Spiders Revisited: Part 2

Speaking of spiders, winter is coming. The best part of winter in Minnesota is that if, no, when the kids leave a cup full of milk out in the car, you don't have to worry about your stomach lurching when you find it days later completely curdled. As a matter of fact, in winter, the milk would still be good! Did you accidentally leave in your car the two gallons of milk that you just bought at the store? No problem! (Although you might have to defrost it...oh, and for the record, I learned yesterday that we have not yet hit this point....)

So, although the spiders and other creatures start coming in to avoid the cold, we no longer have to worry about those crazy (scary) black widow spiders in California. We are no longer keeping count of how many we get rid of in and around our house. Instead, we have a new count: mice.

I told Kurt a few weeks back that I had found some mice droppings on my laundry folding table UNDER OUR CLEAN CLOTHES! (Ewww.) So, we put out two traps in the basement laundry room. Later that evening, Kurt and I were sitting downstairs, watching some telly, when he paused the program and said:

"Hey, listen. Do you hear that?"

Silence. Then, scratch, scratch, clink, clink, scratch.

"Uh, yeah," I said, getting up and heading into the laundry room. One of the traps was sitting there, not sprung, and the other trap WAS MISSING!

We followed the sound until we found a poor little mouse trapped behind the dryer, its tail stuck in the trap dragging behind him and rendering him completely incapable of getting out from behind the machines. No telling how he got there to begin with.

Now, despite the story my brother could tell about me as a teenager and the fish tank I left outside, letting the water completely evaporate and discovering firsthand about the phrase "fish out of water", I am a big animal lover. (Hey, those fish were kind of sickly looking anyway. No one can prove that they didn't die of natural causes....although I would personally put my money on cause of death being no water...) But I am the one who wants to plant lettuce in my yard in order to feed the bunnies. You know those pesky little chipmunks that other people try to get rid of? Yeah, we name them and then throw stuff out to feed them. When I was 8 years old, I tried to save a nest full of featherless baby birds that had been abandoned when we moved our trailer out of reach of their mom. (They all died but I tried hard until the very end, syringe full of milk in hand....Ok, so no one told me they didn't drink milk or eat mashed up cheese! Sheesh!)

So, my heart sank when I saw the two beady little mouse eyes looking into our flashlight. Thoughts of cages and rehabilitation fluttered into my head. Afterall, the kids really do want a pet...

Kurt on the other hand, had other plans. He ran upstairs and got a coat hanger. He stretched it out making it as long as could be and then I took on the task of climbing onto the machines and fishing the little guy out. Although I had the wise idea of just letting him go in the park down the street, I was vetoed and he ended up in a bag in our trashcan (and my stomach in knots...) Poor little thing...

It was after the next mouse stuffed himself under my washing machine, apparently having not been killed by the trap initially either, that Kurt went out and bought some new, fancier traps. When the kids noticed, they got very excited.

"Do we get to keep the mice?" Lily asked when we explained we were "catching" them. She started talking cages and names...Argh!

We have caught 10 mice in the last 3 weeks. And winter has yet to begin. (Thank goodness these aren't protected under the Animal Welfare Act I suppose...) I have to admit though, I kind of prefer deadly spiders....there's less PETA guilt involved anyway...

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