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Friday, 11 November 2011

Squeak Squeaken!

I keep hoping that with having an extra set of hands around here, I would become a far more efficient person... if anything, I have been resting, catching up with many things that have been placed on the back burner for so long, etc... but mostly, my day seems to consist only of running around with errands, doctor's appointments, midwife appointments, school visits, Izzy's daily commute, and making meals!  Some days, it really just doesn't feel that different than being on a big mouse wheel running as hard as you get, getting no where fast!


But I know this is only a season in our lives.  All too quickly, we'll look back on these days and ache that we wasted any of it wondering when it would finally pass us by.  It's all about living in the "present" right?

I have missed sitting down at the computer to catch up via email and/or the blog.  I am lucky if I sit at this thing more than twice a week!  Alas, here is a quick update for those of you who have lovingly nudged me and suggested I get on this whole "blog update" thing! :)

Well, after over a month of nocturnal terrorism from our furry little friends, I am DELIGHTED to report that God has finally answered our prayers!  We have been a full week without scritch scatchings, nor with little presents of mouse dropping in my frying pans and cereal cupboard.  But this process was not without bringing the absolute worst out of me!

The night I blogged about nocturnal terrorists, I had a face off with the mouse that I finally discovered has been living in my Bose docking sound system on the kitchen counter... hence the mysterious bites out of my muffin now and again... (so gross that I shared my food with a mouse)!  I trapped him in the Bose system by taping the opening shut with duct tape, but not without dropping the whole roll on my foot, yelping in pain as it immediately began to fill half my foot in a bruise!  Seriously??  Well, that mouse was not happy about the enclosure and he squeaked and squeaked something fierce so I cut a small slit at the base, placed some sticky tape right at the opening and chuckled at the notion of finally capturing the little bugger.

Well, in the morning, he had scratched a big opening and had left a little "present" for me on the sticky tape.  Now this was starting to get personal!  I took that thing outside and started shaking the bejeebers out of it as I watched Tostitos crumbs and bread crumbs and mouse poop and speaker parts come flying out of the opening... but no mouse.  I knew he was still in there!  So I decided I would put the whole speaker system in a big clear container and put it right on my kitchen counter.  I placed a baited mouse trap and a bunch of poison in there and duct tape the whole thing shut.

Take that, you mean ol' mouse!

Well, day one and two passed without seeing him but he had set off the mouse trap and ate some of the poison.  We noticed he had chewed through any plastic pieces that were sticking out of the container... he was one determined mouse!  Eventually, without water and proper food, he started venturing out in broad daylight and he and I would stare at each other... well, mostly I would glare at him.  Several more days passed and sadly, I began observing his pattern of behaviour... out of the speaker at 9:50 a.m. where he would climb on top and try chewing through the plastic lid of the container again, then he'd stretch himself out with his sticky feet and try scaling the smooth walls only to fall down.  Then he would proceed to a specific corner where he would jump (scared the bejeebers out of me the first time I saw it... did NOT know mice could jump like that).  He would literally jump with such force that he was banging the lid of the container!  Then he'd go around the corner, climb up the top of the speaker then scale the side of it back into the hole with his tail only grazing the mouse trap tauntingly.

4:50 pm he would come out again and do the same thing... and then again at 10:00 pm.

I found myself making note at the grocery store, "oh look, it's ten in the morning.... I bet you squeakers is out and jumping right now."

Yep, after a week and half, this blasted arch nemesis suddenly acquired the name of Squeakers in my Speakers.  Good grief, this isn't good.  At this point, we invested in even more traps, ultrasonic devices and even YouTubed to find homemade mouse traps... and I had to watch a few videos on mice dying just to satisfy the raging within... so many mice, eight caught to-date but none being caught for over a week other than Squeakers!  Come on!

Eventually, another one earned its name... one decided to take up residence right underneath my pantry beside the fridge.  He knew that if he could just scratch his way through the base of that pantry, he would have hit the jack pot!  He was so bold he would even scratch in broad daylight with all our noise and hubbub around him!  He would even come out and poke his little head out beside the fridge and squeak away as if to tell us to turn it down!  Duane sat there with the broom one morning for a long period of time, just waiting for him to poke his head out one more time.  Duane doesn't sit for anything... I was starting to worry for him, too!

