• Peter Alson

I Am Not a Mouse (Though Sometimes I Feel Like One)

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

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Two days ago, I opened the dishwasher door and let out a scream. A mouse was in one of the silverware-tray compartments. We stared at one another, me and the mouse, both of us slightly in shock, and then I watched as he scrambled out of the plastic mesh compartment and scurried deeper into the dishwasher’s bowels, amongst the dirty plates and saucers. When I pulled out the rolling dish tray, not quite certain what I’d do when I found him, he was gone. God knows what little crevasse he’d escaped into (or how he’d gotten in there in the first place), but he was definitely gone, this Houdini of mice. I made a mental note to go to the hardware store and buy some more mousetraps.

I had actually been meaning to buy more traps for near to a month, as I’d used up the last of the four I’d purchased previously. Yes, I admit it, I am a serial killer of mice. I do not say that proudly. I do not like killing these little creatures. Yet it is necessary. They leave their little mouse droppings all over the kitchen, which is neither pleasant nor healthy for us non-mice types. But more important, there are others in the house who I am sworn to protect and serve. So I made a mental note to do what I had been meaning to do and had not yet done.

And of course it slipped my mind again–I say of course because although it is true I am increasingly forgetful, there are times when it is because I actually don’t want to remember. But then last night, it was sweet Alice’s turn to open the dishwasher drawer. The scream that followed surpassed my own rather tame “Blaaa!”

So first thing this morning, I hit the hardware store.

I really wish there were some other way. I grew up watching Tom & Jerry and Mighty Mouse and Mickey Mouse. I always rooted for the mice in cartoons. I don’t want to be the mean cat. I don’t want to make that trip down to the kitchen tomorrow morning, not knowing what awaits me and dreading it either way.

Mickey, old friend, I hope you understand.

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