Hi everyone! I’ll be your heroine for the story today. Last night at 7:15pm, for the first time in my life, I drank wine older than myself. Considering the way things looked in my apartment at 6:15pm, it is remarkable that I can say that about the evening. Here is the set-up: we have been battling a minor mouse epidemic here at #2. Not only nibbled bread corners and mouse droppings scattered across the floor, but plenty of blatant late night frolicking around the trash and recycle bins and purposeful skittering, not only in the kitchen, but also the living room. I do not hesitate to add: much of this in broad daylight.

In a fury of action yesterday afternoon, Joe set up at least four mouse traps (we use the old fashioned-wobbly-snap-happy kind), effectively staking out the entire kitchen for the afternoon and discouraging at least one resident (me) from getting a glass of water.

Then we both left. I returned to find one creature effectively dismantled, who I chose to ignore, hoping Joe would return and do away with him in the role that he has so nicely taken up lately. He did not, and I realized that we had guests arriving at 7pm for a study group, who would not possibly ever want to return if they found what was now on the kitchen floor still there, i.e. a dead mouse most cruelsomly collapsed. So, I decided to pick up the mouse and toss him in the trashcan, be reasonable and overcome my queasiness and be done with it, etc. Resolved, I picked up the trap, and victoriously opened the cabinet door to the trash can, only to be confronted by a wiggling contemplative little fellow who had a tail three times his size and was trapped only because of that tail. I panicked, dropped our previously mentioned R.I.P. little guy, and slammed the door. Reconsidering, I stood on top of our handy kitchen stool, so as to eye the mouse from the highest possible height advantage, and opened it again. He nibbled a bit of bread and looked around thoughtfully.

After all, this is not what we vengeful mouse trappers want to see. We of ruined breakfast toast, we of breached countertops, we do not want to encounter a soft creature patiently waiting for us to decide his fate. But what to do? I wanted to but knew that I could not throw him out the window, with my fingers crossed that he would die instantly. What if he didn’t? What if I tried to pick up the trap and he turned into a rabid mouse-as-Old-Yeller? I couldn’t possibly let him die a slow death, that was the whole point of the clap-happy traps.

I texted Joe in an irritated panic. He consulted his fellow architecture-grad-students–all of them needless to say, safely ensconced at school–and called me back, calmly proposing that I not only pick him up, but carry him out to the street, (where presumably, I would encounter most of my neighbors and explain that while I wasn’t going to be killing this one, they’d best keep an eye out) and release him from the trap using a screwdriver to levy the bar. I curtly thanked him for his advice and decided to compromise. I put on my jacket. I put on my thank-god-elbow-length leather gloves and approached the mouse. He made it clear he was on board with the plan and carefully perched on top of the trap while I carried him to our back window, which leads to playground of rooftops. While he watched, I loosened the bar, and he speedily jumped away–only to drop four floors down to the ground–unlike to the next rooftop as I had imagined. Perhaps I had imagined a monkey leap, instead of mouse leap. Just then the doorbell rang, and in came a guest carrying a 1981 burgundy, to whom I decided not to mention what had just occurred. While I was uncorking it, the cork collapsed from age and we had to push it into the bottle to get the wine out, another new experience. But you, dear reader, can join me in wondering where our fierce fighter will wander next. (the architect further argued that mice have low body mass, and therefore, probably landed on the ground just fine.)

p.s. before you leave me an angry comment in defense of these now (rather effectively I must say) anthropomorphized creatures, I point you to Chris Glass’s website, which does suggest a nice way to trap a mouse alive.