HOWEVER, I’m not an animal killer! Mr. Mouse must’ve sought out Amityville with the knowledge that I’m a non-hunting, sometimes-vegan, bleeding-heart animal lover. To that point, I have a distinct memory of once finding a half-dead mouse (my parents’ dog had drug it inside) and being so upset that I put it in a shoebox and tried to nurse it back to health. Let’s just say it didn’t end well, and I cried. Did I mention that I was in college at the time? :/ True story.
What to do? What to do? I spent the morning cleaning up after his late night party, contemplating my move. From my friends’ and family’s personal experience, I know that humane traps don’t do much. I talked it over with my mom, who asked, “Well, what are you going to do? Wait until the mice nibble at E.V.’s toes before killing them?” Well, maybe… :)
It took a lot of wrestling with myself to come to this conclusion: I’m going to let Ryan do the dirty work. :) (That’s what husbands are for, right?) A bit of, gulp, poison in the basement and in the garage, out of my sight and without my “knowledge,” and we’ll let the mice seal their own fate. Let’s just pray that I don’t run across a corpse somewhere and that I can sleep with myself at night for making the decision. If only you hadn’t chosen MY hot chocolate, Mr. Mouse, maybe–just maybe–I could’ve let bygones be bygones…