A side note... if you are looking for more Princess today, you can find me here (on the topic of friend break-ups) and here (as a part of Lauren's testament series).
Last week, an exterminator came by to discuss our furry apartment visitor. He moved our dishwasher and shone around with his flashlight. Based on our reports of only two sightings in the kitchen and the lack of droppings, he stated that he believed Mr. Mouse to have been merely passing through on a food hunt. He left a little poison and said we would likely not see the fellow again. In fact, all seemed clear on the rodent front when we left for the weekend.
However, apparently the lack of cat slippers lulled Mr. Mouse into a sense of comfort, because when he returned, he had gained run of our entire apartment (although it seems he was not dining here).
The first day back, he emerged beneath the coffee table at the Duke's feet.
The second day back, he did a full scale dash across the living room as three of us sat on the couch chatting.
The third day back, he had abandoned all sense of fear, popping up by my feet as I sat on the couch, scampering by the Duke as he chatted on the phone in the dining room. Even worse-- he made his way to the bedroom somehow, where the Duke busted him chowing down on one of my massage bars at the bottom of my night stand.
The invasion of our bedroom send me into a bit of a tizzy, as I pictured myself waking up with a mouse ominously peering over me on the headboard. The Duke, armed by the power of Google, set up a makeshift trap, constructed of a garbage can, a ramp made out of boardgames and books, and a toilet paper tube filled with peanut butter. Mr Mouse had shown interest, and had knocked over the ramp once, but had not yet fully set off the trap and tumbled into the waste bucket.
We were trying to relax, watching television in the bedroom and waiting for the trap to work its magic, when we heard squeaking and rustling behind us. I froze, while the Duke jumped up, and seized a flashlight. "He's behind the bookshelf! I think we can trap him!"
And thus began a frantic game of cat and mouse. We blocked one side of the bookshelf with a massive painting, and started wedging books beneath it and to the side. Only once we have built a wall surrounding the bookshelf does a cursory flashlighted look reveal that Mr. Mouse is now cowering behind the dresser.
Books were now piled around the dresser. The Duke, for some undisclosed reason, sent me off to get garbage bags. Mr. Mouse fled back to the corner behind the bookshelf. In the frantic hubbub, the Duke pullled the dresser forward rapidly, and a piece of claywork that my aunt made for me as a child toppled to the ground and cracked into two.
I shouted "I told you to be careful with that!" and started to fight back tears at the sheer aggravation of my bedtime being in the destruction of cherished mementos and the rearrangement of our furniture due to a damn mouse-- especially since I didn't have a single clue what do with said mouse once he was cornered.
As my frustration grew, however, The Duke, became even more determined.
The bookshelf became an impenetrable fortress, with books of varying sizes shoved in every possible gap. The Duke peered over the top of the bookshelf again.
"I think he might be dead. Maybe the poison and the shock did him in. He's just curled up in the corner, motionless."
I fetched a long handled mop. A quick jab revealed that Mr. Mouse was only faking it. I squealed and jumped away as Mr. Mouse came back to life.
In a stroke of genius, the Duke grabbed a long poster tube he had been using for the ramp on the latest version of the garbage can trap. We slowly edged the bookshelf away from the wall, and replaced one wall of books with the tube.
I then set to frightening the mouse from his corner. First, I gently knocked on the painting, gradually increasing my force. He wiggled a little.
I then fished into my old piggy bank, and bring out handfuls of pennies, which I dropped behind the bookshelf, first one, then several in succession.
It worked. Mr. Mouse dashed straight into the poster tube, the Duke rapidly stood it up, and clamped a book to the top. Mr. Mouse scratched frantically at the circular walls at first, but gradually grew silent.
We grabbed our house keys, and slipped out into the rainy night, taking turns delicately balancing the tube and book as we marched through puddles. Five or six blocks away, in a back alley, we set the tube on the ground. A light tap on the end sent Mr. Mouse dashing out ike a cannonballs, disappearing into the dark night in a matter of seconds, as we turned back to return to our torn apart, but mouse-free bedroom.
Rodent harnessing skillz? We has 'em.