Mice and rats have somehow entered my life in an unprecedented manner lately, so I did what most music-obsessed people would do. I built a playlist.
I have just returned from a week in Walt Disney World, so the most famous mouse of all (Mickey) has been looming large in my life. My family has also watched the new rat-centric Ratatouille DVD three times in the past week.
But in addition to this, rodents have crossed my path elsewhere. One of which has me feeling immense amounts of guilt. You see, I am a mouse killer. I fear my Peta contributing friends may disown me, but I need to get this off my chest. It all started as I was getting ready for work one morning. When I put on my shoes I noticed one of them had a handful of dry dog food inside. Our dog, Winslow P. Caloomper's food bowl is in the master bath, but how did his kibble get into my shoe? Of course the only answer was my four year old daughter. When I asked her if she did it, she said, "no daddy, maybe it was Winslow". I began to explain to her why it was wrong to lie, but it soon became clear that she wasn't lying. I can't tell you how, but something in her face proved that she was telling the truth. Either that, or my daughter will have a great career in sales one day.
Anyway, I talked to my wife and we were both dumbfounded, It wasn't her, it wasn't me, it couldn't be the dog or our 10 month old, as they can't open doors, and we both believed our daughter when she said it wasn't her. We forgot about it until a few days later when I found more dog food in my shoe. This time however, I also found tell-tale "black rice" (mice droppings) on the floor.
How could we have mice? My wife is the most obsessively clean person I have ever met in my life. Her cleanliness is the stuff of legend and I thought mice only inhabited "dirty" households. But here was this big bowl of black Labrador food conveniently located, and refilled daily. The mouse discovered it and moved in.
Of course it was instantly decided that the mouse simply could not stay, especially with two small children and the rodent's reputation as a disease carrying enemy of humankind. So I did what most would do. I went to Lowe's, bought some mouse traps, loaded them up with the same dog food he was already hoarding. When my wife took the kids to Hilton Head a few days later I set them out. You see, my daughter is a big time animal lover, and she has saint-like empathy for God's creatures. If she knew I was going to kill the mouse, it would have broken her heart. So I did it on the sly. The first morning after setting the traps I checked them, and bingo, I found the poor little guy, his neck crushed in the trap, a single nugget of dog food still in his tiny mouth, eyes bulging out like an Obie doll. Needless to say, I felt horrible, but why? It was just a mouse after all. I think part of the problem was how cute it was. I would never feel such guilt over wasting a wasp, or a fly, or a Spice Girl, but here I felt like I had committed murder against a helpless creature. I haven't seen a mouse in the house since, but next time, I'm using a "humane mouse trap".
My last rodent story is continuing, and any help would be appreciated. My wife and I built our home on the lake almost 4 years ago, but only recently bought a boat last year. It's our first, so we decided to get a cheap, used pontoon to learn with. We found a 13 year old boat in great shape and a few weeks later mysterious holes showed up in the vinyl seats. Today, I noticed yet more animal droppings, this time inside the boat, and much larger. Our lake has a healthy population of water rats that seem to derive pleasure from chewing things like rubber and vinyl. Like that found on boats. Needless to say, I am not a happy camper. I've got to stop these dang muskrats from continuing to rip up my boat, but I don't want to kill them. I've seen a repellant on the market, but it doesn't seem like an environmentally friendly option, nor a safe one for children. A boat lift could solve the problem, but at a cost of more than $2,000. I could try trapping them, but then where do I put them? And it doesn't guarantee more won't just move in. So while I debate the options I built this playlist in honor of mice and rats. May they live in peace, but somewhere else!
5. Mouse - The Toasters
6. Rat - Train
15. Dead Cats, Dead Rats - The Doors
19. Rats - Pearl Jam
23. Last Dead Mouse - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
29. Three Blind Mice - Skinny Puppy