I live in an old house, and like a lot of old houses, it has it’s problems. Doors are rarely square, so when there is a sudden shift in humidity, they can tend to bind. Windows are problematical at keeping out winds. And one thing that can be truly disturbing, it seems to be impossible to close the place up well enough to keep mice out.
To be sitting up, late at night, trying to write, and hear the skittering of tiny feet in the wall is a singularly distracting thing…topped only by seeing one of them scampering across the floor in the same situation. So I set out traps to try to catch them, old-fashioned spring-loaded ‘snapper’ traps that aren’t designed to take mice alive. They work surprisingly well, and are hard beat, or to ‘pick’ without tripping. So when I started setting a trap in the basement to try to make sure there were no mice down there, I thought I’d be getting a few mice, but no mysteries.
Then, the trap began to lose its bait…and not once, but several times.
I tried working the bait into the lever, trying to make it harder to pilfer, but that did nothing more than extend the time it took for it to be picked clean. So I knew I had either a very smart or a very determined mouse on my hands.
Then, last Monday, I went down to check to see if the trap had been tripped, or if it was without bait again…and couldn’t find the trap. It wasn’t lying nearby with a dead mouse in it. It hadn’t been tripped by some object (or animal) and lying nearby either.
It was just…gone.
So now I have a conundrum: am I faced with an extremely smart mouse, a larger animal that’s managed to sneak into my residence and drag off my trap…or is something else going on? Should I begin worrying about ‘things that go bump in the night’?