(If you are squeamish, do not click to enlarge the pic of our very dead rodent. )
I must confess that most mice are pretty cute. I did grow up during the Mickey Mouse Club era, both feeling the good vibes and keeping an eye on Annette’s sweater — third-grade pig that I was.
Yet we had no ceremonies or burial rituals for this hapless fellow. He played in a minor horror drama, The Creatures from the Stove. After months of setting a trap and wandering away slowly, whistling, I managed to win a mechanical victory and feel no shame in my pleasure.
Our large feather duster, Chi, is the stereotypical slayer of vermin, a house cat. However, she was adopted in young adulthood. The previous mistress said, “She not a hunter. She’s a pointer.”
That seems true enough and now that our mice are seemingly a tiny tribe, we see Chi in action…rather inertia. A few years ago, there were more mice. Actually, they appeared to be voles from the back yard, small and dark grey. When we found cereal boxes nibbled through and bread not in a metal box already sampled, I did the chores. That was steel wool in any visible hole, bread always in a tin box, cereals in plastic boxes and so forth.
Now we seem to have a couple of mice, whom Chi is happy to point to but never catches. They seem to move around the back of the stove. On occasion, one climbs in the back and we have seen a tail drop down on the air vent over the burners.
Chi does her best meatloaf imitation on the floor in front of the stove. She apparently hears a mouse scurrying. She spreads out and waits…and waits. If a mouse would come from beside the stove and approach her, would she do anything at all?
Perhaps it falls to me to be the executioner if she won’t be the hunter. This vaguely recalls my days when I chaired the personnel committee of a large church. I had to set about getting rid of quite a few dysfunctional employees. There were no human-sized traps and I believe our laws disallow such dismissal anyway.
My uxorial unit can be a snoopy sort (she prefers curious) and just had to pick up the double plastic grocery bag containing the very deceased rodent and trap. She also just had to ask what it was. She then did a classic shriek-and-drop maneuver.
She was then pleased a little to find that she had gotten to the kitchen first and poured her first mug of coffee from right beside the burner without noticing Mickey Le Mort. I suppose we all secretly want others to do some dirty tasks. I, for one, would appreciate Chi doing the cat thing.