Friday, November 16, 2012

There's a mouse in my house: A situation comedy in at least two parts

Last night we had a 'situation' at our house.


I was in my office, typing, after The Builder had gone to bed. Correction. After I thought The Builder had gone to bed. I heard rustling and rattling and general carrying-on from the kitchen.

My first thought: mouse. Big mouse.

To set the scene, we had discovered that morning a huge pile of mouse poo, some well-chewed almond meal packets and the odd wood shaving (?) in the pantry.

Mouse. Mice. Possibly 27 mice.

We cleaned it up and made our cunning plans for dealing with said mouse/mice that evening.

Fast forward to that evening and we are sitting in the living room when we hear a thud, and then some rustling and rattling and general carrying-on. I dispatched The Builder to find out what was going on. Long seconds passed. Minutes passed. I roused myself from the sofa to go and make sure the mousie hadn't carried him off.

He met me in the hallway, a little white-faced. "It ran right past me - actually through my feet - and out the cat door!" he said. I should mention that we don't have a cat and have been discussing blocking up said cat door since we moved in.

But the mouse was gone. We sat around congratulating ourselves on our superior mouse-scaring skills.

Right up until the point where I was sitting, alone, in my study, in a dark, quiet house, typing. I poked my head out the door. No sign of any mousie. Then again, no sign of The Builder either. Our bedroom door was wide open and he was not tucked up in bed, snoring.

I crept down the hall, pushed the door on the kitchen - and there he was. The Builder I mean. Constructing.

"We've got a situation!" he said, slightly wild-eyed, in his Dad pyjamas. "There were two mice and one is still trapped in the pantry."

When Mousie One had done it's Alcatraz escape run, we'd simply assumed it had been working alone and wedged the pantry doors closed with a six-pack. We were wrong.

I looked around me. "What exactly have you done here?" I asked.

The back door was wide open and he had constructed a barricade, comprising the cushion from the outdoor sofa, a chair, a toy box and the door mat. This corral was to persuade the mouse to run straight out the back door once he let it out of the pantry.

I could not help myself. I began to laugh. Helplessly. Loudly. Doubled over with hysterics. Hooting and guffawing.

He waited til I finished. Then politely explained that I was being no help. I straightened up and prepared to be supportive.

He crept into the kitchen, climbed on the bench with a broom, and proceeded to fling back the doors. Then he bolted to the door, jumped the barricade and we both stood there, awaiting the mouse's next move.

Mousie Two's next move was to stay exactly where it was.

Five minutes later we were all still in position, me still laughing helplessly (albeit silently). He turned to me and politely explained that I was still being no help and I might as well go back to my desk.

I did.

Fifteen minutes later, I was considering sending him a text message to make sure the mouse hadn't eaten him, when he appeared.

"Success?" I asked.

He shook his head. The mouse had bolted for the door, but instead of following the carefully constructed path laid out for it, had slipped through the most miniscule of gaps between the toy box and the mat and was now lost in the dining room.

Cue: helpless giggles. Mine, of course.

He had set up a system to keep the pantry door closed, and had closed the dining room door to keep the mouse from joining us in our beds. A tiny trap was laid. We would deal with it in the morning.

This morning we arose to discover that the outside of the dining room door had been gnawed. Clearly Mousie One had returned to help its friend. Meanwhile, Mousie Two had cleverly avoided the tiny trap and had eaten its way through half a packet of Fizzy Lifesavers (seriously, I was surprised it was not laid out on the counter with chronic burping).

The 'situation' continues.

I guess this is why they call it 'situation comedy'. 

Stay tuned.

Do small, furry animals bring about this level of chaos at your place?

[image: I wish I had a better shot of the barricade, but this was the best I could do, given my hysterical status.]


  1. Catching a mouse is always a major operation at our place. And when we resort to a mousetrap, husband and I are both consumed with guilt, but spurred by continuous holes in the contents of our pantry!
    I, of course, will never check the mouse trap...

