Family can't rid themselves of their new guest


POSTED: Thursday, March 19, 2009

We have a mouse in our house. It must have heard that I cook a meal every night, and now the furry freeloader is determinedly avoiding eviction from its new home. I'm opposed to poison, but all other attempts to capture and remove the rascally rodent have so far failed, so a less-than-humane solution to the mouse malingerer might have to be implemented.

He's very small, and rather cute, and seems completely happy scurrying around the baseboards every morning, as he has for the last week. Obviously I'm no expert on mouse gender, but with two sons, two fathers and a husband to cook for, the mouse's assumption that food is here seems entirely masculine.

He isn't interested in our peanut-butter baits, and when in desperation we put down glue traps, he simply bounced around them. We are being outsmarted by 3 ounces of whiskers and fur, and this battle for baseboard ownership is becoming a matter of pride. It's ridiculous that two smart and determined humans can't out-think one minuscule mouse, but for now at least, the hairy little hit man is living on our leftovers.

Perhaps I should get used to the intrepid interloper loping gleefully across my kitchen floor in the mornings, but every time I see Mr. Mouse, I get annoyed and dark thoughts of revenge assert themselves. I might have to borrow a cat to solve the problem, but that probably won't count as a humane solution either, except for the cat, who would be most pleased.

Our mouse clearly doesn't eat much or the peanut butter baits would have worked by now, and he can't have rabies, so why am I objecting to the company? In truth, I have had houseguests who weren't nearly as bright as this little fellow, or as amusing. Fearlessly he goes on about his mousy business, and he has enough class not to wander upstairs, where he'd make me fear stepping out of bed in the dark.

Still, housing this critter in my home makes me maniacally morose. The last straw was this morning when, as we were sitting outside on our lanai, we were granted the completely annoying vision of Mr. Mouse looking out through the screen door at us. Whose house is it, anyway?

I suppose that living in Hawaii we have to make allowances for the local wildlife. All manner of invaders have tried to move in with us: centipedes, geckos, spiders, cockroaches and now this rag-tag rapscallion. I won out against the insects, but this tiny terror has defeated my efforts.

I wish all of my students were as innovative, and tenacious, as this fellow. I get the better of 17-year-old adolescents, but Mr. Mouse remains triumphant. I haven't resigned myself to the addition to our household, but for the moment, we are taking a wait-and-see attitude, and leaving our garage door up 6 inches in case he decides to go back where he came from.


Cristina Rathyen teaches English at Moanalua High School. “;The Goddess Speaks”; is a feature by and about women.