Current mood: awake
Here's how I know autumn has arrived: The mice are back. They like to come inside when it starts getting right chilly outside at night.
I'm sitting on the downstairs toilet two nights ago when a mouse walked past, not six inches away. I'm not one to freak at the sight of a mouse, but the temptation was great to try to capture or immobilize it on the spot. What do you do in a situation like that?
In retrospect, I might have had better luck trying to nab it with a plastic cup that was within arm's reach, as the plunger was not, unfortunately. What I actually did do was try to snag it with the door, which was open a crack, but there was just enough of a space at the bottom that snagging was impossible.
It ducked under a bookcase, and must now be blind, because we looked at it under there with one of those super bright flashlights for 20 seconds or so. Not that that is going to make any difference, as I suspect they navigate by feel most of the time anyway. How else do they get around through walls and floors so well?
OK, now what? I am awakened at 3 a.m. with the information that the mouse is active again. I rid the one room of all ticking clocks (there were three), and stand there silently for 20 minutes. Yep, they're around, all right. But the cat has no front claws, is old, and the house's setup favors the mouse's escape at every turn even if that were not the case.
Setting a trap is problematic. There is nowhere the mouse goes that the cat cannot. Spring traps might be set in a cat-proof spot, but the mice are smart. I rarely nab a mouse with a spring trap alone. A combination glue trap with an adjacent spring trap usually does the trick, but I'm not going to risk having the cat get stuck in a glue trap. It's hard enough yanking a stray tin can out of those traps. I will not use poison. Aside from the risk to the cat, I don't want a dead mouse decaying in my walls and floors.
So we have a mouse. I'm kidding myself: I probably have several mice.
This story is not over.