Today, I am straying from the music scene temporarily, to bring you a probably soon to be long-winded tale of the mouse that might be in my house (it’s currently unconfirmed), and my battle against it.
Strap in, kids. It’s going to be a long ride.
To give you some backstory, I am utterly and completely terrified of mice. I don’t have a reason (unless my mind has willfully blocked the trauma), but I can tell you of the first time it really came to fruition.
Nearly four years ago, I was living in Thunder Bay with my then-roommate Kyle. All was peaceful, until one night, when I came home from work, and exhausted, laid down to do a little internet surfing in my room as Kyle was out. Suddenly, something caught my eye. Movement. I jerked my head to the left to look and caught sight of something that struck fear into my heart: a long, skinny tail slithered behind my dresser and out of sight. My blood went cold and I leaped up to a standing position on my bed, desperately trying to blame this on a trick of the eyes. In my heart, I knew it wasn’t. A mouse had come for a visit, and it was not welcome.
I stood on my bed for probably 20 minutes, if not more, texting everyone I knew, and hyperventilating to a point of tears. I had to force myself to take a flying leap off the bed, grab my purse and leave the house. The battle had begun.
I immediately drove to Home Depot and bought just about every mouse repellent possible. I was determined that I wouldn’t have to kill the mouse; I would simply buy the ultrasonic pest chasers that claimed to rid your house of mice. I spent $80+ dollars (I know, I know) on a large unit for my room, and individual units that could be plugged in around the house. I got home with my electronic weaponry, and went about plugging the individual units in downstairs. I wouldn’t allow myself to even think about going upstairs until Kyle came home because I couldn’t face the fear alone. Instead, I sat downstairs and drank wine alone. Straight from the bottle. I was too scared to even go into the kitchen and get a glass.
Kyle came home around 11pm to find me balled up on the couch, with my feet up and Ugg boots on (in case it tried to run across my feet, of course) and downing a full bottle of wine, and laughing, asked what I was doing. I told him I thought I had seen a mouse, and he got strangely quiet for a moment, and then said, “Yeahhhh…I didn’t know if I should tell you or not…”
He had seen Master Splinter a few days prior, and was going to try to handle it on his own without alerting me, because he was sure of what my reaction would be. I didn’t know if I should be upset or if I understood his logic. Instead, I drank more wine. With his assistance, I went upstairs and plugged in the rest of the individual electronic units, as well as the large unit in my room, directly beside my bed to try to prevent the mouse from climbing onto my bed and trying for a snuggle. That night, I left the lights and TV on, thinking the light and noise would be enough to keep Master Splinter at bay.
A few days later, Kyle saw the mouse again. It had climbed onto our kitchen counter and was standing directly beside one of the ultrasonic plug ins. He was clearly showing us that he laughed in the face of my feeble attempts to drive him away from the house. The battle was getting serious. I had to up the ante.
I returned to Home Depot, and bought the standard snap traps and glue traps. I had been unable to sleep properly for days because of Master Splinter, and now I was getting mad. Death was the only answer. Together, Kyle and I set up traps in the kitchen, placing them near to the deep freezer, under which he was known to frequent. We baited them with peanut butter, and waited.
Days went by again, and we started to notice something: the traps were being licked clean, but the springs were never deployed. Master Splinter was mocking us. I was fearful, but also pissed. He thought it was a game. My bloodlust grew stronger.
I asked coworkers for advice. It was now going on 2 weeks since that fateful evening that I saw the mouse, and I was irritated that we still hadn’t been able to catch it. Someone suggested that we burn the peanut butter onto the traps, making the smell more potent and the peanut butter harder to eat off the trap. It made sense, and at this point I had nothing to lose, so I went home, collected the traps from the kitchen, and reapplied the peanut butter, taking a lighter to burn it to the surface. I set the traps as loosely as I possibly could, put them back near the deep freezer and waited….then panicked because I didn’t want to actually be there when it was caught, so I left and went to Starbucks to visit a friend. I figured within an hour that mouse was sure to be caught.
When I arrived home from Starbucks, I cautiously looked into the kitchen, expecting that the nightmare was going to be over. The traps remained untouched. I became convinced that we would never be rid of this nightmare. Instead, I sat on the couch and watched a live stream of The Gaslight Anthem on my computer, hoping against hope that they would ease my pain. Again, much like the first time, a movement caught my eye, dragging my gaze over to the deep freezer. Master Splinter’s shadow-y figure darted back and forth underneath as he sized up the burnt peanut butter on the snap trap. I froze, convinced if I so much as breathed the opportunity would be missed, and braced myself for the inevitable ‘snap’. It didn’t come. I sneaked another small peek towards the freezer, and as I did, the bastard appeared. He inched towards the trap. I squeezed myself against the couch as *crack!*; the trap had sprung! It rattled and flipped briefly as I squealed like a small child, and then laid still. The nightmare was over.
I was elated until I now realized there was a mouse body, in a trap, in my kitchen. I was unprepared to deal with the aftermath of the carnage. Instead, I called my dad (who lived 8 hours away at the time) and gave him the good news. He told me to go throw the entire trap outside and mocked me when I said I couldn’t even enter the kitchen at that point. He disconnected out of frustration, and I texted Kyle, who was at his girlfriend’s for the weekend, to find out when he would be home to deal with this situation. Understanding my horror, he told me to just shut the lights off in the kitchen, and go have a good sleep knowing that the mouse wouldn’t be alive to crawl over me while I slept anymore. He would come home to dispose of it. I avoided my kitchen until Kyle confirmed it was gone.
So now, here we are 4 years later, and Master Splinter’s equally nasty brethren have finally tracked me down and have come to make my life a living hell. Possibly. Again, this is currently unconfirmed, and my conviction is based only on some rustling in my room that could potentially just be attributed to a slight draft. The only thing is, it was aggressive rustling. The kind that could be made by a pissed off mouse out for blood.
In a first wave of attack, I’ve thrown peppermint oil soaked cotton pads all over my room. Quite literally, I made it rain peppermint pads. It smells like I live in a candy factory, but apparently mice don’t like that and will actively try to get away from the smell. I’m hoping this is enough to get it to surrender, but if not, I’m prepared with more glue traps, as well as a solitary live trap, that I simultaneously wish it would go into as well as not (because the only thing I can think is that if I tried to pick that trap up, it would suddenly open and the mouse would jump on me, but still, I also don’t want to kill it). I’ve also picked up enough wine to effectively get shit faced because when you go into battle with a mouse, you should be drunk. It’s the only way.
I will keep you all updated as World War 2 progresses. Wish me luck.