February 17, 2009 – Leaps tall kitchen islands in a single bound. Crosses a room faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locom...climbs vertical surfaces like a locom... Oh, forget it.
By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond
For the last few months I’ve been tormented by a mouse I dubbed Supermouse, truly an Olympic champion in the mouse world. That designation was based on my having captured the silly thing rooting around in my trashcan one day. I pulled the trashcan out from under the kitchen sink and listened in astonishment as it rooted around at the bottom, momentarily unaware of the peril facing it. But my few seconds of hesitation was all Supermouse needed to leap several feet straight out of the trashcan, dash across the room in the blink of an eye and disappear under my washing machine. Racing to the laundry room, I managed to slam all the doors before Supermouse could escape. Slyly planting mousetraps around the laundry room, I closed all the doors and left for the night, confidently expecting to find Supermouse’s tiny mangled body the next morning.
Oh, how I underestimated Supermouse. Somehow he managed to climb straight up the wall and escape through a previously unknown opening in the ceiling of the laundry room. I know that’s how he escaped because that evening I heard Supermouse rooting around in the wall adjacent to the laundry room. Exasperated, I collected my mousetraps and put them under the kitchen sink, which heretofore seemed to be Supermouse’s favorite venue.
For the next few days I walked around the kitchen as quietly as a mouse, hoping for a second chance to catch Supermouse in the trashcan. The next time I wouldn’t hesitate. But he was too clever to get caught like that again. No, he discovered a way to get into the drawer where I keep my cooking implements and went to town. He pooped in the back of the drawer, which went unnoticed by me until I saw a little yellow stain on the paper lining the drawer. Touching it and sniffing it, I thought, “That smells like mouse pee.” It was only after pulling the drawer entirely out that I saw the mouse droppings in the back of the drawer and gagged, wondering how long the poop had been in the drawer. I pulled everything out, washed it, washed the drawer, relined it with paper and put everything back. I also applied copious amounts of masking tape to the inside of the cabinet to seal off all of Supermouse’s entry points. While cleaning the cooking implements I also discovered that the funny notches in the tips of my nice new spatulas were actually mouse teeth marks! The same for my plastic-coated dough hook – teeth marks! The little bastard had committed the ultimate sin, messing with my cooking stuff.
Still willing to live and let live, I used masking tape to seal up every conceivable opening that Supermouse could use to enter my cabinets. I laid on my back and stuck my head into the cabinets and taped up everything I could. For several weeks there was no evidence of Supermouse, and I figured that he had resigned himself to the basement, where I have no problem with him living.
But then two days ago I found fresh mouse droppings on my kitchen island again and realized that Supermouse had broken our truce. It suddenly dawned on me that Supermouse had a penchant for yeast dough. He had chewed up my nice new spatulas, not the old ones; had chewed up my dough hook; and had left droppings twice around my electric mixer. I use all these implements to make bread dough. Angry, I decided, “OK, if Supermouse likes dough so much, I’ll give him some dough.” Fortunately, I had some pizza dough in the refrigerator, so I took a pinch out and affixed some dough to each of several mousetraps, placing one behind the washing machine in the laundry room, in between his presumed entry point and the kitchen island.
This morning when I got up I was surprised and – I regret to admit this – pleased to find Supermouse stiff and cold behind my washing machine, his poor little mousy head trapped in the mousetrap. At first I was delighted and felt no remorse, on account of the torment he caused me for months. But as the day wore on I felt increasingly remorseful. He was a cute little fellow, brown and rather large, as mice go. And he did perform a service by exposing many openings in my house capable of admitting not only mice, but mud daubers and other insects as well. He never ate any of my food, just what scraps he found in my trashcan, although he did damage several of my cooking implements, which in my house is bordering on blasphemy.
I was willing to peacefully coexist with Supermouse, as long as he stayed in his space, the basement. But he crossed the line when he started messing with my kitchen.
I gave Supermouse a send off in the bushes, figuring he might as well be food for something. I’ll miss ya, Supermouse, but I sure hope none of your brethren follow your lead.