They’ve done it. They’ve pushed it too far. Our resident family of mice have finally crossed the line of decent behaviour. And now, they must go.
My first few encounters with these pesky chaps were strictly limited to the kitchen. They were a nuisance, yes, but they were also rather charmingly dinky and there were only two of them after all….
The mice were shy to start with – the sight of a tail disappearing down the back of the cooker was about as much as I’d see. They grew bolder though, leaving it until I’d been in the kitchen for a good few minutes before they would career across the counters into the safety of a hole.
Next came my bedroom. Why they’d want to enter here is anyone’s guess but enter they did. Always leaving voluminous collections of droppings about the place to remind me of their visits (thank you for that, mice). And then I started to hear them. Always in the night, always startling me with their rustling and scrabbling.
Daring little things, these mice. And when I started to see them run about and beneath my bed…. My bed which is a mere futon, only 5cm from the floor. A mere futon that would prove an easy jump for a mouse. An easy jump away from pitter-pattering over my face, nibbling at my ears, nesting in my hair… the sofa downstairs was my only option.
Couple lack of comfortable sleep with incessant emails from my concerned parents, warning me of all the nasty diseases that house-mice can spread, I started to develop quite a distaste for these creatures. They were not friends: they were enemies. I bought traps and set them up with fervor. Perhaps too much fervor and not enough thought – especially when I lost a trapped mouse down behind the cooker. Rotten mice smell horrific.
So I kind of lost my courage with the traps. Perhaps the mice (there was quite a number of them by now) and I could live in harmony? I started to wear ear plugs at night: not a scrabble to be heard. I burrowed my food away in cupboards and left nothing out to tempt them. The mice must have gone – there was no sign of them.
So there I sat, Friday morning – all packed up and ready to catch my train home for Christmas…. only to spy not one, but TWO mice, in broad daylight, enjoying the pleasure of MY kitchen. The first mouse, it has to be said, was probably not hanging around intentionally. He’d somehow fallen into the recycling bin and was proceeding to leap about in a vain attempt to escape the steep plastic walls that surrounded it. Good luck there, old chum. The second, however was having a much more jolly time: in the toaster. Yep, that’s right, INSIDE the toaster, peering out accusatorially at me as if to say ‘excuse me, you are disturbing my breakfast, would you please run along?’. Had he been the talking kind, he’d have delivered this request with one of those snooty, superior accents that are usually reserved for BBC period dramas. Now I’m quite a tolerant kind of person, but arrogance in a mouse? I’m simply not having it. I’ve sent them their eviction notice and expect that at the time of my writing this post, they are trudging through the rain, suitcases in hand, looking for a new home. And good riddance you naughty things.