My Little Challenger And I

I woke about 3am this morning, so I decided while I wake I'd go to the bathroom. In a zombie-like state, I made my way to the bathroom, and while there I thought I heard a noise that sounded like tin or metal clanking. I waited a minute and heard it again. At first I thought it was coming from another apartment, but then the noise sounded again. I slowly made my way to my kitchen listening to locate any sound. I turned on the kitchen light and not seeing anything, stood and listened some more. Then, coming from the utility closet in the kitchen was the noise. Maybe a bird making noise in the vent that goes up and out? Maybe the hot water heater banging? Then I remembered something. There is a mouse trap behind the hot water heater that has been there ever since I moved into the apartment about 5 years ago. The same hard piece of cheese or whatever it is in the trap is still there. I have never seen any signs of a mouse, but since the trap was there, obviously for a reason, I never bothered removing it. So what was caught in the trap? Maybe a bird? Maybe a bat? Maybe a flock of seagulls? Who knew? After looking at the door for a few minutes, I gingerly opened it, not knowing what would come flying or running out of the closet, and reached in to turn on the light. Then to my surprise as I looked in the direction of the trap was the noise-maker. A MOUSE!! A little grayish-brown mouse sitting on the trap, or rather trapped in the trap. It looked like either his tail or foot was caught and he was able to move behind the hot water heater, dragging the trap behind him, but caught behind the hot water heater by the pan under the device. The mouse could move only so far either way. What was I to do?

I stood there for about 10 minutes just trying to figure out how to get this critter out of there. I wondered if he was a wild field mouse or someones pet mouse that escaped and ended up in my apartment. I thought wild field mice came in when the weather was getting colder and food outside harder to locate. But it had been very hot, and maybe he wanted a cool place. But then again, maybe it was some kid's pet. Either way, I needed to do something, and I really did not have anything to reach in and get him. And what was I to do with him when I did get him? Kill him, which I could not bring myself to do? Let him go, after I got him out, of course? What? If I messed with the trap too much, I might just end up freeing him, then he'd be running around my apartment. So for a good 10-15 minutes I just thought. At 3:30am I really had no ideas, so I turned off the light, shut the door, and headed back to bed. I'd call someone in the morning, or maybe he'd be dead by then. I lay in bed listening for several minutes to see if I could still hear the little guy (or girl). Finally I fell asleep.

I woke up a few hours later and went to see what was going on with my unwanted guest. I peeked in, but could not see the mouse. He had managed to get further behind the hot water heater. I grabbed a broom and tried to push him and the trap out, but could not. At this point, I was starting to get aggravated at inconvenience this little thing was causing me. He kept me from getting my sleep, and was interferring with my schedule at this point in time. I pulled a chair into the doorway of the utility closet so I could look over and down the hot water heater. And there he was, lying flat, still in the trap. I thought he was dead. I took a 4 foot long stick I had in the closet and touched the trap. The damn little mouse moved, still alive, but a bit more weary than he was earlier. I pushed the trap around to the side of the hot water heater so I could better decide what to do with the mouse. He ran back behind the hot water heater again, pulling the trap with him. Now I was pissed! "Damn you, little mouse. I am bigger, stronger, and smarter than you and I'm not putting up with this any longer! THIS IS WAR!" So I took the stick and pushed the trap and mouse back to the side of the hot water heater and positioned it so I could pick the trap up by the pin that set it off. I grabbed a pair of winter gloves from my closet, just in case he decided to bite me, and I took a brown paper bag from the cupboard. I was able to pick up the trap, with the rodent still attached, and put the trap and the mouse into the bag. I then ran it out to the dumpster and tossed it in. I HAD WON!!! I really didn't care at that point what happened to the varmint, and I did not care if it was wild or someones pet. He had, after all, invaded my territory and I wanted him gone!

I have since purchased another trap and set it just in case he had family. I realize if it was a wild mouse, he probably did not come alone, or if he did, more could make their way in as well. I am on my guard and I will be watching and waiting!