Sunday, March 11, 2012

Of mice and men... and slackers

We bought our house and moved in 7 years ago, in late February 2005. The house had been empty since the previous June when the older woman who lived here, moved to assisted living. She had lived here alone for about five years after her husband passed away. She may have lived here without other people but she was not the only resident.

We had a house inspection and a pest inspection. We were told we had mice and they found one dead ant. The house came with cans of ant killer out on the porch. That should have been a sign. We have ants every summer. Very aggravating.

However we also have mice. The pest inspector told me it would cost $400 to demouse the house. I said we would try the cat first. We had no idea if he would do anything about a mouse but we decided we would let him have first dibs. In the first two weeks of moving in, one night he deposited a battered mouse on the bed as we slept. I pulled the blankets over my head and my husband disposed of the remains. (My husband asked what I would have done if he wasn't there and I said I would have slept in the other room.) We thought we had a mouse-solution. He pulled his weight and earned his kitty treats for his mouse deterrent efforts for several years.

We still have mice every year. The cat is now 17. He has had a variety of ailments which include loss of some mobility in his back legs - he can no longer leap up on the kitchen counter (which is a good thing) but he also is not as fast as he used to be. He also has lost most of his sense of smell, vision, and hearing. He doesn't care about the mice. We call him the slacker.

This week I noticed little surprises in the silverware drawer. So I washed it all, cleaned out the drawer, informed my husband. Then the next day I found more surprises in the silverware drawer. This time my husband washed all the silverware, emptied the two other drawers and put a trap in one. Yesterday morning we had a present in the trap. I thought that was it. But my husband had to put out the traps one more time. He did not tell me he put one next to the pots and pans in the cabinet. I found it when I went to put the pots and pans away this morning. It was not empty. I said 'eek' and went back to bed until he rectified the situation. (I really did say eek.)

What did the slacker kitty do when I left him in the kitchen with one of the bottom cabinets open with a mouse in it? Nothing. No treats for him.

This is a picture of slacker kitty doing what he does best these days. The black and white cat on the top is the cat I had as a teenager who lived to be 24. And the one who caught mice and all sorts of other free range, fresh meat to supplement her diet.

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