As regular readers will know, Gizmo regularly brings home ‘gifts’. These gifts come in a variety of shapes, breeds and sizes, but they all have one thing in common – they are all alive when Gizmo brings them in and let’s them loose in the house.
Over the last two years, we have had too many gifts to mention, and I (almost) wish I had kept a more accurate record. But the weird thing about these gifts, is that Gizmo seems to enjoy the challenge of catching them alive, but then he expects us humans to enjoy catching them too!?
This might sound dreadful to some of you, but there have been times when Giz has brought a mouse home, and us humans have been unable to immediately catch it, and it has had freedom to roam our living room for a few days before getting desperate enough to nip into the humane mouse trap for a snack, and then I can release it back outdoors.
Well, in the past week, I can assure you I have tried and failed to catch a rather large mouse in our house…
Two weeks ago, Gizmo brought home a pretty chunky mouse, and released it in our front room. We are pretty immune to this by now, so we placed the humane trap nearby hoping it would be hungry enough for a snack. A couple days went by, and still no sign of Mr Mouse, apart from a fleeting glance if it heading towards the kitchen. I (wrongly) assumed it was making its way back outdoors when the back door was open… but I was wrong.
A week ago, I was lying in bed, having one of those nights when anxiety takes over, and I remembered everything that has gone wrong for me recently, but I was distracted from my thoughts by this weird but persistent noise…?
At first, I thought it was Gizmo, causing chaos by erratically scratching something in the hallway, but it suddenly became apparent that the noise was coming from inside my room and my bedroom door was shut.
Now, let me set the scene. I am not the most tidy person in my bedroom. I have a pile of clothes for washing on the floor, numerous shoes dotted about, and several carrier bags located in numerous places. So in the middle of the night, when my bedroom door is closed, and I hear a sound from inside my room, it can only mean one thing. Gizmos gift is very much alive and squatting in my room. Oh bugger.
Somehow, I managed to get some sleep that night, in between hearing noises from various places in my room, proving to me that the guest was very much alive and searching for something; either food or somewhere to settle down.
The following day, my room was literally turned upside down with no corner left alone. I moved everything off the floor, checked the furnature for signs of extra inhabitants, and decided to finally make a start on the pile of washing.
Despite all this activity, I never actually saw the mouse.
I could see where he had been, and a few things he had chewed, like a chocolate bar for example. The greedy bugger had chewed a huge slab off a chocolate bar, and left it on the floor after chewing the edges! As a chocoholic, I found this very wasteful, but I had a plan…
I took the discarded lump of chocolate and placed it inside the humane mouse trap. He has already proved he will eat this chocolate, so I was optimistic this would be the ideal bait for him.
So that night, as I lay in bed I was confident that Mr Mouse would be drawn into the trap, enjoy a nice chocolate feast, and I could release him into the garden. I could hear his loud feet running towards the trap, and he paused, I’m guessing sniffing his meal. I lay still, waiting to hear the click of the trap. And then a few minutes later, it happened.
I breathed a sigh of relief and turned my bedroom light back on. As I’m awake, I decided to put him back outdoors straight away. But to my disappointment, when I went to the trap, the door was closed, and inside there was no mouse and no chocolate!!!? Oh shit. That’s not what I was hoping for! I’ve been outsmarted by a rodent…again!?
I then spent the next hour listening to the sound of the little devil munching away on the lump of chocolate somewhere behind my headboard.
I heard Gizmo in the hallway, so I convinced him to come into my room, hoping he would take the initiative to either catch the mouse, or at least flush it out of my room so I can get some sleep?! Nope. Gizmo was not interested, and wandered out of my room.
So anyway, knowing that the mouse now knew where to find his next meal, I reloaded the trap with the first edible thing I could put my hands on: a bit of cheese biscuit, and I went to sleep (well, with one ear open, listening for activity through the night – as you can imagine, I didn’t sleep much).
When I woke up the next day, to my suprise, the trap was untouched. The biscuit was still in place!? ‘Maybe the mouse will only eat biscuits with cheese’ I thought, so I placed a chunk of cheese with the biscuit, and off I went to work.
You will not believe how disappointed I was to return from work and discover this mouse clearly does not like cheese and biscuits!? Everything I had learnt from watching Tom and Jerry cartoons as a child was obviously wrong!?
To cut a long story slightly shorter, for several days and nights, I tried different bait, but nothing attracted Mr Mouse. Gizmo made it clear he was not going to get involved and assist and I was getting less and less sleep each night. But yesterday evening, I exceeded my level of tolerance for this squatter…
I went to bed at 9.30pm ish, but was kept awake by familiar chewing/ scratching/running noises and I was starting to lose my sanity. Between the hours of 10pm and midnight, this mouse taunted me! Honestly, I was starting to question my sanity! Was I actually hearing these noises, or is it all in my head!? Do I need professional help?!
Unable to cope any longer (and without wanting to wake the rest of the house up by screaming in frustration) I decided to relocate to the sofa in the front room. And there I spent the most uncomfortable sleep deprived night of my life, wondering what Mr Mouse was doing in my room during my absence.
When my alarm went off this morning, having only managed 2hours sleep at the most all night, I woke to find a HUGE mouse, dead on the living room carpet. I have no idea how or when that appeared, but when Gizmo almost tripped over it, I had to smile.
After looking at the size of the mouse, I’m not sure he would physically fit into the humane trap which might explain why he remained uncaptured for so long!?
I hope that HUGE mouse is the squatter from my room…maybe he had followed me into the living room to continue my torture?! But equally, it could be an entirely NEW mouse that Gizmo decided to treat me to!?
So here I am, lying in my bed, trying to ease the excruciating back pain I still have after spending 6 hours trying (and failing) to sleep on the sofa last night, and then doing a 9hr shift at work.
And I’m lying here, waiting to hear a scratching/chewing noise…. So far, so good…but I hope Gizmo doesn’t bring home another mouse to replace it!?
With any luck, I *might* be able to get some sleep tonight without rodent interruption!?