Tuesday, January 18, 2011

There's a mouse in the house!

I was alone.  It was me, and my boys, against the world.  I pretended like I was empowered, like I could handle anything that came my way.  But I really couldn't.

Thankfully, my neighbors were able to keep my secret.  Christy and Rob, who lived behind me, were a godsend.  If something broke, I called Rob.  If I felt like I was on the edge of a breakdown, I called Christy.  To this day, they are more than my best friends, they are my family.  Rob has fixed broken drawers, moved heavy furniture, and saved me from scary situations.... like a mouse in the house.

I hate mice.  Mice are evil, demented, and disgusting.  Yes, I am an animal lover.  And yes, I know that they are harmless.  But I still can't stand them.  So when I spotted that small, furry, devil animal run across my bedroom floor as I was getting ready for bed one night I screamed bloody murder.

It was a reflex.  The scream came out of me, and I couldn't control it.  (Kind of like when the doctor hits your knee with that hammer tool... pure reflex)  Soon the entire house was alive and LOUD.  Joe (at about age 5, he was no longer JR, he insisted on being called Joe) and Shane both woke up.  Shane started screaming because I was screaming, Joe was running in circles crying because he had no idea why I was jumping on the bed crying.... yes.... crying.  And Magnum just barked at me.

I pulled the boys up on the bed with me and called Rob and Christy.... I could hardly talk, but eventually they understood what was happening.  Christy calmed me down, and sent Rob over to my house.  When he walked through the door he saw the boys and me crying on my bed, and Magnum going crazy, jumping up and down barking.  He did a quick inspection, and noticed that I had a gap next to the pipes under my master bedroom sink.  That was how the devil mouse got in.  "We need to put foam in that space, but we have to do it tomorrow.....everything is closed right now.  Are you going to be okay?"

I nodded.  "I guess so... what about the mouse.  I don't know where he went."

"We will have to get a mouse trap or D-con.  Will you be okay for tonight?  If you get those tomorrow, I can set them for you.  But you will have to live with it for tonight."

I just stared at him.  Is he kidding me?  That mouse might crawl up my bed.  He might bite me or the boys in the middle of the night and then we will have rabies.  Then what?

"Come on, Leslie.  You can do this."

FINE.  Fine.  Yes I can do this.  But I am not happy about it. After Rob left, I shook out the sheets on my tiptoes... because for some reason I felt safer without my feet flat on the floor.  No mice in the bed.  Good.  Joe and Shane got into my bed, and before I got into bed I made sure that the sheets were not touching the floor..... just in case the mouse thought it would fun to climb up the sheets and attack us while we were sleeping.

Needless to say, I don't think I slept that night.  Every sound, every movement, I pictured the mouse with his giant fangs trying to attack my dog in order to get to us.  When Magnum moved, I waited in anticipation, hoping he would turn into a mouse hunter and save us.  Never happened.  Magnum snored loudly that night, as I watched the clock, waiting for it to be a good time to wake up the boys so we could go to the store to arm ourselves with every and any kind of of mouse killing apparatus.... and the foam to fill in the gaps around the bathroom plumbing.

Finally, that time came.  I didn't even shower.  (After all the bathroom was infested by rodents)  We got into the car and went to the store.  I bought mouse traps, rat/rodent poison, and foam.  When we got home, I left the boys in the car while I gingerly tiptoed inside to get the phone. I brought the phone outside and called Rob.

"I've got it all.  And we will be outside...I can't go in there."

We waited in the driveway for Rob.  My next door neighbor was weeding his garden when he saw us.  "Hey Leslie!"

"Hi there," I replied.  "Bob...I have a question for you.  Do you have any problem with mice?"

He looked at me, smiling.  "This is just a bad area for mice, with the wetlands and all.  But let me show you something... they aren't really mice, though.  They are shrews."

Bob took me to the area between our houses.  "See those holes.... I have seen mice and shrews living under your house."

I didn't live in a stick built home.  I live in a glorified double-wide trailer.  There is just open space between my floorboards and the ground underneath.  I stared at the dozens of holes going between the ground and the siding.... you have got to be kidding me.  This was a rodent metropolis.  I was dizzy and disgusted.  "Thanks for letting me know," I stammered.

I quickly got a couple boxes of the rat/rodent poison out of the car... I bought ten boxes, just in case.  Thank god I did!  While the boys played in the driveway with Magnum, I went to work.  I think I put down three boxes of the poison along the side of the house.  I filled up all of the holes.  This was my house!  I am taking it back!

By that time, Rob came over.  He set my traps, filled the gaps with foam, and put poison under the bathroom sink for extra measure.  Magnum, Shane, Joe and I decided to spend the day outside.  I set up the tee ball in the back,and I got the kiddy pool out.  Rob and Christy came over while the boys were playing in the pool.  As we sat in lawn chairs and laughed about the night before, we saw Magnum pounce on something.

It was a shrew!  For those that don't know the difference between mice and shrews, shrews are an uglier, even more evil version of a mouse.

He caught it!  Disgusting and nasty, but I have to say I was so proud.  Christy and Rob burst out laughing, I screamed... just a little that time.  Magnum proceeded to catch it, in his mouth, let it go... then when it tried to run off, he caught it again.  Magnum thought it was a toy!  This game of dog and mouse went on for at least 10 minutes.  We were laughing so hard, even the boys came over to see what this crazy dog was doing.  Then, suddenly, the shrew just stopped moving.  He probably died of a massive heart attack, because this giant dog wouldn't leave him alone.  Then Magnum laid down with his snout next to the shrew, trying to nudge it back to life.  Finally, when he realized it wasn't going to "play" with him anymore, he lifted his head and looked at us with his big, droopy, sad eyes.

That is when we all started laughing.  The thought of this huge 100 lb labrador feeling so sad because he accidentally killed his new pet, was just hysterical!

Finally, late that afternoon, Rob checked the traps inside the house.  There it was, the lone mouse who attacked us so viciously (in my mind) the night before.  I was a little sad as Rob walked back to his house with the trap, I almost felt guilty.  It really was just a tiny little mouse.  But I was so relieved to have my house back!


  1. eeeewwwww I have NEVER seen a shrew! OMC I can barely look!!!

    You were sooooooo brave!! Poor Magnum!! That was the cutest thing ever that he was sad!

  2. It was really interesting story.. Im the same as u do but not mice, its earthworm.. Thanks to magnum for his great work.. Be safe from mice and have a happy days..