Monday, August 27, 2007

Mickey - it Ain't

Several months ago I heard the pitter-patter of little feet again. Unfortunately, that did not signal another baby. "Unfortunately," you ask? Well yes, while it is known that I would welcome another pregnancy like I would welcome a plague of biblical proportions, it would certainly be better than our current situation. The scurrying noise that I had heard heralded the arrival of a more disruptive force than any child that might spring from my loins.

You see my friends, we have been invaded by a mouse. At first I thought it was rather funny. "Mickey," as the family took to calling him, would pop out of the air vents at night when he thought the coast was clear. Once he realized the error in his judgement, he would freeze in hopes that I was a figment of his little pea-brained imagination. Eventually he would figure out that I was real, and he'd dive for the vent not to be seen for several days. As the weeks went by, Mickey got braver. He'd run out of the vent, make eye contact with me and just stand there as if he was daring me to approach him. A few nights he even brazenly hopped towards me as if to ask, "what are you going to do about it?!" Eventually Mickey lost his fear of me. He would hop around from one corner of the den to the other running his little brazen mouse errands. Apparently, I no longer posed a threat to him. Silly mouse, I was catching up on TiVo after the kids were in bed. I was the least of his worries.

He should have thought about the dog.

One night, as I was engrossed in one of my shows, Mickey sauntered across the den floor, as had become his habit, and seemed to flip me the little mouse bird. Immediately he found himself engulfed in a smelly, slobbery dog mouth. I screamed at the dumb dog to "DROP IT!!!" I must admit that my reaction was not based on "save the mouse" as much as it was on "save the carpet!" I didn't want to know what the dog would hack up after ingesting a WILD rodent.

Notice the emphasis on "WILD." You see, I KNOW what the dog will hack up after ingesting a DOMESTIC rodent. But that is another story. Needless to say, I saved Mickey's life. And how did he repay me? Mickey moved in.

I didn't mind him too much. Sure, I saw the occasional mouse turd in the pantry, but I was raised in the country (FARM country), so he wasn't able to get into much of anything (not my first rodeo, you see). The weather got warmer, and the Mickey sightings slowed down. There was one night last month where I saw Mickey shoot across the hardwood floor of our dining room (silly mouse!). In no time, C. and I had cornered him and caught him in an empty planter (SOMEDAY I will get around to repotting the 3 plants that have survived my black thumb!). We took him way out back and released him behind our shed (pointed, of course, in the direction of our neighbor's house).

This morning C. heard some strange noises coming from our front hall closet. No one would ever suspect that space, as it only contains our cold weather gear and the occasional flag that we fly (lest you think we're all domestic, we fly Pirate flags - yes, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum - and the occasional Pittsburgh Penguin flag during hockey season). Upon further investigation, C. detected a "smell." Huh?! We may be the National monument to clutter, but the house does NOT smell!

Little did I know that Mickey was living a Lifetime Channel movie. It seems that our young hero had knocked up the local prom queen and she was a neglectful mother. Nestled in The Princess' handmade "shades of pink" fuzzy scarf were SEVEN mice "babies" with Mama nowhere in sight. She was probably partying with Britney.

Of course, I was unaware of the recent discovery and was not informed about the turn of events until the mouse babies were safely "enthroned" in the same empty planter that played a role earlier in the story (DAMMIT I really need to get to that replanting!!). Things went downhill after that.

You see it was bad enough when THEY (C. and his cohorts - #1 Son and The Princess) showed The Baby the "Cute Mickey Babies." He's not quite 2 years old, he'll forget about them. But then it got dicey when I found The Princess sitting in the kitchen, in low light, quietly watching the stupid obviously "teenage" mice eat the 6 pounds of sharp cheddar cheese shreds she had left for them. WHY did I have to point out to her that the food was one thing, but all creatures need water? What was I thinking?!?! The planter now has it's own reservoir.

I am so torn by this turn of events. YES, the Mickey babies are cute. So was Mickey for that matter. YES I know that if we take them to the local pet store they will probably end up as snake food. YES I know that my kids want to keep them and have apparently forgotten all concepts of math (7 mouse babies = 27 mice = 49 mice = 172 mice = Mommy's in a home). I think the best thing is to let them fly free in one of the two vacant lots in our neighborhood.

Unfortunately I have to time the escape when the kids are not home.

One week until school starts.

We should only have 78 babies by then.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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