Monday, July 21, 2008


An update on the mouse problem: over the weekend, I purchased one of those sonic mouse-deterrent devices. No clue as to whether it really works or not (I know they're supposed to be a grand old hoax, but I was getting a little desperate and still lack the stomach to deal with a dead mouse). I've seen neither hide nor hair of the mouse in a few days, but that may be because I've taken to sleeping with the kitchen light on, thus discouraging him from his midnight forays to my garbage can and points beyond.

In other news, I feel a bit stupid for not realizing that the etymology of "Philadelphia" really does break down to "brotherly love". I feel I can be forgiven for not realizing that "delphia" is based on the the Greek word adelphoi, meaning "brethren", but I am greatly disappointed in myself for not picking up the relationship between the phila- prefix and "love". As a lover of all things language-related, I feel I must now hang my head in shame and retire from the realm of the written word. Oh, woe.

...or not.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Well. I was just rudely awoken by the sound of a mouse investigating my (covered) garbage can. I saw him. He's here, hiding. Every time I turn out the light and try to sleep, he's back, scurrying around. No luck with the trap yet. I'm very very tired.

I was actually watching him for a while, by the dim light of my computer, as he scurried around in my kitchen. When he finally realized I was awake, he dove for the space behind my computer desk. I've been trying to figure out how to track him, in the hopes that I can at least chase him off or something. So tired.... and hungry, now that I'm awake. I'm half of a mind to move all my furniture away from the walls and see if I can chase him down. Pretty sure he's making his home under my fridge. God this sucks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Still no luck with the mouse. As I do not have the guts to deal with a dead mouse, I picked up a real live trap last night at Home Depot and set it up in my kitchen. Again, hopefully when I get home I will have a contained mouse ready to be taken off to the park or something. I left him some peanut butter. Maybe he'll be happy?

Monday, July 14, 2008


Late last night, I was sitting up and reading online a bit when I noticed it. Out of the corner of my eye, a small dark THING ran across the linoleum of my little studio-apartment kitchen.

At first I thought that I'd imagined it--after all, it was late, I was getting very tired, and I have a tendency to "see things" when I'm sleepy. Usually small dark spots on the corner of my vision that disappear when I look at them directly. And yet... I turned in my chair and sat stock-still, staring at the floor where the thing disappeared.

And then I saw it. A small, dark grey mouse popped out from under my refridgerator.

I yelled a little, a choked-back "Gyah!" as I didn't want to wake the neighbors. The mouse turned tail (as it were) and squeezed back underneath the fridge.

This was, of course, enough to both wake me up, and to make me realize just how tired I really was. I looked at the clock. It was about a quarter after midnight. I needed to sleep. But there was a mouse in my kitchen. Not such a disaster, except that my apartment consists of one room, so my kitchen is also my bedroom. A mouse in my bedroom. Eeep.

It was too late to go out and buy a mousetrap--I couldn't think of a place nearby that was open all night and stocked traps. So I did what all geeks with late-night problems would do: I turned to the internet.

A quick google search on "how to catch a mouse" turned up these instructions. I emptied my kitchen garbage can, cut up a cardboard box, and baited a toilet paper tube with a good dollop of peanut butter, and set up the trap as indicated.

Then I went to go take a shower, giving the mouse a bit of privacy in which to explore the trap. I came out of the bathroom perhaps half an hour later, hoping that I'd given the creature enough time to make up his tiny mind about whether to investigate the delicious little treat I'd left for him. Quietly, I snuck up around the corner.

No mouse. Damn.

I sat down at my computer. Fine, I thought, I'll wait him out. He was brave enough to come out while I was sitting right here last time. If I'm still and quiet, he'll come out, take the bait, fall into the garbage can, and I'll take him out and dump him in the woods somewhere. Maybe a late-night drive to the park?

So I waited. And waited. For nearly two hours. By that time it was almost 3 a.m. and I'd seen no sign of my tiny visitor. I was tired.

All right, I told myself. Maybe he'll get a bit braver if I pretend to go to sleep. I'll turn out all the lights and go lay down. Then when I hear the tube fall, I'll go take care of it.

And so I did. I turned off all the lights and crawled under my quilt, then lay there quietly, straining my ears in the dark for the sound of a mouse falling into a garbage can. It was quiet. I fell asleep.

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check the trap. No mouse. Of course. I left it set.

If I'm lucky, when I get home from work tonight, I'll find a very pissed-off mouse in the bottom of a trash can. You know it's going to be an interesting day when this scenario is a positive outcome.