Saturday, September 26, 2009

update on Sylvester Antonio, the kitchen mouse

He's a punk.

We've set traps everywhere--lots of them--but caught nothing. He hasn't been sighted much in a month--just a tail here or there, a blur of gray in the corner of your eye. I thought maybe he got bored of us and decided to move on.

Well, last night I got up at 4 am to get some water, and heard a telltale rustling in the kitchen. I turned on the light. There he was, the punk. Not on the floor like a normal mouse, oh no. He had clearly designed our stack of plastic grocery bags into a mountain from which he could lower himself into the trash and pull out tasty morsels. I watched him scamper up the mountain, then use his *back legs* to shimmy up the space between the wall and the oven! His back legs!! All the while noshing on the tasty morsel he gripped in his front legs and winking at me.


I told the RM, who said I was a disappointment to the household. I saw Sylvester Antonio behind the stove, and just let him stare at me? I didn't even smack at him with the broom?

"He was so cute."

Cute?! Didn't I understand that mice carry disease? Blah blah blah.

So now the war between Sylvester Antonio and the Rally Monkey has escalated once again. I just don't think he's stupid enough to get stuck in the traps, is the thing. He's cheekily avoided them all this time.


Charles Gramlich said...

we have one of these creatures too. He just tore up one trap we set for him.

Being Beth said...

What do you bait the traps with? I have had the best luck with a tiny bit of peanut butter -- just enough so the punk has to really nosh down on the trap to get that peanut butter off. A little flour also can work, but it's messier for you. Plus, the peanut butter tends to disguise the human scent you leave on the trap.

Ello said...

ARGH!!!!! I hate mice!

FYI - you and my kids. We had a mouse caught in a glue trap at the hotel room we were staying in and the girls were all upset because it was so "cute" I was like "kill it, KILL IT!!!!!"

Laurel said...

Tell the RM to be grateful it's a mouse and not a rat. And I'm with you...they are kind of cute. Smelly, messy, and disproportionately noisy but cute. And remarkably clever for creatures with brains the size of marbles.

Ello! That is too funny. We caught a rat (vile, and HUGE) with a sticky trap in our newlywed days. That Boy I Married and I just looked at each other with the same question in our eyes. "Crap. Now what do we do?" Neither one of us had the heart to kill the beastie.

So that dear boy took him to the dumpster, peeled him off that trap, and left him in the hopes that he would find the dumpster more to his liking. And then the boy rinsed off in the highest octane alcohol solution we could find.

Deb Salisbury said...

I found a mouse in my pantry one day. He was scooting up the inside corner like a rock climber. He could just manage the 14" between shelves.

I could only stand and watch in amazement. Later, the cat caught him. Bless the cat. I couldn't hurt the little monster. He was too cute.

Whirlochre said...

Keep writing all of this down.

Play mouse-friendly music, put down mice-friendly food.

Put up posters round the skirting board: More Mice Needed.

When they arrive, train them to sing and dance.

Build them a stage.

Tell them, 'guys, this is the Big One'

Then call Disney.

Lydia Sharp said...

Get a cat. End of problem.

JES said...

We had a mouse once in our old house. It scampered along the baseboard, almost -- almost -- out of the line of vision as we were watching TV one night. As soon as I realized what it was, I called for the two cats we had then.

"John, no, don't call them!" protested The Missus. "They'll EAT it!"

"Well, yeah---"

"No. You have to catch it, and release it in the back yard."

So began a saga the details of which I won't go into here, except to say that (a) the Humane Society would have been proud and (b) MacGyver would have fallen on his *ss laughing.

MitMoi said...

It must be the season. Rodanthy has reappeared at Chez Mit.

Alas - I have no roommate and no cat. I shall have to call the pest-people cause I cannot imagine the emotional scaring from watching something writhe in gelatinous goop - nor listen to the guillotine snap of a traditional trap.

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

You could just scream really loud the next time it appears. You might scare it to death.

This literally happened with someone my parents knew at one time.

jjdebenedictis said...

Bait the mousetraps with either peanut butter or bacon. It would work on Elvis; it will work on Antonio.

Sara J. Henry said...

I, too, have a soft spot in my heart for mice - they are adorable, but left alone proliferate alarmingly. I have a live trap that I bait with peanut butter. And then photograph the little critters before turning them loose.

You do need to take them quite some distance from the house, however, or they scurry right back in.

writtenwyrdd said...

Get a live trap like a tin cat (yes, that's the name of it) and bait it with something totally yummy. Then you can release Sylvester Antonio sans guilt.

Sarah Laurenson said...

You need a cat.

Diana said...

When we first moved into our house, we had many intelligent mice who made a hobby out of springing our traps and running away, chuckling at our stupidity.

We finally found a trap that has proven to be the most helpful (it is a humane trap, so in your case, you may need to call an exterminator if you don't want to deal with driving him out into the country):

And the best bait we've ever found?


Haste yee back ;-) said...

living in CA, we had many Gophers -but one stands out! I swear s/he was MENSA material... and he cost us $2,000.00 in yard work. (actually, I cost us $2,000 because s/he was so adroit and resourceful, I relished the fight)!

The chase was immensely interesting. I pursued for a month plus and did everything I could think of to hasten his/her demise... made special tools, traps, sound gear, and of course I used all the usual means and came away with... zippo!

I once, (at 2 A.M.), stood at our open kitchen window and heard him/her chewing the roots of a newly planted rose bush. Wearing nothing but my jockies, I high-stepped it out the front door and stood over the swaying, shaking rose petals as "jaws" blithely continued dinning. I was completely humbled by his/her cheekiness!

