We started the new year with an unwelcome visitor. I walked into the kitchen to make dinner and wondered why the door was open to the toaster oven. Sabrina was sitting on the island, staring at the oven. My first thought was that she was waiting for me to cook something for her, but since we use the toaster oven mostly for toast, that didn’t make a lot of sense. Our cats will eat about anything, but toast isn’t at the top of their “I want” list. When I noticed Shadow sitting in the floor studying the recycle bin, I knew something weird was going on. I grabbed a flashlight and called Ed for reinforcement. Four eyes really are better than two.
I saw a long tail streak up the wall onto the countertop. I’m positive it was attached to something, but whether it was a mouse, rat or lizard, I couldn’t tell. After clearing some stuff off the countertop to get a better look, we discovered the culprit. Another mouse. I say another because we had one a few years ago. Since we are overrun with cats, I can only assume mice are stupid. Otherwise, why would he (she?) venture into our house?
Granted, Jan 1st is National Hangover Day, but I’m not aware of mice getting so drunk they can’t find their way home and end up in my kitchen. Since it’s also National Bloody Mary Day, perhaps it was looking for a hangover cure. Whatever its reason for being here, mice in the kitchen are unacceptable. And irritating, because I needed to make black-eyed peas. A tradition in our family to ensure we have a good year. Not sure if it works, but we love black-eyed peas, so I have no intention of finding out by not cooking them on New Year’s Day. Maybe the mouse was looking for some peas? If so, it was out of luck, because it wasn’t invited to dinner.
So…how do you get rid of a mouse in the kitchen? Good question. We could put out a trap and wait but see previous making dinner comment. Nope. Besides, I’d rather free it into the wild instead of killing it. Whoever it was, they weren’t going to make this easy.
Plan A was dropping a towel over it. I was shining a flashlight in its eyes, hoping that would work like the “deer in the headlights” trick. Unfortunately, it was hiding behind the toaster oven, so Ed couldn’t drop a towel over it. Plan B was dropping a large insulated drinking mug over it and then sliding paper underneath to trap it while we took it outside. Nope. Mickey had moved to the corner of the countertop and was huddled underneath the appliance cords. No way to drop anything on him. And, yes, by now it had been in the kitchen so long I’d named him. If it was actually a Minnie, that’s just too bad. He (she?) should have worn a nametag.
Plan C was back to the towel. So, we moved more stuff off the countertop, which only reinforced the idea I need a bigger kitchen or need to stop putting stuff on the countertop. Probably the former. Mickey wasn’t too thrilled with us moving stuff and ran. Where? We couldn’t find him. Which led to Plan D of putting Shadow on the countertop and letting him find Mickey. That didn’t get any further than the planning stage, because I really would prefer for the mouse to be outside and not inside a cat’s stomach.
Ed came up with Plan E, which really needed to work since we were getting close to running out of plans. Kitchen tongs. Not just for turning fried chicken. I got the tongs while Ed tried to find the mouse…with no success. Tongs in hand, I finally found Mickey. He was now behind the mixer, which has a really cute Hello Kitty cover over it. Mickey evidently isn’t the least bit afraid of cats.
I thought I picked the perfect pair of tongs…long, curved ends which should fit perfectly around a little mouse. I handed them to Ed and went back to the “deer in headlights” plan. I don’t know if that scared Mickey or if he was scared just looking at me, but he spent a lot of time staring at me while Ed tried to grab him. Next thing I know, Ed yelled, “I got him!” I ran to the front door and opened it, followed closely by Ed and his captive. Actually, I limped to the front door, because I’m having a foot issue, but that’s neither here nor there. Mickey got safely outside, and Ed dropped him in the grass. Hopefully he found someplace to hide before the five thousand outside stray cats figured out what was going on. I found out later that Ed hadn’t actually grabbed the mouse, he’d grabbed Mickey’s tail. Which certainly explains the urgency I heard in Ed’s voice. It was a miracle Mickey didn’t fall off the tongs.
And that was about all the excitement we could stand in one day, but Mickey was gone, and the black-eyed peas were cooking on the stove. Quite a strange way to start the New Year, but I suppose it could have been worse. How? Mickey could have had Minnie following him and we had two invaders. Or Mickey could have been a snake or scorpion. No tongs for them, it’s either a shotgun or a hammer.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I did feel a connection with the mouse. He was cute. He’d be cuter outside, but he looked so little and so scared. Wouldn’t you love to know what he was thinking? I know I would. Cats all around, two harried people moving stuff, so he had to find someplace else to hide, and really…no place to run. No place to be safe.
People are like that sometimes. Running around scared, looking for a place to hide, when really, there’s someone just wanting to help them. Granted, God doesn’t use tongs to help us, but that’s probably a good thing since they don’t make them large enough. But if we just relax, let Him be in control, He’ll make sure we’re safe, no matter the situation. You can’t ask for much more than that, except possibly not having a mouse in the kitchen.