The mouse warning system just went off tonight. I noticed that the cat was extra interested in the space under the sink today – I noticed the cupboard door open several times, and only she leaves that door open. It is warped from decades of splashing sink water, so doesn’t close tightly. With just a few swipes of the paw, she can get in.
Her food is in that cupboard, but strangely, she never gets into it. However, that is a favorite spot for visiting mice to stop. She smells the mice, and, “Pop!” goes the door. I wished she would catch the mice. When we first took her from my sister’s farm as a half-grown fuzzball, she was quite the mouser. But after several years of good food, she now likes to watch mice, but has no desire to catch them. The last time she tried, the mouse stood up to her and nipped her paw – that was the last time I have seen her get near a mouse.
But sometimes the cat just misses her gallivants in the basement rafters so opens the cupboard door in hopes that the board that my husband erected has been removed from the opening at the back of the cupboard that led to her basement playground. Did you get that? The back of the cupboard was open to let the plumbing from the dishwasher get to the sink plumbing. The openings in the floor for the plumbing is so large that the cat could slip through the back of the cupboard and under the dishwasher to the basement rafters. She loved crawling around up there. You could always tell where she had been from the spider webs in her whiskers, and the musty, coolness emanating from her fur.
However, we had to put a stop to the fun, when she became heavy enough that she was falling through the drop ceiling panels. She never got hurt, but it tiring replacing panels. Also, I was worried that she would drop a panel and herself on an unsuspecting visiting scholar that we host every fall in our basement bedrooms! So the hole at the back of the cupboard was boarded up. But the space around the pipes is still the size of a mouse freeway.
So I have more reliable alert system in place. Under the sink, I have an unset trap with peanut butter on it. Every so often I shine a flashlight beam on the bait holder to check on the peanut butter. The past several checks have shown a full dollop still there. Tonight, licked clean!
I used to be very good at setting mouse traps – I spent a week one summer trapping rodents in the Superior National Forest along with several other biology students. Every morning we would go out and set traplines of, yes, mouse traps. After lunch we would check the lines we had set the day before. However, now that I have a husband, I must say, I have gotten soft. I put some peanut butter back on the trap, and he just went down to set it – thanks, Hon!
Here’s hoping there is something dead waiting for me tomorrow morning…