Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dead Mouse; Not the Cool Kind 

image via Designers Go To Heaven

He would've died with his boots on, if he wore boots, or if Clarks made very tiny boots. I didn't know him that well. Maybe he was more of a Croc guy or Converse high tops? He never wore shoes, I know because I could hear his little nails scurrying over the parquet floor. Maybe it was a she and not even a he at all? Well, they are nothing now. Dust to dust. Ashes to ashes and all that. This was my annoying little visitor. Your common house mouse. Mus musculus Linnaeus (apparently). Now dead. 86'd from my juke joint via a one way ticket down the garbage chute. People die everyday. So do animals. I'm responsible for their deaths. I order them killed, slaughtered, divided and wrapped in cling film. Then I eat their corporeal flesh. Sometimes, if it suits me, I gnaw at their bones.

This rodent's death was different. I planned it and saw it through to the bitter end. A mob hit couldn't have been better executed. I said I didn't know him though I knew him well enough to know all his routes. So predictable. Being predictable will get you killed.

At first I tolerated the little trespasser, calling him mon petit frère. I never had a little brother. I guess he was more like a house guest; he visited at my pleasure. Eventually his comings and goings became annoying. What seemed like friendly peeks, fearfully seeing me, then turning tail as if to say, "Whoa there big fella, just leaving, just leaving, minding my own business." became brazen. Daytime forays across the foyer. Really? Little dude, show some discretion. Then he did it. Something, no one should ever do to your host. Now he's gone. That's what you get for shitting on someone's crêpe pan. Never forget it.

I'm glad it's done. He wasn't the first nor will he be the last. When I first set the trap I tried adding bait only to notice it was baitless. No bait required. I have no idea how that works unless you're basically counting the critter to just amble across it. To think I bought dried apricots on the advice mice like them. Now I'm stuck with a bag of dried fruit I despise. I set the trap the way you would a snare, right across his favorite path. I'm glad I wasn't home when he bought it. So pathetically flayed with that wire spring crushing him almost in half. How long had he lay there? Not so long as for me to find him surrounded by vultures. I dumped him and the trap in a bag. An opaque bag. His black beads of eyes still open. I waited for an opening to chute him without being seen. Then it was done.
“That's what you get for shitting on someone's crêpe pan.”
I had set two traps thinking I'd get him coming or going, but I'd get him. After the initial catch, I left the second trap set thinking, I had seen an awful lot of him. Maybe I wasn't seeing the same mouse, maybe he was just a scout. He did poop a lot for a single mouse (can't blame a brother for being regular). Last night I got my answer. The second trap caught a second mouse. How sad, now both Mr. & Mrs. Brown were dead (or Mr. & Mr., I don't judge). Oh don't be down, guv'nor, that weren't but a family o' mouses as much as just two o' the many hordes passing through life… and your apartment*. That's right, I presently see yet another diminutive traveller on his/her way somewhere. Well, I know your destination even if you don't, lil' fella.

I'm resigned to it. A continuum of traps set, bodies disposed, another trap set. There's more of them than of us. They aren't camping out here as much as passing through here. I am determined to make "here" a bad and final resting place. I've nothing against them when out of doors. Let the little scamps run wild and free and be food for anything larger but in my home, they are not welcome and if I want to prevent the unholy staining of my crêpe pan in the future I will have to remain, not so much diligent, but let's just say habitual about laying, emptying, resetting traps. I will become like a latter day urban Daniel Boone, though having said that, I'm not sure a hat made of mouse pelts wouldn't seem just a bit bonkers. If not Boone then some other successful trapper. After all, trappers made this country, a large water rodent which was so profitably trapped became a symbol, an icon of our homeland, so why not take pride in that heritage and maybe, just maybe, urban mice will come so close to extinction that they will be immortalized on the obverse side of a coin. Better on a coin than in my cupboard I always say.

*Lately, I've been reading Dickens, so my inner imp has taken the voice of an 18th century street urchin. Charming but filthy little chap.

Footnote: "Deadmau5" (pronounced Dead Mouse), née Joel Zimmerman of Niagara, Ontario, is an internationally recognized D.J. and innovative music producer who is noted for having a flair for stage craft and regularly performs in large venues normally reserved for popular musical acts or sporting events. He is part of a generation of electronic musicians who have found surprising success with (spinning other artists records and mashing them into new and exciting montages) as the base of a still young and developing musical genre. Thus, he is very hip with the kids.

UPDATE: From the rodent frontline, I did have to use a "baited" trap and used a dried apricot. It remained untouched until sometime overnight when POW, right in the kisser, it took yet another victim. That's the third critter in less than two weeks. At Fern Avenue, I believe I had to deal with 3 mice in eight years. I guess that's the difference of "urban density". Richard Florida doesn't mention that.



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