Thus, I knew I would have to deal with the minuscule missile of grey fur that streaked across the kitchen floor last week.
I purchased humane traps. The concept behind these cantilevered plastic boxes is simple: a yummy appetizer is left in the furthest corner, the mouse enters, shifts the center of balance, and the device clicks shut.
The next morning, two of the traps were closed and ominously, the other two were empty ... of bait.
The plan was to release the caught mouse (mice?) a few blocks from my house - in other words, to relocate them.
I gingerly opened one trap. Nothing. The other? Zip.
Fine. This was a declaration of war.
The mouse had been lulled into a state of complacency and triumphalism by the ease with which it had outsmarted the humane traps.
At my local Home Hardware store, I asked the young clerk about vermin poison. "If it dies in its hidey-hole, won't its carcass stink up the kitchen for awhile?"
His eyes shifted nervously as he said: "I think the poison makes the mice really thirsty so they leave your house to look for water."
He shrugged. I snorted.
"Let me see one of those New Improved Mousetraps™©", I said.
I looked at the plastic object, slightly narrower than the metal coilspring clamps that shipping clerks have at the top of their boards.
SNAP! It was now firmly clutching my finger. "Well, said I, it caught me, it'll surely catch a mere mouse."
So last evening I delicately prepared 4 itsy bitsy teensy weensy amuse-gueule, little pieces of bread with a smear of peanut butter, for the better mouse traps.
This morning: one dead field mouse.
Before you start yelling at me, may I say in my defense that the mice previously hunted down and caught by my cat were likely tormented before she applied le coup de grâce and then dropped them under my desk chair.
My new tenant died quickly - and efficiently.