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He (or she) had it comin'

Posted Thursday, November 1, 2007, at 10:10 PM

This writing may be my demise, especially in light of recent events involving dog fighting and animal abuse. Many dogs and cats have passed through my life and I have had a special place in my heart for each and every K-9, feline and equine, with a spattering of feathered friends amongst them. And although there are none in my domain at the moment, I still have a soft spot for each and every one. There is one species, however, for which I have no mercy. Tis the rodent!!!

The mere mention of the species makes my skin crawl and seek out the nearest point of elevation, whether it be a chair or tableâ€*this old body can clear hurdles to find respite from the beady-eyed, pointy-nosed, quick-paced, hairy little basâ€*.uhâ€*creatures. I believe I could easier contend with an irate ex than a scampering little â€*.MOUSEâ€*even a Minnie! The darting little menace might as well be a seven-foot tall long-haired Bigfoot. It couldn't evoke any more terror.

When I lived in the country, the little devils would sometimes find their way into my abode via the teeniest of crevices during hay baling seasons. I'd keep traps set and if ever the clap of that spring awoke me in the night, I would remain sleepless till dawn. And if ever the clap did not invoke the immediate demise of the culprit, and it would be subject to emitting the teeniest of squeaks, it would compound the severity of the situation. Although there was a now-ex present, he was not to be awakened for such a "trivial" concern on my part. He's an "ex" with good reason. I've been known to spend many a night atop a chair in waiting.

And so, in this present single status of mine, knowing that I would never be capable of disposing of a conventional trap (at least an occupied one), I resorted to another means by which to entrap the little varmints that wreaked havoc on my life as I know it. It's called a sticky trapâ€*a gooey little device, plastic in nature, filled about 1/8th inch thick with a substance that, once stepped upon, will not release its victim. It's an ingenious little device that I wish had been conceived in my own little Minnie mind. But the next best thing is being able to utilize it.

NOW, I know that some animal advocates will berate me unmercifully for promoting the use of this simple little contraption that not only traps the little beady-eyed basâ€*uh, rodents, but then deals them a horribly heartless passing that sometimes lasts for hours on end as they struggle for freedom.

You're not going to find any sympathy here. I say that's what they get for entering my household uninvited. Let ‘em suffer. I don't care. Doesn't bother me in the least..well, maybe just a teensy bit, but nothing to speak of.

Oftentimes, their front spindly, skinny little legs will get imbedded in the glue, since they've approached the sticky tray to get to the morsel of poison at the center (which apparently isn't quick-acting). When that occurs, it leaves their teensy little spindly back legs free to scratch incessantly on the floor's surface. They closely resemble a cartoon where the roadrunner, or similar star, gets no traction as they spin their wheels aimlessly upon a takeoff. Occasionally, however, with these sticky devices, they do get a little traction, especially if it's on a carpeted surface and so you might return home at the end of a workday to find your sticky trap, fully occupied, relocated in your place of residence.

And that would explain the reason for this writing. About twice a year, I catch one of the little varmints and today marked the semi-annual event. I keep a sticky trip in my pantry "just in case." It's been there for several months collecting dustâ€*until today. And so here is what transpired and inspired this writingâ€*

Upon returning home at the end of a long day, I instantly recognized the dark-colored little 3x4 tray, misplaced in the kitchen floor, having been moved by some force from it's pantry home. Upon closer examination, which consisted of yours truly standing back about eight feet and looking out of the corner of one eye for any living creature who had taken up residence within the little rectangle, I indeed saw not only a tiny grayish matter, but a quivering little grayish matter. No telling how long it had been fighting for life in the little puddle of glue. One can only hope it was all day long.

So now, I had a mission. How in the world was I going to do away with this still squirming little rodent? I even heard an occasional "eeeeeeek," which only increased my hope that it had been an all-day affair. The very nerve of entering my house. He had it coming. I only regret that he wasn't traveling with a friend on his heels (which raises the eternal questionâ€*do they have heels? I really don't want to know the answer).

At any rate, I did what any brave, God-fearing menopausal woman would do. I retrieved my kitchen broom with the intention of allowing just one straw from the broom to attach to the glue, thereby enabling me to drag it to the front door and hurl it out into the wild blue yonder, broom and all if necessary, where I could only hope that a feline might traipse across the yard and take it for a further ride (although I wouldn't wish for the feline to come in contact with the gluey stuff).

SO, I proceeded to try to attach the broom, but it was not to be. I believe six months of dust finally met its match. Well, at least I could "sweep" it out the front door. I had to look off to the side while implementing this plan. The sight of the little beast still fighting was just more than I could handle. But with each swooooosh of the broom came just a few inches of achievement. And then one swoosh sent it flyingâ€*about a four foot gain, but when the beady-little basâ€*rodent landed, still imbedded in his new residence, he was upside-down. Well, at least I didn't have to look off to the side any more, that was until I saw the little upside-down tray rising thruuuump, thruuuuumpâ€*.with every beat of it's scrawny little heart, the upside-down plastic trap rose in the air off the living room carpet. Time to turn my head again and take another swoosh. Then came the revelationâ€*I opened the front door. It was about an eight-foot goal to the front porch. I stepped back, still looking off to the side. I took stanceâ€*much like Jack Nicklaus on the final hole in sudden death of the US Open, going for the green jacket. I sent the little varmint sailingâ€*.right into the wall. It was now getting personal.

