Let me begin at the beginning with a quick recap of how we got to the past two weeks:
- There is a hole in my house
- Mice had been entering through said hole
- We have caught most of the mice
- There is one mouse left
Yesterday, I spent my lunch hour beneath my deck doing the final sealing the window as best I could in the rain and mud. I will need to do more work to fully seal the hole, but I believe that the mice, at least for now, no longer have access to the innards of the house.
It is this one mouse, then, that is left. We were catching mice at a rate of 1.2 each day in late October, and until today, we could not determine *why* we could not catch this last mouse.
We know this mouse is a female, because she's nesting. We can hear her. In the walls. Nesting.
Boy mice are lazy-ass sons-of-bitches. They don't nest. And girl mice tend to nest when they get pregnant, which leads us to many deeper issues that I'm sure you can all guess.
We cannot poison the mouse: we have cats, and a rat-poisoned mouse, if found by the cats, will poison the cats. The mouse has not been caught by the cats, because I can't let the cats roam free in the house throughout the day due to Tina's plants and the presence of Tina's birds. Thus, our strongest weapon in the game of cat-and-mouse (i.e. the freakin' cats) is unavailable during most of our turns.
Tina won't let me use an inhumane trap, which is fine by me: the PETA traps Tina purchased are actually *amazingly* effective when it comes to most mice. (I do own a couple of "Lucifer" mousetraps, though, thanks to viedansante's sense of humour).
This morning, Tina discovered exactly why our traps, baited with peanut butter and a dog biscut, had been ineffective on this particular mouse up to this point: this mouse eats only fine, dark chocolate.
I should have known when I found her doing the backstroke in Tina's Mexican hot chocolate mix, now that I look back on it. I also should have caught her then, when she was frozen and staring at me through the plastic baggie the chocolate was in. I thought, wrongly, that I couldn't catch her at that point, that a simple grab wouldn't do it. Instead, I watched to see how she'd gotten to where she was. I haven't had a chance to get her since.
This morning, though, I was informed that somehow, she had gotten up three shelves in the pantry and gotten into Tina's dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe's, possibly by climbing, but more likely by either an acrobatic jump of approximately two feet, or by gnawing patiently through a wall and then through the back of the cabinet. Apparently, the girl has some fine, fine taste. And she'll go to many insane lengths to satisfy that craving.
I now have a plan. A dastardly, evil plan, if I do say so myself.
On Dec. 1, I received a box of fancy chocolates from druidkirk for Yule. I've eaten a couple, but the plan was to bring the majority of them in to work and let others have whatever Maggie didn't want.
Now, though, the plan has changed. If no mouse has been caught this evening, the bait in the trap is getting a serious upgrade. I know what the mouse likes: dark chocolate. I know where the mouse is nesting: next to the heating ducts. I know where the mouse can and will get: all over the basement and in the cupboards.
Really, it all combines into the chocolate being the perfect Yule gift, in my little twisted mind, should this work. There's nothing I'd like more than to be rid of this mouse with a taste for expensive chocolate.
(My thank-you note to druidkirk for the chocolate, which was going to go in today's mail, has had to be altered a tad as a result of this new, exciting development.)
I know this is a mouse after some of your own hearts. When I catch her (and I will catch her, trust me), is there anyone who would like to keep her? If not, well, at least she'll have a very fulfilling last indoor meal of very fine chocolate.