Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mice and Humility

If you're The Thrifty Homeschooler and a list member writes to you to ask, "I have mice in my house what do I do?" and you smugly think to yourself, "Oh, poor dear! I'm glad I don't have THAT problem," God will use this opportunity to teach you a lesson in humility.

You will find, the very next day, a mouse in your house. Not any ordinary mouse mind you, but a very different sort of mouse. A black mouse who comes out in the middle of the day to visit your daughter's pet mouse, Cocoa.

You'll found yourself acting like a cartoon character out of Tom and Jerry, standing on top of a chair with a broom, imploring the children to go outside and find the cat. They'll find the cat, bring him in, and set him down in the middle of the room. The cat will then look at you like you're some kind of idiot, turn, and smugly walk back outside through the hole in the screen door.

You'll then go through your husband's work bench in the basement to find the handy dandy 99 cent mouse trap, muttering something about "no mouse is going to make a fool out of me" and set it with a nice chunk of cheese.

You'll be careful to set the trap out of sight of Cocoa's cage as your daughter is concerned that her pet mouse will be forever traumatized at seeing her new beau murdered in cold blood.

Three nights in a row you'll set out the mouse trap and three nights in a row the little black mouse will steal the cheese without setting off the trap, even though you tested it.

You'll mention all this to your friend Dawn who will in turn comfort you with her wisdom, "You know, if you see one mouse, there's at least five more living in your walls." Remind me to send Dawn a thank you card.

At this point you'll throw up your hands and give it to St. Francis, begging him to ask the little mice to go live outside where it's nice and sunny rather than in your house.

Yes, God has a sense of humor and seeks to humble us whenever He can.


Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like it's time to move!!! Chrissy

Anonymous said...

Oh Maureen. I'm so sorry that happened but at the same time I can't stop laughing. Especially the bit about the cat. If it makes you feel any better I had a similar reaction when a mouse had the nerve to set up shop in my laundry room. I called my husband and told him I was taking the children to a motel. He talked me off that ledge but I was freaked out for days.

Maureen said...

Oh ME I so relate. I've been having dreams about mice!

Chrissy, don't know if moving will help. We're looking at houses in the country with wooded acreage. It may just get worse!

I've got to adopt a good mousing cat!

Anonymous said...


You need to use peanut butter on the trap. Mice love it and they can't steal it.

Anonymous said...

Our cats recently caught two darling, little field mice and proceeded to torture them:-( My son rescued them from the cats and they're now residing in a palatial, new cage in my dh's office. Dh is very concerned that "the guys have severe PTSD." Thinking the traps would cause a quick and humane death, he did, however, set traps and caught two more -- but each by one arm only (those traps don't work so well:-(,) so they were alive. So now he's completely guilt-stricken about those two and they've been moved into the new cage in his office. One of them ended up losing a front foot (but seems OK), the other appears to have no ill effects, alhough dh is terribly concerned about their PTSD too. Who says men aren't saps?! All four mice are as happy as clams and have become quite tame. I used to be terrified of them, but I'm used to them now (as long as they don't get too close!). We don't seem to have any more mice in the house (at least, not until these four start having babies -- 'dunno what we'll do then.) We found where they were getting into the house and blocked the entrance. Good luck! I hope things work out. Kudos to your cat! Unlike ours, he's a kindly soul.

Beck's Bounty said...

Just passing through and was so sorry to hear of your Mouse Woes. Mice are part of Country Life where we are, so we ahve tried many "solutions". Might I suggest baiting your trap with Peanut Butter (crunchy or creamy - whatever you have handy) ... make sure it STICKS well to the trap in a moderate sized "blob". The peanutbutter will make it nearly impossible for the Little Rascal to RUN OFF with the bait ... and so the trap might actually CATCH him. (Also those GLUE traps work well.)

Hope this helps.

Karen Edmisten said...

So sorry to hear it! We had them once ... ugh. Good luck, and wasn't that Thrifty Homeschooler question a matter of Providentially good timing? :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mrs. Wittmann, we have our free kitten signs up right now! *hint hint* ;)


Michelle said...

Maureen, peanut butter tends to work well, not that I speak from personal experience :::smirk::: While living in military housing, the peanut butter on the mouse trap worked every time.

Also, if you have any cat/dog food, be sure it's in a sealed container. Our mice seemed to favor eating the dog/cat food.

xxxxxx said...

Well I am getting the hints! We NEVER had mice before in any other house, but now this house is built to be bigger than the basement in the center, so it overhangs the basement wall-- so that the kitchen could be bigger in the floor plan. There is an actual architecture term for this and it means you will definitely get mice....While I love having a nice large kitchen, I don't like the fact the mice have figured out how to get in....even with the mighty huntress cat we have there still is a problem. They come in behind the cabinets.

But I am getting a new kitchen with new cabinets so I guess I have the mice to thank...and my kitchen will be lined with stainless steel behind the cabinets to keep the mice out.