I pulled the microwave away from the wall to clean behind it and there it was.
Poop. Tiny poop. Two little drops of teeny tiny poop. On my kitchen counter.
Okay. I am not a fearful person. I'm really not. Well, heights. And bridges. But really, I'm not too bad. However...I go into a full body "Eeeeeew" clench when I am around anything...rodent. Just freaks me out. Hair standing up on the back of the neck kind of thing. So this tiny poop discovery did not make me happy. I decided to ignore it.
But later that night...I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water before I went to sleep, and whooooooooooooosh", a tiny furry thing shot across the kitchen counter and down into a hole behind the sink.
I screamed. One of those really painfully girly high-pitched screams. Jimmy and Jude were both asleep already, and neither woke up. This was, in itself, disturbing. I mean, what if I had been attacked by a burglar or had fallen and couldn't get up? But anyway... I ran to Google and typed in "how to get rid of mice".
I then pictured Stuart Little. And Ralph S. Mouse. Sweet little anthropomorphic mice who have sweet little non-disgusting adventures. I added "humanely", then hit Enter. Ah! Peppermint oil. Apparently, mice hate it. I could do that. No need to mention the whole rodent infestation thing to Jimmy or Jude. I would rid our home of the sweet little tiny mouse all on my own using peppermint oil. Despite trying to cutify the rodent by deciding to call him Little Stinker, I spent the entire night staring at the ceiling, imaging scratching noises and tiny poop in my bed.
The next day I ran to Whole Foods and purchased a bottle of peppermint oil which I used to wipe down the entire kitchen. I then proceeded to stuff the hole behind the sink with peppermint soaked cotton balls and seal it with a plastic strip. Done. Don't you mess with Mama, Little Stinker.
But later that night...
About ten minutes after Jude went to bed, he showed up in the living room.
I think I just saw a little mouse in my room.
A mouse? No, I'm sure you must have been dreaming.
I don't know. He was standing on my backpack looking at me.
Really? I don't know, honey. We've never had mice. I'll check it
out tomorrow. Go to sleep.
Damn you, Little Stinker. You are not allowed in a room with my sleeping child!
So the next day, I searched Jude's room. Sure enough, there were two more tiny poops behind the books on his lowest bookshelf, and two more behind his bed, next to the HOLE in the wall by his electric socket. Damn.
I called my friend Scott, who knows how to do things. He assured me that mice were very common in our area, told me an amusing story about a mouse infestation in his own house, then suggested that I putty over the hole in Jude's room, then cover the putty with tape. I got to work. First I wiped everything in his room with peppermint oil, then pulled out my putty and sealed up that hole. Take THAT, Little Stinker!
By now, friends had started commenting on our homes minty freshness. Yes, clean and fresh, and certainly not RODENT INFESTED.
Two days went by. I felt successful. Then the next morning...
I pulled the microwave away from the wall to clean behind it and there I found...okay, this was weird. Two tiny plaster statues of poop. Yes, plaster mouse poop. Little Stinker had tried to eat through the plaster I'd sealed the hole with, then digested the plaster and pooped it out! On my kitchen counter!
But how had he gotten in this time? I did more detective work and discovered a little pile of sawdust in the corner. That Little Stinker had gone under the house, up the tile backsplash in the kitchen, and tunneled down behind the cabinet! Clearly, Little Stinker was highly evolved.
Okay, you f&$%#ing Little Stinker. That is it! Humane/schmumane. It was time to call...the professionals. I dialed up Western Exterminators because my friend Julie said they got rid of the horrible RAT infestation at their house (I mean, rat? Much less cute than mouse.), plus they have the best logo in town...
The next day, Johnny Mouseman showed up at my door. Okay, that's not really his name, but that's what I call him. I know this is crazy, but I swear to God, he looks...like a mouse. You know how in Cinderella the Fairy Godmother turned the little mice into coachmen, and they still sort of looked like mice? Like this guy...
That's Johnny. Little buck teeth, big eyes, pale eyelashes. Freaky, man.
Anyway, Johnny investigated. Yes, he confirmed, you have mice. Not rats, but mice. He can tell this by examining the scat. Whew. I told him of my peppermint oil use, and mentioned the word "humane". He hesitated, then asked "But you do want me to take care of it, right?"
Ah! I see. Johnny was like Paulie Walnuts "taking care" of some guy for Tony Soprano.
I thought of Stuart Little. I thought of poop under my child's bed.
"Do what you gotta do," I answered in a serious tone.
Johnny put out traps. Lots of traps. I was told to check them daily, and Johnny would return every other day to check on the mouse situation.
Days went by.
On the day of Johnny's second return visit, it just happened to be the day Rosa, the housekeeper, comes and brings me joy. (Have I failed to mention the arrival of Rosa in my world? Ah, another post!) When Johnny arrived, he started to walk around checking on traps, when Rosa suddenly chimed in...
(please forgive my attempt at her accent)
Oh. I find mouse. He dead.
What? You found a dead mouse?!!!!!
(doing a goofy, eeeeeek, there's a mouse dance)
Well...what did you do with it.
I pick him up and throw him in trash. He dead.
Clearly, Rosa is a far braver woman than I.
Johnny Mouseman dug through the trash while I continued my freaked out, hopping from leg to leg, eeeeeeek dance. Until he found the aforementioned mouse.
Little Stinker had been taken care of.
It's been two weeks since the murder of the mouse. I realize that it's naive to believe that Little Stinker was a lone mouse, living all by himself under our house like Ralph S. Mouse. It seems more likely that he had a large extended family somewhere under there, pooping and chewing and doing all sorts of disgusting rodenty things. But so far so good.
I still have my bottle of peppermint oil at the ready. But I think it's time to bring in a family member who is less squeamish than I am. Our very own Paulie Walnuts. I think it's time...for a cat.