*disclaimer* this post is a tad bit graphic in nature (photo to follow below)
So a while back ago when I cleaned my pantry, I noticed we had been visited by a mouse. Nothing new, although we've done a pretty bang up job of sealing off the many nooks and crannies that mice have been getting in through and haven't had one in the house in quite a long time. Our older cat does a stellar job of killing them and leaving them out in the yard. Since the weather is warm, she spends a lot of time outdoors and so this mouse had been happily doing it's thing in the house. I got the pantry cleaned up, and have been investing in Lock and Lock storage containers, a few at a time.
When we were getting ready to go camping last week, we decided that Friday night when we got back we'd have pizza for dinner. I make my own pizza, and in the spirit of laziness on the day back from a trip bought some pre-made shells. Into the pantry they went, and off we went camping. I should note that I had been watching the pantry for signs of the mouse's return, and hadn't found any. I let my guard down and should've known better. So Friday we get back.. and put all the stuff away and soon it was time for dinner. I went into the pantry, brought the package of pre-made shells out, opened it wide on the counter (two shells come together each in their own separate package that is joined in the middle), got my scissors out to cut them both open and stopped.
In the right side shell, there was a giant "bite mark". It looked like a large giant person had taken a bite out of the shell. Now, keep in mind we had been camping and I was tired. I stood there for 3 minutes thinking all sorts of things. "How the hell did someone take a bite out of the pizza and then put it IN the package?" "How did I buy this package of shells.. put it in the pantry and not notice there was a HUGE BITE missing?" "What kind of idiot am I?" "What the heck am I going to do NOW?". After all this ran through my brain, I noticed a hole chewed in the package. Suddenly it all made sense and I realize the mouse had been in the pantry while we were gone. I ranted and raved for about 5 minutes. I hate mice in my pantry. I don't like the idea of critters climbing about my food products. I was mad at myself for not keeping "mouse prone" items in the kitchen. I knew better! Until the mouse had been caught, or killed... everything in the pantry is a risk. I threw out the shells, The Boy called the local pizza/sub joint and ordered some pizzas.. and we removed all the stuff that was "mouse bait" out of the pantry into the kitchen. He put some mouse traps on two of the shelves and we left it at that.
Last night I asked him to take one of the traps out. It was in plain view on one of the shelves, and I didn't want the cats to get caught in the trap if they were investigating the "mouse smell" coming from the pantry. (My kitten Bailey has been besides herself with smelling in there since we got back from camping). This morning, I went in the pantry to put my powdered milk into a sealed container (I had a free one that I had washed and let dry for a few days) and out of the corner of my eye noticed that the area we had "set up" with the other trap was in a bit of shambles. (I put boxes and bottles around the trap to keep the cats away).
A further look revealed a tail sticking out in plain view. I got the hell out of there and called The Boy at work. He laughed his fool head off. Wanted to know if it was dead ("how the hell do I know, I didn't check!"), how big was it ("It's got to be the size of a rat judging by the tail!") and offered that his gloves were out in the barn for me to use("I'm not getting rid of the mouse! I don't do dead things!!!"). I got my son, and he went in and moved the stuff so we could take a photo or two (at The Boy's request). Mr. Man was having some "take a good picture" issues so I put on my brave hat and went in. I hollered a few times (it's beady eyes were open!!) but got the stupid picture to send The Boy. In the spirit of being a good blogger-citizen I won't share it here.
I paid my son $3 to glove up and put that foolish mouse and the trap into double layered bags and take it out to the big trash barrel that's in the barn (it has bigger bags for larger or smelly stuff). He gave me crap about telling him to dispose of the trap as well until he realized both it's feet were in the trap and he had no choice. Based on that, I'm not sure how the mouse actually died.. I'm just glad it won't be in my pantry. It was rather plump and well fed looking, so who knows how long it's been around. R.I.P little mouse.. we won't miss you.