A couple nights ago I was lying in bed, just drifting off to sleep when I heard a rattle of dishes in the kitchen. My first hazy thought: OH MY CRAP SOMEONE BROKE IN. The cobwebs cleared from my mind a bit and I assured myself that no, if I heard dishes clanking then I would have heard the front door open, and if someone WAS breaking in they wouldn't be stealing my dishes.
Next thought: OH MY CRAP THERE'S A GHOST IN MY KITCHEN. While a housekeeping ghost may not be entirely unwelcome, I then assured myself that if there was a ghost in my kitchen, again, they would not be playing with my dishes. They'd obviously be getting all Poltergeist on my ass and stacking chairs, leaving cabinet doors open and dragging Carol-Anne across the tiles.
Then I remembered. THE MICE. That we hadn't gotten around to poisoning yet. Clink clink, clank clank went the dishes and in my head I'm all Get out of my friggin' dishes, you stupid mice, I'm trying to sleep!
It would start and stop, and start and stop.
Finally I shook Gabe at the hip. "Babe, I'm sorry to wake you up but there's a mouse in the dishes." Clink clank, rattle rattle.
He's all, Huh, wha?, still mostly sleeping, and I had to say it again like four times. Then: "What do you want me to do about it?"
"Go catch it," I tell him, like duh.
"A plastic bag!" OBVIOUSLY.
"And then do what with it?"
"Throw it outside." Do I have to think of EVERYTHING?
There's a silence (in the bedroom at least; in the kitchen, there's still a party in my dishes) and I thought Gabe had fallen back asleep. He's like that. You know. Likes to sleep while he's sleeping.
Then: "No. I'm really tired."
"But what about the mice?" Rattle rattle. "Fine. I'll go take care of it."
I got out of bed and tip-toed to the kitchen, afraid of stepping in squishy mice the whole way. I creep into the kitchen, wincing in advance of seeing some little vermin in my sink or in the dish drainer. I go slowly, peek over the edge of the counter. There's dishes in the sink. I look up. Dishes in the drainer. But no mice. Just their little jimmies they like to leave behind, those little jerks. "Dance party on your dishes! Here are some little shits to remember us by!"
So yesterday morning I soaked all the dishes in bleachy water before washing them again, including all of the clean dishes from the drainer that Gabe had been so kind to wash for me on Saturday. I gave up on my poor little mice people stance and we decided to get some traps.
We cleared off the counter tops and Gabe set the glue traps out last night. He promised to go to the kitchen first in the morning so I wouldn't have to see them.
This morning, Liam and I waited in the living room after getting out of bed before getting our breakfast. Gabe was quiet in the kitchen for a while, and I finally went in there to see what was going on.
I paused in the doorway. "Any mice?" I asked before venturing further.
"No. But there's a trap missing."
I went in. Still three traps on the counter, but the one on the floor between the sink and the washing machine? Gone. Gabe had pulled the washer out and was looking behind it with a flashlight. He found many mouse turds, a cloth diaper and a crumpled up paper towel that had gone missing and forgotten, and- BREAKTHROUGH!- the huge gap in the floor where it meets the wall. Juuuuust big enough for mice to get through. So at least now we know where they're coming from.
But after searching the kitchen thoroughly for the missing trap and (hopefully) dead mouse, there's still the mystery of WHERE THE HELL DID THEY GO!??
Gabe thinks they're ninja mice but I have another theory.
Obviously what happened was, this little smartass mouse was creeping along the floor and came across the glue trap. He sniffed. "What's this?" he wondered. "Some joke from those human people, for sure." He calls to his friends in the wall. "Hey guys, get a load of this! Those people think they're smarter than us!" And a little army of mice comes over to check it out. The Eldest raises his monocle and clears his throat. "What we have here is some sort of trap," he says, and all the mice nod in understanding and agreement. The Eldest pinches the tip of his handlebar mustache. "Some sad, pathetic little lure. We shall take it back to the lab. Gentlemen?" So the mice all grab an edge and carry it back into their laboratory in the wall, where they studied it all night and learned all the chemistry and physics.
I am fairly certain that in a couple days, I'm going to walk into my kitchen some morning to get Liam's milk and breakfast, and I'm going to step directly into a giant glue trap. I'll look over to the gap between the sink and the washing machine and I'm going to see that little army of mice all standing on their hind legs and they will be crapping all over my floor because they are laughing so hard.