Monday, 19 April 2010

Dead Mouse Duty

Note: after a fairly lean week in terms of getting any writing done, I've went back to my old practice of writing down observations of my everyday events in order to keep the writing muscles in trim. Because this has also been a fairly lean week in terms of blogging, I'll be posting these observational pieces up on here until I work up the strength to post something of slightly more heft. What follows concerns the fun activities which I and Michelle found ourselves engaged in yesterday afternoon as the result of a rather unwelcome visitor.

The gloves are half-opaque, half-transparent. I put on and take off three pairs in the course of clearing out the kitchen, and each time I do I enjoy the feeling of pulling the bottom of each glove into place, coiling and uncoiling my fingers to make sure they fit properly.

The kitchen has to be cleared out because of the mouse. Or mice. We're not sure if it's one that came in by accident - and even if it's just that, then there's the additional worry of how it got in, and how we stop anything else getting in in future - or if it's an actual infestation. Objectively speaking we have seen no mice. I did see a dead shrew left out front of the house on Friday night, a calling card from one of the increasing numbers of cats who've started visiting our garden recently. Well, at least now we know why that's happening.

We have seen no actual mice, but there is enough circumstantial evidence, in the form of chewed lap-trays and sandwich bags, and in the form of its (or their) droppings - tiny black commas of excrement scattered through the drawers like confetti - that we can deduce the existence in the cupboards of, at least for a certain period of time, at least one mouse. And so we begin the process of removing everything from the cupboards, throwing out any food left open, putting any food not left open in sealed plastic boxes, and disinfecting everfy inch of space thus cleared.

Michelle clears the upper cupboards. My job is to clear out the lower ones, under the sink, where most traces of the mouse (or mice) have been found. No point pretending otherwise: I've drawn this detail in case the bugger (or buggers) are still in there, either alive and squeaking or paws-up after chewing into one of the many bottles of bleach or detergent we store in the cupboards. Dead mouse duty. That's my job.

In the event, we didn't find any mice, dead or alive. The cupboards have now been clear for a day and my Ray Mears-like investigation of the cupboards to see if I can find any more mouse spoor has so far proven negative. Maybe it was that shrew the cats killed, after all.

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