Mice and Men

I am an independent woman. I travel by myself, I can change a flat tire, replace worn out brake pads, change the oil, plunge a broken toilet and even lay floor tile without any help from the male persuasion.

Heck, there isn't much I can't do by myself. I even take care of my own, um, personal needs thanks to a supply of fresh batteries, a thoughtful purchase and a vivid imagination.

Man, I don't need no stinkin' man.

I just like having one around to take out the trash and light the barbeque.

Yet there is one thing I can't do by myself, one thing I refuse to do by myself, for myself and wouldn't you know it, there is never a man about when I need him.

I don't do mice. Mice which have some how found their way into my inner sanctum, my pristine kindgom. Mice which are selling real estate to their mousy friends and taking up residence under my fridge and beneath my television cabinet.

All because my children haven't learned how to shut a door behind them with out me screeching at them "Where you born in a barn? I don't think so. Shut the damn door!"

So a few brave and rogue rodents are taking great delight in skittering on the kitchen floor at night when I surf the net or watch television. I swear, they stop exactly where they know I can see them, stand up on their hind legs and stick their tongues out at me because they know I'm no threat to the little fackers.

I prefer to sit on my couch and squeal like a school girl whenever I see them, because I apparently, am a pathetic loser.

Boo was home when I caught my first glimpse of the invading infesters. He didn't believe me. Until he was standing at the sink and felt a tail brush the back of his foot as a mouse scurried to safety under our fridge.

(It was like one of those moments when you know your car is making a funny sound and you whine about it for weeks and your darling husband just blows you off and dismisses you as some silly, imaginative woman who wouldn't know a knocking engine from the bass of dance tune. Until he takes your car to go buy milk and suddenly he hears the sound you've been bitching about for weeks and comes back into the house demanding why you didn't tell him your car was making funny noises.)

Not that Boo would ever do that. Noooo.

All of a sudden, the mouse problem I had been complaining about for weeks became a reality. I laughed as Boo started cussing like a sailor in heat and started ripping apart drawers looking for a mouse trap.

"We don't have any traps," I told him as he emptied out the junk drawer, while trying to tune out my victory giggles.

"Why the hell not?" he grumped as he peered under the fridge with a flash light and murmured something about a little bastard.

"Because I am not going to be sitting alone, in the quiet of the night, minding my own business and suddenly hear the snap of the mouse trap. I can't handle the thought of something innocent and small being crushed to death while I sit on my arse and twitter."

"Pansy ass." He snorted. "I'm buying some traps."

"Fine. You do that. And the poor dead mouse can sit there and rot and emanate a funky odour because I guarantee you there is not enough money in the world to entice your daughter or your son, let alone myself, to dispose of the carcass."

Boo rolled his eyes in manly disgust at how I was morphing his children into well, copycat versions of me, and said (in righteous, testosterone indignation) "Of course they'll do it. They'll do what they're told."

Ya. Cuz parenting preteens is just that easy. Excuse me while I stop and laugh my pretty little arse off.

Needless to say, the mouse traps never got bought. Because I refused to remind my great manly husband to buy them and they somehow kept forgetting to make their way on to the grocery list. Heh.

Stuart Little and Mickey Mouse continued to spread disease through out my floors. Until one day I found little presents they had thoughtfully left behind in my frying pan. The pan I use to feed my family with.

Then it was on. Don't mess with a mama bear and her cubs.

Screw mouse traps. I want the big guns. I went and brought home two kittens. Take that, you little fackers, I thought to myself as I dropped the kittens into my children's arms.

Not only did I just win Mother of the Year by bestowing each child with their own mouser, but I effectively declared war on the little shits who were spreading their Hanta virus among my pots and pans.

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Boo of course, had a gasket. But since he's six hours away from home and weeks away from taking care of my pestilence problem himself, he was helpless to do anything but curse at the thought of cats in his castle.

(Must suck to have such a disobedient wife. Good thing I'm bendy.)

It wasn't long before my darling, fluffy kittens put their killer instincts to work and like two heat seeking missiles, started eradicating the enemies. How can you not love a kitten who kills? My heart swelled with love.

My mouse problem was being contained. Without traps or decaying bodies. And I get two little pussies to stroke and pet. Like I said, I don't need no stinkin' man.

Life was good. I am woman, hear me roar. Roar over the fact that I now have two cats, a litter box, two dumbass birds and a messy cage, a killer hamster, a jumping mouse named Steve and of course, my flatulent love, Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog, Ever.

So yesterday, the kids and I spent the afternoon taking care of our new brothel of love, cleaning cages and bitching about annoying pets and stupid mothers. (Well, okay, that last part was strictly me.)

I watched Nixon try to eat the kittens, the kittens try to eat the birds, the birds try to eat the hamster and mouse and I acknowledged to myself that maybe my husband was right. Maybe we didn't need any more pets in our house. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe.

In an effort to bribe my children to do some weed pulling for me, I offered to finish cleaning up their pet's cages and put everything away if they would start yanking the small forest of weeds thriving in my potatoes.

The kids jumped on this deal like a starving person on a Big Mac and scampered out the door. Apparently, when I said 'pull weeds' they heard 'go play.'

(I love my children, I love my children, I just keep reminding myself, over and over again like a mantra.)

Then last night, my mouse-shredding felines struck again. Fric squealed with delight when she noticed one of the kittens had caught another mouse. I was feeling mighty proud of myself. I may have even patted myself on the back for being so clever.

It was just about the same time I was congratulating the cat for a job well done, that Frac wandered out of his room and asked where his beloved Steve was. He noticed I hadn't put the lid on the cage properly and when he went to adjust it he discovered his mouse was missing.

Time stood still and my heart froze.

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, I thought to myself as I raced to go see just exactly my kitty killer was munching on. Dread flooded through me and my blood had turned to ice.

Frac beat me to the scene of the crime. He noticed his kitten happily munching on something and wandered over to see what he was chewing on, just as I yelled "FRAC NO!!!! DON'T LOOK!!!."

Too late.

Frac screamed. I screamed. I tried to grab the little mouse out of the gaping jaws of his captor but it was too late. Steve no longer had a head.

Frac looked at me with tears in his big blue eyes and said "MOM! YOU KILLED STEVE!" I tried to argue with his logic, but I felt like too much of a shit.

My Mother of the Year trophy was ripped out of my clutches by angry children and the ghost of the family mouse and I know it will be a long time before I ever see it again.

Later that night, after bribing the kids with ice cream and candy, I sent them off to bed and tried to ease my guilty conscience with a beer.

I will be forever haunted by Steve.

And there is still a facking mouse hiding under my stove.


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R.I.P Steve. Which, unfortunately for you, meant RIPPED IN PIECES. I should be sorrier. But I'm slightly relieved there is one less rodent about, one less cage to clean. And you kinda stank.