I don’t scream, faint, or jump on chairs if I see a mouse, although if they surprise me, I’ll jump, as one does at anything moving when she isn’t expecting it. It does rather turn my stomach to know they’re here, though, because they will crawl on everything they can and help themselves, defecating as they go. Just thinking about that, or finding the evidence, turns my stomach.
The rodents can’t get into most of my cabinets or onto the kitchen counters or table. Thank God for that! And even in the mouse-proof cabinets, I keep food such as flour, sugar, cereal, and so forth tightly sealed... more to prevent meal-worms and weevils than mice. Oh yes, in the distant past I’ve had problems with meal-worms and weevils, too. You can bring them home from the store, not knowing they are in the cake mix you just bought. They they multiply and move from one product to another until you have to throw away everything in the cabinets; thus, the tightly sealed containers. I grew up poor, in old, drafty houses. My mother fought these kinds of problems with a passion. If she saw one cockroach in the closet, she had everything pulled out of there in a minutes’ time, looking for them with her Stanley Sure-Kill in hand. One Wednesday night she sprayed that stuff all over the house just before we left for church. When we returned, my parakeet was dead.
It’s harder for me to fight mouse problems these days. For one thing, mouse poisons aren’t as effective as they used to be. The old-fashioned mouse traps that used to be strong enough to break a finger aren’t much good either. Killing the mice is also a problem because I have a dog, so we can’t put poisons out where he might find it. As I’ve said before, Gabe eats everything! But Cliff and I saw two different mice this morning, which means Lord-only-knows how many are in here. So I spent quite a bit of time checking all areas for evidence of mice, cleaning here and there in corners that don’t get much traffic, and putting out poison that I hope and pray works. It always has before.
This is the sort of thing most people would be too ashamed to blog about. Don’t worry, the food I cook is clean, thanks to the many mouse-proof cabinets and counters. I recall Charles Gusewelle writing in his column about the mice invading his hunting cabin near Appleton City every year. He didn’t like to kill them, as I remember, although he was an avid hunter of various kinds of wildlife.
I hope this entry doesn’t shock or sicken anybody. It’s what I have on my mind at present. You see, I grew up poor. Although I truly don’t consider myself poor now, we live pretty much as if we are. We’ve never cared about fancy new houses. Our priorities were always tractors, gardens, livestock, and the outdoors in general, and it’s expensive enough to live in the country without trying to keep up with the Joneses. Cliff says I insult people when they want to show me around inside their nice homes, because my lack of interest is evident. So just for his sake, I try to act as if I’m impressed these days. It’s a house, for Pete’s sake! I’m more interested in whether they have decent internet.
Donna the mouse-hater