Saturday, 12 March 2011

Of mice and women......

About four months ago, Mel and I were having a glass of wine in our apartment when I spied an unusual movement out of the corner of my eye. This skittish, scurrying movement turned out to be a mouse and this sighting triggered a sequence of events that has cost us nearly £200, deprived me of hours of sleep and culminated in waking up this morning and finding one of them on my pillow. It looked at me as if to say 'what are you doing here? have you not gone yet?'

Like me, Mel is an animal lover. Unlike me, Mel's love of animals extends to rodents and other pests. Consequently, killing mice is not an option. Therefore we had to explore means of capturing the little critters without harming them. Some cursory research on Amazon (other money pits may be available in your area) revealed a whole world of products dedicated to the noble art of catching mice. Some of the devices are truly medieval and are designed to ensure that the mice are not just killed but presumably liberally scattered over a wide area. The humane ones however, allow you to catch the mice, drive to the middle of nowhere and release them to face certain death in the wild. Which is the kind that we went for. I did try and explain this dichotomy to Mel but her view is that as long as we don't have mouse blood on our hands then she can sleep at night. Unlike me.....

You see, neither Mel nor I are particularly good at sharing a bed. We both sleep in the starfish position and therefore at some point in the night I usually skulk off to the spare bedroom. This room has been nominated Mouse HQ by the rodents. It is the epicentre of their operations and they have made it clear, that I am merely an unwelcome visitor to their world. I should imagine that as we speak, they are working on creating a 'no entry' sign for the door fashioned out of bits of carpet and leftover food.

I try to sleep in there but I am often awoken by the pitter, patter of their little feet across hard surfaces or their noses exploring packaging left in the bin. Sometimes, I'm sure I can hear them talking about me, plotting about how they intend to breed like mad and take over the whole apartment. Flicking the light on triggers a game of musical mouse statues followed by five minutes of silence before their nocturnal antics commence once more.

The first humane traps we put down were baited with chocolate and inevitably we would wake to find the chocolate gone and the trap empty. At first, Mel and I suspected each other as we have been on draconian diets. Thoughtfully however, they would helpfully provide a pile of mouse shit in order to let us know that it was them that had enjoyed the chocolate.

Further research inspired Mel to invest in some Sonic repellents. At £30 each they appear to be a very expensive way to move mice from one room to the next. They have lovely flashing lights and helpfully if you push a button they allow you to hear a 'human' version of the noise that they emit at frequencies only mice (and other rodents) can hear. The manufacturer claim that they take a few weeks to take full effect but I have seen no signs of mice leaving with packed miniature suitcases yet so I remain sceptical.

A luxury humane mouse trap was then acquired. This 'mouse hotel' is enormous and can apparently house up to 8 mice at a time. Unfortunately, we have only had two mice stupid enough to wander into this contraption. Both were in the middle of the night and their welfare concerned Mel so much I was forced to get dressed and drive to a park in the middle of the night to release them.

Mel's sister Penny was kind enough to give us three leather sofas which we are storing in our garage before we send them over to France. They will be perfect for our Gite and I'm determined to ensure that they are not ruined by my gnawing co-habitees. One way or another, they are going to have to go. I'm more than happy to try the humane route for a little longer but they had better hurry up and be caught for their own sake or I'm going to get psychotic on their little arses.


  1. You need a cat! Our cat is a good mouser, to date having caught over 30. But there again he brings them in from outside as presents........and they are field mice.

  2. I wish Viv. I'm massively allergic to them otherwise that would be the answer. I wonder if I could train a budgie.

  3. Chris Rowbotham15 March 2011 at 15:12

    Alan, I feel your pain...I had the sam issue with slightly larger house guests, as I'm sure your Uncle Jimmy can fill you in at your nest family gathering!
    Please keep writing and up the mighty blues.

  4. I definitely will ask him Chris, as you know he has a unique ability to humorously embellish any story, so I look forward to that one. This particular story is moving at pace, more to come this weekend!