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As Quiet as a Mouse

This is the end of the story.


We now know that it was a mouse.

The mouse watched me work.  He stood in the doorway, at the mouth of the kitchen, and watched until I felt something staring at me and I turned around.  I immediately jumped onto the sofa, shrieking.  The mouse stared at me and then slooooowly waddled back behind the refrigerator.  Truman stopped chewing a lettuce leaf to stare at me for a bit with an expression of confusion on his little rodent face.  Why was I screaming about that rodent when I rub my cheek against this rodent?

Love isn’t rational.

I called Josh several times and told him to come home nooooooooow!  NOW!  Did you hear me?  NOW!

Still standing on the sofa, I managed to reach across the carpeted divide and grab my notebooks.  And then I ran out of the house, snatching up a pair of shoes along the way, and put on my boots in the car.  And then I drove away from the house, shuddering shuddering shuddering.


Josh came home a few hours later, telling me that it was safe to return home myself.  He set up traps in the kitchen while I twitched in the living room, trying to save all the documents I left up on the computer when I ran from the house earlier.

He went to stand in the hallway, and then he whispered, “Melissa.  I’m looking at it.”

The mouse wandered out from behind the refrigerator, went to taste the peanut butter treat, and… well… you know the rest of the story.

5 minutes.  That’s how long it took to end his life after we set the traps.  5 minutes.


I started wailing when I heard the trap snap closed.  Out of exhaustion — I was working on about four hours of sleep that I grabbed between an intense episode of Sherlock and the mouse’s 5:30 am wakeup call in the attic.  Out of stress — we’re waiting on a lot of things right now and tension has been high.  Out of guilt — I’m not a fan of mice, but I’m also not a fan of being a killer.  I sobbed and sobbed while Josh held me.

And then the mouse was gone.  Out of the house.


We left out the traps while I went through the afternoon activities, and I finally told the twins about the mouse when we arrived home.  I promised to go inside and check the traps.  If any had been moved or there was a mouse there, we’d leave and come back once dad was home to deal with it.  But if all was still the same, we’d take back our house.

I crept into the house, cursing the fact that I had to be the adult.  That no one was there to do this for me.  All was quiet, untouched.  We went about our evening routine.  But I’m not going to lie; I spent the whole evening listening for little mouse friends, an exterminator appointment in hand.

I cleaned out the cupboard.  I bleached the kitchen.  And I spent a great deal of time trying to convince Truman that I love some rodents.  Not all rodents, but definitely him.


1 Rachel { 02.18.15 at 7:38 am }

LOL I’m so sorry you had this experience, but you tell it so well!! You would hate to live where I live…in the farmhouse we would catch a mouse a day (at least). Now, in the new house, we only catch one every week or so. I can’t bear to have any part in the checking of the traps or the disposal, because I feel awful that we’ve killed them. We tried the humane traps – which cost a small fortune! – and the mouse problem got worse and worse. I think they were just coming back….so we went back to the terminal kind. Poor mousies…and poor Truman, he must be so confused.

I hope that is the end of your mouse experience – mice hate bounce dryer sheets (the smell bothers them) so if you lay a couple out in the spots where you found them, they may stay away! Or steel wool, they won’t/can’t chew through steel wool.

Good luck!

2 Nicoleandmaggie { 02.18.15 at 7:49 am }

I <3 cats. All three of ours are rescues off the streets so they are highly skilled at defending the house from lizard and cricket incursions.

3 Justine { 02.18.15 at 9:01 am }

S. disposes of the dead mice in our house. I wouldn’t touch them. But I know it’s not my kitchen. It’s just that they’re cold … and I don’t blame them!

4 Working mom of two { 02.18.15 at 10:03 am }

There are humane catch and release (far away) traps…

5 jjiraffe { 02.18.15 at 10:34 am }


I am deathly afraid of sewer rats, and mice freak me out too. And yet, I had a beautiful white pet rat named Miss Bianca growing up, whom I loved. Humans are weird.

