It was just a matter of time.
This morning, in the downstairs bathroom, I caught a faint whiff of dead mouse. Here’s a tip. If you think you have a dead mouse in a wall or vent, it’s not a good idea to turn on the exhaust fan. As soon as I did that, the faint whiff transformed into a noxious cloud of rotting mouse corpse.
We live in the woods. Right after we built, we had a biblical plague of toads in the family room one night that I’ve never fully understood, and we get inundated with ants every August, but up until this year, we’d never had a mouse. Not a one. Then, around Thanksgiving, I thought my eyes were going to pot when one evening my peripheral vision caught a gray blur moving near the baseboards. I was obviously in denial. A mouse? In this house? How could that be?
Then, it happened again a couple of nights later. Only this time, it was not a blur my eyes spied, but an actual, furry little rodent making a beeline for the safe zone behind the T.V. stand. Now, anyone with an ounce of sense knows that there is no such thing as a single mouse in a house. I sprung into action and set traps. I discovered where they were getting in and fixed the problem. I caught mice. The beagle, who suffers from mousetrap PTSD due to a bad experience with her nose and a trap at the cabin, was no help whatsoever. In fact, whenever I marched past her with a dead mouse in a trap, she averted her gaze. I said bad words and set more traps. I caught more mice, said more bad words, and emptied traps. The look on the face of the one that got only his tail and one foot caught in a trap right before I apologized out loud and put him out of his misery still haunts me. Waging war against a mouse army is ugly stuff.
I will spare you the actual mouse death toll figure that occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas. By New Year’s, I was confident that the mission was accomplished and I put all the traps away. I patted myself on the back. Problem solved, I thought.
Well, ONE problem was solved.
As I said, it was only a matter of time.