Well, that mouse scratched so loud that had we not already seen it was a mouse, I would have asked myself if it was a rat!!  He dug and dug diligently under that pantry despite my getting right down on all fours and roaring at him (yes, roaring like a wild lion) and banging on the baseboard yelling at him to get out because God gave me dominion over him and all his little friends!  Melina and Antoinette thought this was hilarious but I was short of ripping that baseboard off and killing that thing with my bare hands.  Even as I yelled at him, he'd resume scratching and then even dare to EEK EEK at me in the process!!!

Those YouTube videos of caught mice, dead mice, drowned mice were sadly (and alarmingly) therapeutic for me...

Because of his incessant digging, I named that one Alcatraz.  He literally dug away as if trying to escape Alcatraz!  He was like clock work throughout the day, too.  I knew when to count on his clawing noises.

After two weeks, Squeakers was finally starting to not look so good.  I was actually surprised at the slight remorse and guilt in knowing his days were finally numbered!  But as I looked at my destroyed $600 Bose sound system, the guilt quickly faded...

One morning, ten o'clock came and he did not come out.  Five o'clock came and he did not come out... gulp... I think we have a dead mouse.  Alcatraz also stopped digging for gold under my pantry.  Could it finally be???  I had told God "Hey, you SAID 'ask and it shall be given'... well I am ASKING you, as your servant and with these witnesses before us, PLEASE get rid of all these mice in the next five days and do NOT allow any more to return!"

By day four, it was very evident that we still had many of them around the house.  I felt defeated, down.. not understanding what on earth God could possibly want me to learn from this.  Sure enough, though, by the fifth day, it was my first quiet night with no mouse noises!  Squeakers and Alcatraz were still around but at least I had my first good night's sleep.  The next day, Alcatraz was no longer making noise but it would still be a whole week before Squeakers would die.

But none have returned, thus far!

I have pictures and video footage which I will try to add to this post when I can.  Yes, I have taken more video footage of a blasted mouse than of my own children lately!  Know that this process has been hugely humbling.  Even with Squeakers in the Speakers finally gone, Duane tried taking the whole system apart and STILL can't get the darn thing out of there!  He is burrowed deep within the components despite removing a majority of them!


Through all of this, I was beginning to think our outdoor cat was vegetarian... afterall, how were all of these mice getting past him and into our house?  Not only that, but every time I opened the door to throw more veggies into the compost bucket, there he was with his bum in the air and his hind legs shaking trying to hold on to the edge of the pail eating the veggies!  Great... we live on a farm with a vegetarian cat... so helpful.  But these last few days, he has been looking pretty fat and I am starting to think good 'ol Herman has stepped up "to plate" and has been feasting on the infestation of mice around the farm.

All in all, prayers have finally been answered and sleep is most welcomed without the slightest sound making me jump anymore.  I can pull out my frying pans without dread and I can open a cupboard without fearing a mouse will be chewing on some food, look up at me and say "what's up, doc?"

I thank you for the prayers and support.  I even appreciate the laughs that have been had.  And I am quite thankful to God that He took my sheer rage towards these vermin and allowed me a little bit of grace with Squeakers.  My sister Linda said it well... "you have to LOVE all things you are trying to let go of or they cannot truly leave you."  I certainly wouldn't say I loved Squeakers, but at least there was something resembling compassion for the little furry guy by the end... even if he did destroy a very, very expensive piece of equipment.

So here's hoping that wherever you are:
a) you are free of mice.
b) if you are not, that you also can find some measure of peace and/or grace as you confront the issue.
c) if you are free of mice, that you be able to face some other "pests" in your life with some measure of "love" as you let it go and free yourself of its burden(s) upon you.

May the Lord bless and keep you as you travel this life, as He watches and loves you just as you are (even if roaring at a mouse).  Take care, all of you... and God bless!

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