Hunting in the House

There are a lot of things you can count on in the autumn around here.

You can count on leaves falling.

You can count on a chill in the air.

And you can count on mice finding their way into your home.

For years I had a pretty good cat that seemed to keep the mice at bay.

We didn’t even know mice could infiltrate when we had the cat. However, the cat passed away about five years ago, and with that, the mice declared open season on our home.

First, you can plug up every hole in the baseboard, mortar every joint on the façade and put out poison in the cellar, and they’ll still get in. Don’t think you can keep them out if they want in.

That’s rule number one.

You just have to accept that these old houses around here come with unfriendly visitors every fall when the chill starts to gather in the air.

I’ve come to accept that the last five years, and moved on to take on the role of hunter within the home.

I’ve charted their movements, cataloged their left-behinds, and done reconnaissance with the lights off. They tend to move at night, and I’ve discovered that with some thoughtful preparation, one can put an end to the occupation in quick time. It’s like tapping into the primal self, except with a first-world problem.

Time for the hunt.

One tip:  humane traps are for losers.

They don’t work, so don’t even try unless you just enjoy the mice multiplying under your feet while you massage your conscience ever so slightly. Keep feeling better about not killing any creatures, and the creatures will feel better about multiplying in your home.

It’s a choice.

I’ve found that sliced provolone cheese is as good a bait as any, and once has to use the old-fashioned snap traps. It can be a little gruesome after a successful venture, but it’s also a problem solved.

The other night I was nestled in my bed, just ready for the slumber, when I heard a ‘pop!’ coming from the dining room downstairs.


I slept well.

A few years ago, we had a very smart little creature that rarely made itself known, but when it did, it was a very public spectacle. It seemed every time my wife and I were completely occupied (her with the knitting and me with my wood burning tools), there he would be, right in the center of the rug – staring at us daringly. I think the little bugger knew we couldn’t do anything.

He avoided the traps, found all the escape routes and never let us see him unless we were stuck.

He also got into the cabinet and ate all of the ice cream jimmies and sugar sprinkles.

Finally, I made a deal with the neighbor to borrow his cat.

One night in Bangkok and that little varmint was humbled.

  • • •   •

I watched a fair amount of the Senate hearings on the Supreme Court like everyone else.

Maybe it was just me, but after a while it all became a bore. I know it was this crucial moment in the state of the union and all that, but maybe they were also just trying to sell more advertising on the television as well.

After a while, all I could do was see so many of them in the drama as cartoon characters. Once that took over, I couldn’t take it seriously any longer.

Beat me with a proverbial bicycle chain if you want, but I can’t get past the resemblance of Kavanaugh to the unfortunate character of Butthead on the unfortunate 1990s MTV show “Beavis & Butthead.” There’s something about his head and the way he stands that just took that image and ran.

All the protesters, climbing on the monuments and screaming at the top of their lungs – hopping mad at all hours of the day – just played out to me like good old Yosemite Sam. Hootin’, Tootin’, screamin’ and if they could, shootin’!

Poor Elizabeth Warren, I just couldn’t get past how much she looked like Tweetie Bird’s grandma. Put on the black dress and the little hat, give her the knitting kit, and voila.

From the more obscure “Looney Tunes,” Christine Blasey Ford had an uncanny resemblance to Egghead Jr. from the old “Foghorn Leghorn” series. As she sat there with those oversized glasses, the camera close up on her, I just kept waiting to hear old Foghorn say, “Come over here and let me show you how to make a nice paper aerial plane.”

And for our good president, Donald Trump, I pick the ever-so-smug Sylvester the Cat.

Sufferin’ Succotash!

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