You know we try and keep it all romantic around here at Mike and Molly’s House but sometimes we just gotta peel away a few layers…
You may have read how the mice moved into the yurt but that’s only one of the places they like to move in to. Each fall they move into our house. Moving in is not even an accurate description; they are brought in…alive!
We have two cats. The older one is our beloved black cat, Buji, who is a beautiful sleek panther like cat. He loves adventure and spends most of his time outside running up and down trees catching and eating mice and gophers. I’ve attached a melange of bells on his neck to keep him from eating all the birds in our yard. Our younger cat, Kitten-AKA; Splat-AKA; Little SH*T, Mike found in a drainpipe while taking classes at the community college a few years back. Strange thing is Mike is not the kind of guy that picks up strays…stray materials-yes, but not stray animals. He did this particular time and now we have this chubby cat who swats at you when you pass by her. Try and give her a scratch on her belly and she will rip you to shreds. She mostly hangs out with the dogs…in the house…on the couch…sleeping. If Archie is on my lap she will hop up and sit on his head. Archie just sits there not moving. She has one special talent…catching live mice, bringing them into the house and dropping them on the floor. Once dropped they scurry off under something. She takes a few sniffs at whatever they are under, shrugs and heads out to get another one.
She’s not the mighty hunter that Buji is so how does she bring mouse after mouse into the house several times a night? Well….on the outside of the chicken coop is a feeder full of chicken mouse food. There is a mouse condo set up that goes deep under the coop (I’m talking cold war missile silo deep). At dusk Kitten goes out to the coop and starts grabbing mice. There’s so many she can’t miss. The chickens are just settling in for the night on their roosts. I can only imagine what they think she is doing. One night I closed up the coop not realizing she was in there catching mice. The next morning when I opened the door I was greeted by a furry blur leaping out of the coop followed by flying screeching chickens. Everyone was running out so fast out of the coop I almost had a heart attack. Now, when I come to close the coop my feet crunching on the ground alerts her and she comes running out as fast as she can.
She does catch some of her little runaways and in the morning her success is waiting for us on the living room floor. Usually Ping likes to work on them a bit too…YUCK! One night during sewing group she started bringing the mice in. She’d bring a present in, drop it, I’d grab the broom and dust pan, scoop up the mouse and toss it outside. She’d go back outside grab a mouse and, well you get it. We’ve got our routine down. It’s been going on for years. My sewing group ladies were both horrified and laughing at my circumstance.
Tiny’s owner, Goat Girl (she’s in my sewing group), pipes up and says, ‘Why don’t you lock the dog door in the evenings when she does this?’
‘I don’t know, I never thought of it…’ I reply
Molly: MIKE!! GOAT GIRL IS A GENIUS!!! DID YOU HEAR THAT! WHY DIDN’T WE EVER THINK OF THIS!
(Sorry for all the screaming, Mike’s in the next room.)
Mike: I don’t know??? Do it! It’s a great idea!
I keep a clean house but they still find spots to hide out. Let me tell ya it’s not cheap having mice get into one’s house either.
The vent on our dryer falls off occasionally. One time while it was loose a mouse climbed into the vent and up into the dryer and died. I only use the dryer in the winter so it must have been there for a bit. One wet snowy day I loaded the dryer, turned it on and a nasty smell came out. I knew immediately what had happened and stopped the dryer. A year later the dryer is still there but I haven’t used it since. I’m going for winter #2 without a dryer.
Mike: I get tired of the clothes drying rack in the living room all winter but I’m proud of us going dryer free.
Molly: It’s all about the little loads baby…
Yep, one got in there. I pulled a towel out and saw mouse ‘evidence’. This is what the linen closet looks like now:
You know how a stove/oven has all those openings in the back? Mice find it very comfortable to set up shop back there. One got into the stove and when the stove was turned on it stunk of cooking mouse pee. It was spring so we stopped using the stove and used the outdoor kitchen. When winter hit we had to face facts and purchase a new stove. It sucked because this one was only a few years old.
The Christmas tree
You can read all about the pee-pee tree here. No judgments please!
Stove#2 (yes, Stove #2)
See stove #1. This time we tore the stove apart, cleaned it and mouse proofed every hole in the stove/oven.
Mike: I love this stove! No way I’m letting the mice claim this one.
Behind the washer
I can smell something back there! The worst part is that our uber-duber electric mouse trap that cost us $30 fell back there (two years ago…). I not only need to pull out both the washer and dryer but I need to retrieve my amazing mouse trap!
And just about everywhere else…
All of our kitchen towels are in plastic boxes…in the drawer.
Everytime we go to use a frying pan or pot we’ve been trained to check it first for mouse poop.
Sometimes we find mummified mice crammed in the oddest places when we’re moving furniture.
We are expert mouse killers:
Do wash your hands before setting the traps so your scent does not get on the trap.
Do be proactive. When it gets cold set extra traps!
Don’t buy the extra sensitive traps (Just trust me on this one).
In defense of the Kitten I probably keep the house cleaner than I would have if she didn’t bring mice in. I’m so worried about disease that I have everything stored in air tight containers. The saving grace is they cannot get into our food pantry (I don’t know why but they haven’t). I wipe down counter tops with distilled vinegar daily and the kids won’t leave dirty dishes in their room for fear a mouse will enter!
Our dirty little mouse secret is out. We all have things we don’t want to admit, yes? I’d love it if my home was a pristine example of clean domesticness but it’s not and won’t be as long as I have animals and kids stuffed in here with us (OK, honestly? It wouldn’t be much better if they weren’t here either…). They are worth it, and I as I write this the Kitten, who insists on sitting in my lap just reached over and bit me. Dang cat!! I swear I just want to punt her across the room!
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