So, I cheated. I refuse to tell you how because it's embarrassing. But it was a sad day because I knew, in my heart, I initiated his/her dispatch in a unworthy way, at least *unworthy* with regard to the rules of our war... as understood by me alone.

Boca Grande, I salute you to this day, and I apologize!

Haste yee back ;-

s.w. vaughn said...

Sylvester Antonio and my office mouse would get along great. :-)

At least it's not a possum *shudder*. We had one of those in our basement a few months ago. I still have nightmares.

Sarita said...

I'm not sure if I could kill a mouse in a trap. On the other hand, I don't think I would be upset about one of my cats eating a mouse, unless they got blood on the carpet.

Ebony McKenna. said...

Oh no, you gave it a name! Now you'll never be able to kill it!!!

I once lived in a granny flat out up a cold mountain (well, a small hill compared to your big mountains in the states). Mice everywhere.

Someone told me 'set the traps with sultanas or raisins'. They are super sticky and the mice can't get them off.

I had traps going off all night and lots of cleaning up in the morning, but the mice got the message.

Or, as others have said, get a cat.

Kate said...

I second peanut butter as bait. This has worked every time for me.

Pamala Knight said...

Not only have you named your kitchen mouse, you're actually PROUD of him and his clever hind legs, lol.

Poor RM--he doesn't stand a chance against that kind of charm. I hope that Sylvester Antonio returns your love and admiration but moves away to a more rodent friendly environment soon.

Miriam S.Forster said...

You think mice are bad, try gerbils.

Suffice it to say that we had two gerbils loose in our house when I was younger. They were too fast to catch and for some inexplicable reason our THREE CATS didn't think they smelled like mouse.

A gerbil sitting in the corner of the living room laughing at you as the cat walks by is the very definition of cheeky.

fg said...

You can buy sticky boards which you place on a likely 'mouse paths'. The mouses feet stick but you should not leave them stuck there for too long as otherwise mice (and rats) tend to eat through their ankles to get away.

I prefer the old fashioned cat option.

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

My cat leaves them for me as gifts.

Ann Victor said...

(said in a small voice) yay for Sylvester Antonio!

Anonymous said...

I also have had good success with peanut butter. But I have had the mice clean the peanut butter off the trap without setting the trap off. So then I tied thread to the trap and put the peanut butter around the thread. Works great.

I hate mice.


BuffySquirrel said...

Getting a cat to deal with the mice works well at first. Plenty of dead mice.

Then the cat starts bringing mice into the house from outside. And sometimes they get away.

Sooner or later you end up back where you started. Except now you have a cat.

moonrat said...

right now, we have some traps with peanut butter, some with bacon fat, which we heard is fool-proof. well, sylvester antonio ain't no fool, apparently.

Jude said...

The most successful trap I have ever used is this one:

Works fast, you can release the mouse unharmed with a good meal in its tummy (a mile or more away is good), and no torturing or maiming the poor thing with poison or glue traps or snap traps. *shudder*

WendyCinNYC said...

The only thing that works for me to get rid of mice is my dog. He doesn't even have to chase them--they just steer clear when he's in the apartment. If we travel for a while, the mice always come back, laughing at our silly little glue traps. (Seriously, I've seen them go around the traps. They're smart, those mice.)

Cats work equally well.

Alina said...

We had a mouse even Orkin couldn't catch. So my husband ordered a "Rat Zapper". When it arrived he unpacked it, baited it, and set it up in the path we new the critter seemed to follow. He walked away. Two minutes later we both heard a "zzzt". Poor mousie. We've used it to catch one other wily mouse since (and I'm sure we'll have other opportunities to use it in the future as we live in the country where all the city mice apparently get chauffeured).

Anyway, that rat zapper really works!

Melanie Avila said...

My senior year of college we knew we had mice, but as we were three girls and thought it was cute, we didn't do anything about it until we caught one trying to pull a HUGE cookie through the opening in the top of the stove. It was stuck vertically in the coils and he was tugging and tugging, with no success.

When we finally set traps we caught over a dozen in a couple days. Poor things.

Ulysses said...

"...use his *back legs* to shimmy up the space between the wall and the oven!... All the while noshing on the tasty morsel he gripped in his front legs and winking at me."

Yeah. I got a brother-in-law does the same thing. Hitting him with a broom don't help none, either, and it's hard on the broom.

writtenwyrdd said...

I've got to say, that dogs and mice can be less than useful. My sheltie/poodle cross used to let our resident mouse eat his kibble out of his dog bowl...while the dog was eating, too!

Our pug, now, he goes for mice when we are out on a walk. Catches them occasionally, too, which is discouraged!

John said...

Any day now, the voles will come in from outside. My dog is half Jack Russel, so he should be great at hunting them, but he...well, he just isn't. And he will set off the traps we leave for the little mini-moles. It's a pretty vicious battle.

Yaya' s Changing World said...

I laughed so hard when I read this post. I could 'See' every maneuvering little connivance Sylvester Antonio enacted against you.
You are a very good writer. I look forward to reading more of your blog, as I just discovered it today.
I do have one request; you titled this post, "Update on Sylvester Antonio... "
That would indicate there have been other posts about this subject and my curiosity is driving me nuts. Is there a way to put all of your posts about Sylvester into one section? I hope so.
Great blog! - Yaya

moonrat said...

Yaya--ha! glad to be of service.

Not much about Sylvester Antonio, but I did introduce him here, in this "seven things about me" meme

Miriam S.Forster said...

Usually I don't post so late on a thread, but I thought you'd enjoy this.