6 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.18.15 at 11:37 am }

As with so many unpleasant experiences, at least you got a story out of it!

I hope Truman wasn’t in a position to witness the, uh, end of the story.

7 andy { 02.18.15 at 1:48 pm }

Too funny… the killing part bothers me more then the living with part, so we tend to co-exist should a rodent make it’s way into my home. However, since I also live with 6 cats, most rodents have sense enough to live at the neighbours.

8 Cristy { 02.18.15 at 10:29 pm }

Oh lady! What a story. I second Nicoleandmaggie about the cats. It’s amazing how efficient they can be…when motivated.

Glad you have your house back.

9 Sara { 02.18.15 at 10:43 pm }

I loves the part where you said you had to be the adult and check the mouse traps, sometimes I hate being the adult.
A few weeks ago I went out to the garage to throw out the recycling and there was a mouse. I screamed and came running into the house, of course my 14 month twin boys were standing in the kitchen and witnessed my complete freak out. Now my husband is responsible for taking all recycling out in the evening.
Hope that you only had the one visitor.

10 christine { 02.19.15 at 12:22 am }

This was MY story. Only mine happened the night before Thanksgiving, when the kitchen was already prepped to host 14 people the next day! Be careful, rarely is there just one mouse. We eventually caught four.

11 Tiara { 02.19.15 at 8:09 am }

I was going to advise the same, there is rarely just one. I can relate to the sobbing, I would do the same!

12 Jess { 02.19.15 at 11:49 am }

Love the juxtaposition between the invading rodent and Truman… Cats really are great for helping with rodent situations, but if you’re allergic then traps are kind of your only choice. I don’t think they make tiny Have-a-Heart traps, and in this weather it’s pretty much death to let them loose outside anyway, a longer, more painful death. The trap was humane! (I would sob and sob and sob too though, and not want anything to do with the trap.) Because the trap is better than mouse poo and diseases in your home. But still sad.

13 loribeth { 02.19.15 at 6:47 pm }

(shudder) Neither dh nor I are very good when it comes to those critters. Fortunately, we’ve only had 2 in the 25 years we’ve lived in this house (knocking wood LOUDLY). One came in (we later realized) via the dryer vent (I found a hole in my dryer hose); the other showed up shortly after dh had been standing with the front door open, talking to our neighbour for quite a while, so we assume he snuck in there.

The first time was in the morning. We went to Walmart & bought some traps & peanut butter for bait, set things up and then left for work (late). I was glad to have an excuse to leave the house, but I couldn’t focus all day, thinking about this thing prancing around my house. He was dead when we got back. The second time we saw him in the evening, set the traps & went upstairs to bed, although I could not sleep. We finally heard a “snap!” around 2 a.m. I made dh dispose of them, both times — I couldn’t even look. We left the traps up for awhile afterwards, in case there was company, but luckily not.

LOL about Truman. When I was in high school, my biology lab partner & I did an experiment that involved mice. I have a picture of myself with one sitting on my arm as I held him (with a gloved hand) by the tail. My mother couldn’t believe it. I can’t either now. All I can say is (a) 16-year-olds have no fear & (b) it’s one thing to have a mouse in a cage in the school lab, quite another when he’s scurrying around YOUR HOUSE, uninvited. :p

14 Lisa { 02.19.15 at 10:36 pm }

UGH, I hate mice. We have a cat that has a cat door and he’s brought in several mice in the last few years. I can’t decide if it’s worse when they’re dead or alive.

15 Kate { 02.21.15 at 2:13 pm }

The mice invade every few years and I’m always the adult to deal with them… This year one sassy fat mouse got into the office and I could SEE him, he became my nemesis! I put a trap directly under my husbands desk and left him a note to mind his feet and if we didn’t have a dead mouse in a day we were moving. We did win at least~

16 Battynurse { 02.25.15 at 2:52 am }

I had a mouse in my house once. I hated the idea of killing him but decided he did in fact need to go when I kept finding turds on the corner of my bed each morning. As in he would get up there while I slept. I still cried when I took the trap out to the garbage though.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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