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My blogging compatriot, SDS, is battling voles. I wouldn’t know a vole if it jumped out of a hole and bit me on the toe.

Mice are my problem. The first mouse family took me completely by surprise. They lived somewhere under the kitchen cabinets for I don’t know how long before I put 1+1 together. 1= Cat hanging out in the kitchen for days on end, listening to whatever cats hear in the dark. 1= Tiny little black “sesame seeds” appearing in my pots and pans—where in the heck did those come from? I didn’t come up with 2 until I came home one day to find said cat batting a half-dead mouse about the house.

 

Aha—so that’s where the little black seeds came from! Whew, thanks Poppy; I don’t have to worry about that any longer! The next day I scoured the lower level cabinets and everything stored in them. Two days later, said cat was once again hunched expectantly on the kitchen floor. Oh no, another mouse? I left the cabinets open overnight, hoping Mrs. Mouse would leave on her own. Not. I fussed. I fumed. Now, I share SDS’s reluctance to meet guests to my home and garden with violence. But, like her and her relationship with backyard insects, I have my limits. I tried accepting a mouse in the house, but those seeds in the pots and pans were troubling. And there’s the issue of family planning. I’m pretty sure Mrs. Mouse is not using protection.

 After a great deal of hand-wringing, I reluctantly resorted to a mouse trap. More humane, I thought, than poison, and certainly safer for Poppy and me. The damned trap worked. It snapped poor Mrs. Mouse’s nose and wouldn’t let go. By the time I found her, her nose had been practically amputated from her head and rigor mortis had set in. I felt awful as I delicately jiggled her carcass from the jaws of the trap and unceremoniously dumped her poor little body into the garbage can outside. Well, I had to do it. It’s just not sanitary to share cooking utensils with Chef Remy and his family.

Remy – latimesblogs.latimes.com

So, again, I scrubbed up all my pots and pans and the cabinets. This is getting old! This is more in-depth house cleaning than I have tackled in a year. It’s been several months now, since the incident with Mrs. Remy. I was beginning to assume that I had solved my rodent problem.Then, two nights ago, I again found Poppy hunched expectantly in the kitchen. Oh NO! Oh YES.

That night the mouse ventured into the house and Poppy had her way with the poor thing. I woke to find them stalemated on the staircase landing behind a couple of Pottery Barn candle holders. This time, I flung the front door wide open and after a short rodeo between Poppy and her prey, the mouse scooted out the door while Poppy’s attention was riveted to the spot under the couch where she’d last spied her victim. Fortunately for the mouse, Poppy must have blinked. That mouse escaped with its nose intact, I’m happy to say.

I probably haven’t seen the last of Remy’s clan, though. I suspect there’s an endless supply of children and grandchildren who will soon follow their ancestors’ path into my kitchen. I wish I could figure out where that path is!