I took aim once more, flopped the varmint, sticky trap and all, with heart still thrummmmping, thrummmmping and with one last heave, sent him (or her..I didn't check) through the air once again, but this time out the door and onto the porch. One more swoosh and he (or she) came to rest, trap and all, among the hostas..a fitting demise, I thought. It was almost like a burial, just lacked a few kind words (where's a preacher when ya need one?) and a blessing, something like, "Beady-eyes to beady-eyes, dust-to-dust, glue-to glue..

I never looked backâ€*to the side a few times, but never back. Replaced the broom in the utility room and prided myself in a job well-done.

Who needs a significant other anyway?

My only fear is that in the dead of night tonight, I'll hear the thrummmmp-thrummmmp of the little basâ€*.rodent, not unlike the beating Tell-Tale Heart of Edgar Allen Poe, until it drives me looneyâ€*there's comfort in knowing I'm halfway there.

My own son, who can shoot a deer looking him in the eye and an innocent squirrel in a tree (the squirell's own domain, I might add), says I have a cruel heart. It's not that at all. I just have no mercy for a mouseâ€*not even a Minnie Mouse.

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Minnie, I wish you peaceful non-squeaky nights. However, now I can't sleep without hearing a thummmp, thummmp, thummmp in the back of my mind a la Edgar Allen Poe.

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 8:31 PM

Oh, my, you guys are SO civilized!! It's actually a treat to read nice, tolerant conversations on our blogs -- after the recent tirades we've been through...

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 9:30 PM

FJGuy, I appreciate your questions. If an alligator were attacking me, I most definitely would defend myself, killing the alligator if necessary. As far as mosquitoes go, I try to just avoid them or use a deterrent. And I'd do what I had to, to get the rat off the baby. I'm not a pacifist; I just believe that I should avoid inflicting pain or suffering if I can.

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 9:06 PM

YC, while I know you can't be 100% consistent, I commend your efforts, as far as they go, to live respectful of other life forms. A question: Does your respect end at the point that an a mammal, reptile or bug doesn't reciprocate? For example, what is the appropriate immediate response to an alligator getting ready to amputate one of your limbs? What is the appropriate response if you are the main course of dinner for an unending swarm of horsefly sized mosquitoes? What response is warranted against a rat found gnawing on a baby?

Just wondering.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 5:13 PM

So just how far do you have to take the mice to release them before they won't find their way back into your house???

Sorry, I only use the catch and release plan on men and fish. Well, sometimes on fish. This year I bought an electric mouse trap that electrocutes the little dears (mice - not men or fish). Then I shake them out into the trash (or over my neighbor's fence at night). I take a fiendish delight in this activity.

-- Posted by Ducky on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 1:21 PM

I prefer my otherwise aloof feline killing machine.She rarely acknowledges my existence in her home,but she is one useful cat.No traps, and no mice!

I HATE mice,rodents,despise possums,and prefer all bats to be unseen as they rid us of mosquitoes.

I love my cat and she tolerates me.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 12:35 PM

I dislike glue traps most out of all the types of mouse traps because they bring a slow death. In any event, unless you seal the mouse's point of entry (if that's possible?) you're often stuck in a constant cycle of killing and disposing of mice, no matter what kind of trap you use. I prefer to use a humane "Smart Mouse" brand live trap and release the mice outside. Aside from having compassion for mice (so sue me!), I am admittedly grossed out by dead bodies in my house. I figure, if I'm going to be taking a mouse outside every day, I'd much rather he be alive than dead/dying in a trap.

Fortunately, I haven't seen any mice where I currently reside.

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 11:58 AM

No glue traps for this remote farm home! Number one - My kids raised many, many hamsters and gerbils when they were little, a practice which gives me far too much empathy for the wild furry rodents.

Number two (and most importantly), these premises are patrolled by two ferocious felines, whose patience in watching secret hideaways is limitless!

In the old, pre-cat days, my youngest son made a tidy little sum of money, catching mice in the basement with a snap trap. It was worth a dollar per mouse to me not to have to empty and set traps!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 7:11 AM

This blog amuses me so...I even chuckled several times at points in your event. But it makes me think of a conversation I had w/ my husband a week or so ago...I had caught not one, but two of your little friends on a single glue trap...which was double the reward, being that they seem to have brought many friends to my home!..anyway~I had mentioned it to him that I can't stand these traps. Sure, they do the job...but they are a waste of money to use once and throw away. I guess I'm not scared by them, b/c I would much rather have a snap trap myself. Not as sanitary, or ingenious, but definetely more bang for your buck. But back to my other point...I think they are cute...disgusting...but cute. And as I watch the two of them squirming and squeeking away...I did feel bad. I couldn't imagine ever dying that way...even if I did make my home in someone else's cabinet uninvited. I don't guess snapping my head off is much better though...hmmm...bad thoughts.

My husband is afraid of mice to the point of jumping on furniture and screaming like a girl...which of course I find comical. But he seems to be ok w/ these glue traps as well. I guess its worth the money in the end if it keeps me from having to dispose of all of them myself!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 10:31 PM

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