To Catch a Mouse

I never believed it could happen in real life. That Sunday cartoon snippet showing a woman standing on a chair emitting a high pitched scream as a mouse scampers across her shiny, linoleum kitchen floor. And then one morning after moving from New York City to Connecticut, life imitated art as I found myself face to whisker with a mouse curiously staring up at me from the garbage bin under my sink. And although there was no chair in sight on which to catapult, I can attest to the fact that my scream was other-worldly. I called my landlord for advice, “You are in the country now” came the unsympathetic response. I was on my own.

We cannot kill them I pleaded to my husband who being an animal lover himself, wholeheartedly agreed. I researched a more humane approach. We would trap the mice in a tall Tupperware bin with a dollop of peanut butter on the bottom; they could climb in but could not climb out. And it worked like a charm! The very next morning I stared down at three mice on the bottom of the bin who appeared sated and content. I soon discovered that Trader Joe’s vanilla cookies were a favorite of the sweet-toothed rodents attracting far more interest than the peanut butter alone.

After a few days when we were certain we had caught them all we pondered where to release them.Remarkably, research proved mice could find their way back from as far as three miles from their original dwelling. I pondered desirable destinations. Visions of releasing the mice close to the homes of people past and present who had done me wrong came to mind, but I dismissed the childish notion and in the end decided on a nature preserve four miles away.

Waiting until dark to avoid being seen we placed the bin in the back seat of our car. I tossed in a few Trader Joe’s cookies for good will. Arriving at the preserve we looked for a suitable place to release them and settled on a spot near a dilapidated barn for shelter. As we lifted the lid the sugar fueled mice leapt out as if shot through a cannon. Jubilant in their new found freedom they raced across the darkened meadow like a scene out of Chariots of Fire. And just like that they were gone.

Three months have passed since the relocation and life has pretty much returned to normal. I have replaced buying the Trader Joe Vanilla Sandwich cookies with their equally delicious chocolate lava cakes. I think the mice would approve. I sometimes think of driving to the preserve in an attempt to visit but refrain. I realize I have far too much time on my hands and make a mental note to pick up more shifts at work. Happy New Year everyone! May 2022 bring all good things.

Published by Kathy Simmons

I am an ex New Yorker who still misses the vibrancy of the city. I seek out the humor in every day life and relay it through my stories in the hope others will appreciate as well. I love to write about growing up with my fantastically unique Irish mother whose memory inspires me every day. Although she is no longer with us, her antics are an endless staple for my tales. I currently live in Connecticut with my husband, two sons and toy fox terrier Anabel.

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