  2. I have no words except to say that this is exactly how things would pan out in our house! ie hubby constructing something elaborate that just does NOT do the job ... and me being really helpful but laughing silently but being outwardly *really* supportive ;)

  3. Always with the almond meal! And there are ALWAYS more than one of them.

  4. When we lived in Far North Queensland, we had a "situation" too. Mr M and I were in bed reading when I heard something downstairs. At first I thought it was the cat but I could not hear her bell she I was suspicious. I do not like rodents. At. All. I made Mr M get up and investigate.
    "I couldn't see anything but I did find some rat poo," he said when he returned to bed.
    Well, there was no way I was sleeping knowing that a rat was in the house!! We both heard more noise so I persuaded him to return downstairs. I followed but stayed perched on the staircase, away from danger. He was not getting back up the stairs until the visitor was gone. Btw, the cat was nowhere to be seen, so she was no help. I opened the front door in hopes the thing would run out, then jumped back up on the stairs. Mr M could not see anything but there was poo everywhere. He was standing near the back sliding mesh doors, the one that housed the cat door when I heard a scream! I looked over to see Mr M jump back and a fair sized white-tail rat come running toward the front door. The furry guest had climbed up the mesh and jumped when Mr M got too close. Mr M helped him along by chasing him out the front with the broom. We re-named the cat's door The Rat Door and started to one-way lock it at night. Can this long winded "comment" be classified as guest blog post? LOL

  5. Haha...sounds hilarious! :D

    No, no mice here..thank god!!

  6. I'm very cruel when it comes to mousies in my housies. I find where they are getting in and block it off with big wads of steel wool. Then I sprinkle rat poison around. Bad I know, but the house is mine and the mice can have the whole damn yard instead. Rats are an entirely different problem. My previous abode had a family of rats move into the ceiling, (the dropping would fall through the ceiling exhaust onto the stove top at night)and their wee spot was right above my bedroom. The stink was awful! We tossed up baited traps and about a dozen packets of rat poison. Not sure what happened as I moved out. I did mention them to the property manager as I was leaving.

  7. I once cooked a mouse in the toaster (obviously I did not know it was in there at the time) - it threw the power out, and male neighbour laughed uproaringly but did not come over to remove offending (dead) mouse from the toaster. I had to do it myself.:(

    I think we may be still using the same toaster. And not sure of the moral of this story, but at least that was one less mouse in my house!

  8. I feel your pain. I recently have had something of a mouse problem. I was trying to ignore it & just pretend all those mouse turds in my closet were poppyseeds... because poppyseeds can be known to show up in the closet, right? Then he started running across my bedroom floor at night & waking me up with his midnight dumpster diving in my trash can. I set out traps -- he licked everything off of them. And then the mouse decided to show up in my living room at stare at me one late Saturday night. That's when I knew I needed to get serious. I got a cat.
    The cat has yet to catch the mouse, but I have neither seen nor heard any sign of the mouse since the cat's arrival. I'm thinking the mouse finally took the hint. I hope.

  9. Oh Good God do I feel your pain. I had to live with my family convincing me that I was imagining things when I complained about scratching noises in the wall next to my office desk. Until they got into the pantry and ate the bag of beer hops. It was all out war then and I was the one standing back and laughing! x

  10. To quoote some cartoon figure that I know longer remember,

    "I hates mieces to pieces!"

  11. Not furry creatures yet - however I have a cat door and no I will be getting rid of it.

  12. oh this is hilarious! We had a mice situation at our holiday house. Someone had forget to dispose of the bread on the shelf before we left, so some 4-5 weeks later when returned we noticed mice evidence but no mice and thought that they had come and gone...but oh no...come night time they husband had gone out for the night and I was so sick with the flu and was making myself a cup of tea when mice jumped out of pantry and shopping bags and all. there was probably only about three mice, but I called my husband back frantic and told him to come straight home and DEAL with the mice! They are cunning little critters!!! hope you can rid your house of mice soon xx

  13. You used to be able to buy glue traps at the hardware store - little plastic pans with gummy stuff, and biscuit crumbs for bait. Then you just situate them on Mouseway No. 1, and eventually they get stuck to the trap. Then the task was to put on leather gloves, pop trap and mouse into a tub with a lid, and escort it to a reserve, where we would painstakingly free the mouse from the trap with cotton buds dipped in baby oil, and release it. Worked a treat every time. Until the time my 17yo daughter was freeing a mouse at dawn, while unbeknownst to her being watched by a kookaburra. You can imagine the ending for yourself. She tells me kookaburras laugh a very rumbling laugh when they have a mouthful.


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