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    Of Mouse and Man

    By Michael | February 13, 2014

    Last Sunday was so eventful, the only way I can totally describe to you what happened is to give you a play by play of the day. If you feel uneasy by reading about gross situations Steinbeck, or R. L. Stine books, be forewarned.

    I woke up on Sunday feeling fantastic. It was fairly early, maybe a few hours past dawn. Nine in the morning or so. I wanted to get some work done, and had the day all planned out. I was going to study, edit some pictures, and maybe catch up on some of the YouTube channels I watch regularly.

    I went into the kitchen to make some breakfast. I was making my usual: three eggs, toast, some coffee and a glass of juice. I was pretty pumped for the day to start. I poured the fresh Starbucks grounds into the coffee filter, since I’m such a pretentious white college student, and turned it on. I spun the dial on the gas stove and set the flame to a medium high, and cracked an egg over the side of the frying pan with one hand, one in each hand I might add, because I felt like such a badass. In one fluid motion, I put the eggs back into the fridge, broke the yolk, and grabbed the juice out of the door.

    I was on fire. I had toast going, my eggs were almost ready, and my coffee was brewed to a dark roast perfection. My morning was ready.

    I slowly killed the flame on the stove and poured myself a mug of coffee. The aroma filled the air. As I closed my eyes and let the brew engulf my caffeine engulfed mind, I knew I was ready to tackle the day.

    I needed a plate for my eggs! No problem. I’ll just go to the cabinet. I look over, and see the cabinet door completely flung open. Ah, I must’ve opened it last night. But why is the plate pushed to the side like that? I walk over and the sound of my footsteps are swallowed by the clinking sound of ceramic.

    I approach the cabinet. I look inside, and am met eye to eye with two little beads of black. Then, a flick of a tail, burst of obsidian fur and a loud slam of the cabinet door.

    I have a rat.

    Was it a rat though? Maybe I’m just imagining things. I could’ve have seen a rat. It must’ve been a mouse! Mice are much more common in apartments than rats. Rats are vermin you find in dumpsters behind that gross restaurant that your roommate got food poisoning from last week.

    I have to check again.

    So I went into action. I grabbed an old pizza box from the recycling bin (Man I am such  good person for recycling. I’m really making a difference), and held it right next to the cabinet door handle. It was like the trigger to a shotgun.

    Two things can happen at this point:

    1. I open the door, immediately slide the pizza box in front of the rat and look inside and see it.
    2. I open the door, slide the pizza box into place and I’m not quick enough. The mouse will scurry out and land right on me. Escaping into the apartment and hide somewhere else

    I have to make sure it stays in the cabinet. I can’t risk it getting out and invading my living space.

    IMG_1081

    I got it. The pizza box plan worked. The bugger is trapped in the cabinet. I quickly grabbed my phone and snapped a picture.

    The phone’s shutter sound must’ve frightened it, because it leapt. I quickly shoved the box higher into the cabinet and deflected the rodent back onto the plates. While it was stunned, I rapidly shut the cabinet door and ran to my bedroom. I have to find duct tape.

    I ran back to the kitchen and sealed the cabinet up. He can’t get out.

    I inspected the picture and double checked. It looks like a mouse, but then again, that is a full size dinner plate next to it. Also it is scrunched up into the corner. And mice have a much cuter nose. Everyone knows that.

    I don’t know. I call my landlord and say that there’s a rat/mouse/flying squirrel in my apartment and I have it trapped in the cabinet. I agree that I’ll try to do what I can to get rid of it, but I don’t want to risk it coming out and moving into a different location.

    Immediately I decide to take action as anyone would in this situation: I went to twitter. I tweeted #mousepocalypse will all of my troubles.

    So. Now I’m presented with three more choices.

    1. Do I bother opening the cabinet again to it jumping out?
    2. Do I risk trying to grab it, and risk being bitten or worse, it getting out?
    3. Do I set up a trap?

    I’m not an exterminator, or have any real experience dealing with a rodent trapped in a cabinet. I also have no car or way to purchase a rat trap or mouse trap, or even a fly swatter. I need to get one of those.

