Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Never let them see you squeal

Yes, I’m squeamish.
I watched Edward Norton in “25th Hour” last week and started to pass out during the scene where he urges his friend to bust up his face.
Which is the reason why I tried a humane trap to catch the mouse in our house.
That failed.
I finally broke down last week and purchased a four-pack of traps from Home Depot.
They’re cheap enough, $1.77, and curiously have “cheese” on them already — a yellow Swiss-type holey square that is set at a 45-degree angle.
It’s not indicated, but I assumed the “cheese” was scented, perhaps, to lure the mouse or even its color to invoke its natural curiosity.
Place it against the wall, it said.
Easy enough. I put it in the narrow hole between our stove and counter.
Here’s where T comes into the story.
“Don’t touch it!” I said, indicating the set trap. “You’ll get really hurt!”
One second later, “SNAP!” Then, “Owwwwww!”
Tears and more tears.
“I told you NOT to touch it!”
T: “I wanted to see if it was working!”
More tears.
Still crying, “Mom, can you set it again and you touch it. It doesn’t hurt that bad.”
“Let me get this straight. You want ME to touch the trap to feel the snap that’s STILL causing you to cry 10 minutes later?”
He’s 4, I remind myself, grasping onto my sanity.
I nudge the trap back into the narrow passageway at the floor.
“Do NOT touch it, OK?”
T nods.
I have to admit, whomever invented this trap design is a genius. We’ve caught 5 mice so far — one every day.
T and I arrive home every day to another caught and yes, dead. He grabs the tip of the trap and walks it around the house, talking to the mouse. Does he know it’s dead I wonder, as I back as far away as I can.
“Put it outside!” I yell, and he does. Then I scrub his hands clean.
Can’t get the sight of the rubbery looking mouse, tail and whiskers inert, out of my head.
How many more? I wonder. Can we really be that dirty? Are we single-handedly supporting the entire Middletown rodent population?
Last night I took a piece of paper and drew five mice on it. “Five down, how many to go?” It reads. I tape it to our front door.
So NOT looking forward to going home tonight.

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