Mouse Hotel

“The call is coming from inside the house.” I am living a horror movie.

It all began with a couple of poops under the sink. I was just minding my own business, reaching for the dishwasher soap, and there they were. I wasn’t absolutely sure they were poops. After all, why would a mouse be under the sink? But to be on the safe side, I googled how to get rid of a house mouse. I read that mice have an aversion to peppermint. So, I ordered some peppermint essential oil and, after it arrived, promptly set it out under the sink.

Days went by with no more poops, so I thought that was the end of it. I was an innocent lulled into a false sense of security.

Then Story yelled excitedly in a singsong voice from the kitchen, “The peppermint didn’t work!” Merely groaning, not yet aware of the profound atrocity that faced me, I got up to inspect. She had found a few poops in the pantry.

I closed my eyes and accepted this new to-do with some disgust. I set out some peppermint oil in the pantry, and ordered some live traps.

The next day, Mishka was sniffing around the pantry door. I opened it, and an audacious roly-poly mouse scampered out and looked at me as if to say, “Hey, neighbor, how’s it going?” Mishka, of course, was useless and wanted to play with her new friend.

The war was on. We caught several in the live traps. (FYI, cheese does not work; use granola bar bits.) Story being Story wanted to keep them all as pets because she was afraid they would all be eaten by hawks or snakes or whatever else her imagination came up with as soon as we set them free. We drove around forever looking for a safe spot. Finally, Story settled on a wooded area by the dam, so the little disease-spreaders could have fresh water, cover in the woods, and people food from the nearby picnic tables.

I would love to be able to say this was the end, and I did not die with Psycho music playing in the background. But alas, I cannot.

As I was cleaning out the pantry, I discovered with utter disgust and horror that the problem was way worse than I knew. Not only were there nests in the pantry; there were also poops in two cupboards, nests in a closet, and a nest in a random drawer in the spare room. Folks, I have been living in a mouse hotel without the slightest knowledge of it.

I should have burned my house down with those first spotted poops. Now I am going to die from hantavirus. Let this be a lesson to you.