Operation Mouse

It saddens and horrifies me to say that The Littlest Kitchen had a mouse.  I had been in denial for a few weeks, getting by on the bare minimum, waiting to have some time to actually deal.  It lurked somewhere in the cabinets, not being able to, or wanting to, get out of the warm dark maze.  I discovered the problem a few weekends ago, after being out of town for the weekend.  The evidence was clear – something had unsuccessfully tried to gnaw its way through a  bag of zip-sealed cat treats.  Stored under the sink, a scattering of confetti-like plastic and a few turds evinced an unwanted guest.  Time for Operation Mouse.

Step 1:  Take No Prisoners

The mouse and I cannot coexist in the same space.  It has to go by any means necessary, including through the pearly gates.  I set out a snap trap, and caught it the following weekend after being out of town again.  I firmly believe that the traditional spring-load traps are the best; if there was a better mousetrap, someone would have invented it by now.  Much like how I believe that if there was a cure for baldness, every man on earth would have a full head of hair.  And glue traps are gross.  I’m not convinced that he’s the only one, nor do I want any new roommates, more precautions ensue.

Step 2:  Block All Entries

My building’s handyman came to remove the expired mouse, and in the following days stuffed steel wool into the connection holes under the sink cabinet.  Another point of vulnerability was the microwave cabinet which has an open back.  The rear edge was not flush to the wall, so he covered the gaps with a thin piece of wood.  The mouse had made itself comfortable in the nested frying pans, also stored in the cabinet.  The paper towels that separated the nonstick pans must have made for a cozy retreat, as it had completely ignored the mother lode of dried beans and grains in plastic bags next to it.

 

Step 3:  Clean, Clean, Clean

It took the stormy weekend to provide an opportunity to deal.  Both cabinets needed to be thoroughly cleaned and reassessed.  The frying pans needed to go back up to the vintage cabinet, even though they were so much easily accessible in the lower microwave cabinet.  I even deep cleaned the microwave and toaster oven, a Sisyphean task of the highest order.

Step 4:  Protect The Goods

Although untouched, all the dry goods had to be moved up to counter level.  Luckily, the mouse hasn’t discovered the drawers or the countertop.  I transferred whatever could be stored in hermetic jars and hard plastic, but there are still much in bags.  Ideally, I would like for it to go back inside, but not until I find a mouse-proof storage solution.  

I suspect that the mouse lived or came through the baseboards, so the idea is to make the upper world as unattractive as possible.  I don’t want to have a face to face confrontation, I want it to go away.  How it got through the sealed concrete from my renovation, I’ll never know.  Wily, boneless creatures.  And did I mention that I have a cat?

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