Mouse Tales

August 01, 2017, 12:17pm

I arrived in Cleveland five days ago to discover a family mice had invaded the kitchen of my new apartment — every bag of non-perishable food and every surface was doused in piss and shit. We set sticky traps and have caught 14 so far, with 8 last night alone. It was hard to sleep with the chorus of dying mice squeals echoing up the staircase.

The humane thing to do would have been to drown the mice as soon as they were trapped it but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I listened to existential screams of primal mouse horror all night. Even more disconcerting, the screams lured their family members onto the traps as well — one trap had an adult mouse and a baby mouse, while another had four babies on it. There was a baby behind the dishwasher and one behind the washing machine. None of the mice died immediately — they spent an entire night into the morning stuck on traps surrounded by the screams of their dying kin.

There’s still more mice out there. I hear them rustling downstairs as I type this. I wonder what’s going through their heads as they run around the kitchen with their families decimated and the stench of fear-soaked piss permeating the air.

Our handyman is an old, white-haired man with a hunched back and friendly smile. He bends down to retrieve and dispose of our mouse traps, despite his no-doubt achy joints, with no regard for the terrified mice contorting in his hands. He says he’s never been a part of a mouse hunt this successful and is very impressed by our results.

Embarrassingly, I can’t take any credit for the hunting success — Lutetia places all the traps. I’m having a hard time coping with the mice, which I find revolting. Lutetia said her trick was to pretend she was a mouse and imagine the path she would travel, then put traps at key junctures. It was obvious to her but I found it foreign and baffling. And so, I let the mice wail all night and let Larry break his back to pick up the traps and let Lutetia claim alpha-hunter status in the relationship because I really can’t deal with the chaotic biology of these disgusting creatures.