    Anyway, I do the best I can at eleven in the morning on a Sunday. I have a trash bag, duct tape, and adrenaline.

    IMG_1084

    This is the trap under construction. I don’t have a great picture to show the whole thing. But, in essence, the door is held open at the handle, duct taped to the wall so it stays open just a crack. Then, the trash bag covers the openings and funnels into a trash can. I thought it was pretty clever.

    Next comes Monday.

    Monday morning, the exterminator comes and places some mouse traps in the kitchen. Now, these aren’t very intimidating. Essentially the mouse is baited into the tube, the weight of the mouse makes the tube tip, closing the stand up door. It’s humane, but from what I know the bait is slightly poisoned. Enough to make the mouse not go anywhere.

    In simplicity, this trap should be effective. You pick up the mouse upside down with the opening on top and let it go into the wild from whence it came. I like the idea of humane traps.

    IMG_1096But that didn’t happen. You see to the left, the trap in question. This isn’t intimidating in the slightest.

    What is even worse? The exterminator didn’t bother to put the traps into the cabinet. Do you not see the trash bag coming from the door in a crude attempt to catch a mouse?

    This means I have to deal with another day of not using the cabinet.

    I wasn’t at the apartment when the exterminator came, but my roommate says that the exterminator claimed if the mouse wanted to get out, the trash bag wouldn’t stop it.

    SO WHY DID HE KEEP IT THERE?

     

     

    I was frustrated. Clearly. I tore off the bag, put on some rubber gloves, opened the cabinet. No mouse. I took out the plate on the first shelf where I saw it. All I see is feces. Mouse feces. Everywhere. It has to be in here.

    It was able to move between the door and the shelves onto higher sections of the cabinet. IT’S SPIDERMOUSE. I can’t handle it. I place the mouse trap onto “defcon 1″ and close the door. Sealed it back up with a piece of duct tape, and play the waiting game.

    About 6 hours go by. My roommate and I are getting anxious. We say to each other that we think it’s worked. So, we mustered up the guts to open and check. The mouse broke through the trap.

    See that little cap on the end? Gone. Bait? Gone. Feces? MORE.

    I shut the cabinet again, put on the duct tape and call the landlord again.

    “We got a strong mouse. I think I was right the first time with it being a rat.” I verified with the landlord. She thought it must’ve been a mouse. She agreed to have the exterminator bring rat poison and rat traps.

    We heard thumping. Scratching. Squeaking. And nibbling. All night.

    It got so bad, the rat pushed the cabinet door open, with 4 pieces of duct tape holding it back, and pushed feces out.

    I put a nice post-it note saying the rat was in the cabinet on the door so if I wasn’t home again when it came, it wouldn’t be an issue with what was expected. I come back from class, and the same thing. There’s rat poison blocks around the kitchen, traps in the cabinet below the sink, but not in the cabinet with the mouse.

    I was furious. Why couldn’t they just open it and put the poison in there at the same time?

    So my roommate went and put the poison into the cabinet, and we waited again.

    The noises stopped. The cabinet was dead silent. We knew what had happened.

    We called the landlord and told them to just get rid of it. We wanted nothing to do with it anymore.

    To conclude the story, the exterminator came in, opened the cabinet, grabbed the dead rat, walked into the living room, and told my roommate he had it. My roommate confirmed it was definitely a rat.

    If you’ve lasted this long, I have one thing to say: don’t let a rat into your apartment. Take all precautions into closing doors, windows, and cleaning food. My apartment wasn’t unclean either. We had dirty dishes from the night before on the counter, and that was all. No food was out, no crumbs. This just shows that a rat or a mouse can get in at any time. When you take out the trash, make sure you close the door immediately. Do whatever you can to make sure you see what comes in and out of your living space.

    I really want to watch Ratatouille now that I’ve had a rat in my kitchen. It seems like I could’ve trained it.

     

    Topics: Advice, Personal, Personal Events, Stress | Comments Off

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