Among the many problems we’ve had with our new house – not terminal things, understand, just things that need fixing before we can move in – was a rodent issue.
Our first evidence was a mousetrap stashed under the sink, and a few mouse droppings beneath where the washing machine used to be. Given that washing machines don’t get moved too often, I didn’t really think much of it, taking the evidence to be of an old infestation, and not a current one.
At least, I did until I saw one of the little buggers running across my kitchen surfaces, having made a meal of a chocolate muffin I foolishly left out.
It was tiny, and very cute, and the Boyfriend totally didn’t believe that I’d seen it, until I pointed out said muffin evidence. We tried to set the trap from under the sink, but it turned out to be a dud when setting it only resulted in my fingers being trapped. So the Boyfriend, being an anal sort of character, bought about 5 different mouse traps and set them all up.
He wanted to buy a humane trap, but I told him it was a waste of time. I used to live in a big country cottage when I was little, and it had a garage with a significant mouse issue. We quickly discovered that humane mousetraps only ever involve the mouse walking in, eating the bait, and walking out again. The Boyfriend was disheartened to hear this, but having it reiterated by the shop keeper at whatever shop he bought the traps (I want to say ‘Pet shop’ but that sounds somewhat counter intuitive to me…) convinced him that lethal traps were the only way forwards.
I wasn’t with him when he went round to find our unwanted visitor caught in the trap, tiny hands purportedly reaching out for the cheese bait. It’s probably a good thing, and not because I’m squeamish and hate hurting animals. Quite the opposite.
I would never hurt something that was just minding its own business, but as far as I’m concerned – you come in my house and eat my chocolate muffin: you’re toast.
The Boyfriend is more of a delicate creature.
He rang me to tell me we had caught the mouse and that he didn’t know what to do. I told him to empty the trap and reset it, in case there were any more. The Boyfriend couldn’t bring himself to touch it, let alone release the mouse from the trap. He threw it away whole.
‘I just feel so guilty,’ he said later, clearly traumatised by his experience. ‘I just hate to bring harm to living creatures.’
‘Darling,’ I said, entirely unsympathetic. ‘You had a bacon sandwich for dinner.’