It's that time of year. The weather's getting cooler and damper, the garden is winding down, The critters are starting to look for warmer quarters. I've learned to keep a mousetrap behind the trash can under the sink, since it appears the mice come in somewhere under the dishwasher, and scramble over the partial partition that separates that area from the one under the sink.
Yes, I could solve the problem by removing the partition and sealing up whatever holes they come through, or simply add on to the partition so they can't get through. It's been on my to-do list forever. I'm a talented procrastinator who really hates doing household repairs. Note to any of my children reading this: take pity on your poor old gray-haired mom and fix this for me. It would be a nice, cheap birthday gift, and my 70th is rapidly approaching. Pretty please?
Alas, 70 is the new 40 and my kids know I can do it myself if necessary. We'll overlook the fact that I taught them to use tools early on, just so I wouldn't have to.
End of digression--back to the mouse story. I had already disposed of one victim a few days ago and replaced the trap. Yesterday brother Richard glanced under the sink and said "didn't you put a trap in here?" There was no trap behind the trash can--but further over, stuck behind the pipes, the missing trap seemed to be bouncing around. A still-live mouse, caught only by one foot, had dragged the trap as far as possible and was trying to pull free, while simultaneously scarfing down the peanut butter bait.
I can deal with setting a trap and disposing of the remains. Doing the killing myself was more than I wanted to handle. Letting it struggle until it eventually died wasn't acceptable either. I picked up the trap with my handy-dandy two-foot-long grabber device, took it outside, and used a table knife to pry up the bar. The mouse immediately jumped free and dove between the boards of the cover over the crawl space entry. So it's lurking under the house, perhaps contemplating trying it again.
I don't imagine mice have very long memories, but I'm hoping that one won't be back for a while. I suppose it's too much to hope that he warned his friends away, too.