the Olympic midnight mouse, and the romance of it all

Sunday, August 12, 2012

As much as I love the Olympics—Missy Franklin's smile, Ally Raisman's fortitude, Bolt's bolts, Oscar Pistorius, Misty and Keri, the Call Me Maybes, Michael Phelps, the super divers, Mo Farah, royal fashions, travelogues, the roar of contained fire—I feel a hint of relief when the games come to an end.  Life will return to what life was.  I'll read more in the evening.

Last night, my husband having persuaded me to watch the Brazil-USA women's volleyball final, I wandered into the pantry late and there, three shelves up, its nose in a box of crackers, was a furry gray thing.  It didn't move, but I—an inveterate neat freak, an everyday housecleaner, and yet a woman (it is true) who had let her pantry go these past two weeks—screamed.

I've never had a pantry mouse before.

There were decisions to be made.  Who can kill a furry thing?  Who can let it stay?  In time, the mouse scurried down the wall and hid beneath the paper bags I had meant to recycle a good two weeks ago.  From there it made a bee line for the dining room and proceeded, for the next 60 minutes to creatively dash and hide.  This was a smart mouse, an Olympic mouse.  It clung to the denuded pipes of the old radiator.  It hid beneath a dish.  It zigged when we zagged and zagged when we zigged.  It did not wish to be caught.

It was a minor drama.  We needed strategies, quick.  I barricaded.  My husband broomed.  I dug an old shoe box out of my son's room, which can be counted on for many a thing that should have been recycled months ago.  Dash, then silence.  Tail, then scream.  I stood on a chair for a courage-free five minutes while it ran beneath me.  My husband would never do such a thing.

In the end, the mouse was shoe boxed and carried outside.  In the end, those errant paper bags were recycled and every open box discarded (there were only three) and I scoured every surfaced touched by mouse.  In the end, too, there was the exhilaration, perhaps even the romance, of having teamed in such savvy fashion with my husband.  We weren't just watching the Olympics this time.  We had our own starring roles.  It's the closest I've come to an adventure this summer.

Maybe I need a vacation.


Amy said...

ewww! glad you got rid of it, though!

KFP said...

Exactly what I would have done--and have. Trash cans are also good for putting over the mouse, then you slide a piece of cardboard under the open "top" of can and upturn it so the little creature is way in the bottom of can and top is covered. Keep moving the can genty as you take it outside so the mouse cannot scurry up sides, which is probably not possible anywa if sides are steep.

I have a favorite story about how I once heard a squeak while vacuuming under a bookcase and peered in to see the shadowy outline of a small furry body with a tail trapped in a corner, unable to escape. Hilarity ensued as my husband and I teamed up to try to get the mouse out with a small-opening vacuum extension (my idea). I thought the mouse would stick to the opening then I would shut off vacuum and drop mouse into covered can and take it outside. The plan worked except--turns out the mouse was a lost cat toy that squeaked realistically.

Last month my husband shined a flashlight deep into a crawl space and saw two shiny eyes staring back at him. Freaky. That turned out to be a plastic animal long ago lost by one of the kids. Oh those cats and kids!

But your mouse was real. Yay for you and your husband. Cynics will say the mouse could come back in the house anyway but you did the right thing. I like to think he or she learned his lesson and is grateful, and will honor you by finding another place to inhabit.

patti.mallett_pp said...

hahahaha............And as you lay curled in satisfied slumber, he came up with a plan for re-entry. ;<)

Serena said...

Wow...that must have been a feat! WR record in the works I think!

Michael G-G said...

That is super team work! Gold medals all around.

Kelly Simmons said...

Wow, the mouse relay team wins!

Anonymous said...

Glad you got the lil critter out!

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