There is nothing cute about mouse shit in your pantry.
There is nothing sweet about the staccato scrape of their hard little feet in your drywall, rousing you from a dreamless sleep. The fuckers may be fuzzy, but they are neither adorable nor benign. There is a reason they are called pests.
And they must be controlled.
“I think I heard a mouse in the house,” I said to Pat as he wiped the sleep from his eyes and made his way to the kitchen.
“Did you see it?”
“No. Just heard the little tap-tap, and I looked for it, but then it stopped.”
“Probably just the ice in the refrigerator.”
I should have known better than to bring it up before coffee, but I’d been sitting with this invisible interloper for two hours, listening to it rummage through the walls as I shook the curtains, crawled beneath the sink and shined my iPhone flashlight along the dust bunnies haunting our baseboards. The next day, I heard it again and uncovered hard evidence.
“There really is a mouse,” I told Pat. “I looked behind the couch. There’s poop.”
He grunted. It was 6:30.
Days later, I returned home from a holiday happy hour with friends. The whine of our shop-vac greeted me at the door. The closet hung open, disgorging heavy coats and fleece jackets on the dining room floor. In the living room, sofa cushions tumbled across the carpet. The TV and its spaghetti of cables and wires hung out of their nook.
The back door gaped open.
“I saw that mouse,” Pat said. “Sumbitch jumped out of the coat closet and ran right between Coolidge’s legs!”
Coolidge, our 117-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, was nonplussed. His sidekick Winslow, the vicious pitbull, cowered in the kitchen. The game was afoot: Pat wanted to use the sonic cannon of the shop-vac and the gentle nudging of a broom to encourage the mouse to surrender peacefully and leave through the back door. I wanted to get a shovel.
Instead, we chased it out from under one set of sofa cushions into the pantry then under the refrigerator then across to the dishwasher and behind the stove.
The dogs had long gone to bed.
“I want to call an exterminator.”
“It’s just one mouse.”
“How do you know? There was shit every where we looked. It could be an infestation. I want to bring down a toxic cloud of death on this fucker and all his four-legged friends. I want him and all his kind to think twice before they ever cross our threshold again.”
“I’ll get some humane traps and take care of it.”
The humane traps were set underneath the sink. The next day, a daisy-chain of turds surrounded it. Pat asked me to give it a little more time before I called in air support.
A week later, my birthday arrived, and Pat gave me the greatest gift of all.
The motherfucking circle of life, bitches.
The bird is a kestrel falcon and it rains holy terror from the skies in the most joyous and beautiful illustration of predation I’ve ever witnessed. Take that, mouse, and enjoy your delicious treat, falcon. You and your kind are welcome at our house any time.