Can You Guess What I Found Inside My Dishwasher?
My dog was behaving funny, sniffing back and forth behind the fridge. Before I could ponder why, a little grey mouse scurried out and dashed for the dining room! “There’s a MOUSE in the house!”, I shouted to my husband. We did a stakeout, a full lockdown, a chair barricade and a rodent raid, but could not find the offending critter. We turned on the tv and hoped that the mouse would go away on its own. There was a rustling in our garbage bag, but the mouse dashed off before it could be caught.
“I think I’ll call the mouse Nikolai Alexi.”, I told my husband dreamily. It seemed a fitting name for a brave, dashing mouse.
The evening continued in the same vein, with me half-watching tv, half listening for Nikolai. I suddenly heard the pitter patter of little mouse feet in my kitchen. I jumped up, and the mouse darted behind the oven. And then I saw it: little brown pieces of “rice” on my kitchen counter! This was not rice! My house had been violated! “We need to buy mouse traps right away! Humane traps so we can set Nikolai Alexi free in the wild!” My husband had an idea that had to do with the mouse meeting a broom, but we went with my idea instead.
The humane mouse traps didn’t catch anything except the $20 we spent on them. Nikolai Alexi was getting bolder, and he seemed to always be in two places at once. I was finding mouse poo regularly in my kitchen. After searching for tips on the internet, I changed my bait from Swiss cheese to peanut butter. Nikolai was not biting. I begged my husband to embrace the humane way of catching the mouse.
I rinsed a glass and put it into my locked dishwashing machine. What? Was that brown rice at the bottom of the dishwasher too? I looked more closely, and I thought I saw a small grey tail disappear into the drain hole at the bottom of the machine! “We’re buying new mouse traps TONIGHT!”, I shrilled, completely grossed out by a dirty rodent living in my dishwasher! I disinfected the dishwashing machine thoroughly and ran it for 3 very long, hot cycles.
We set up one wood spring-loaded mouse trap that night, just like the ones you see in cartoons. The two-pack was much cheaper than even one humane trap. I put peanut butter on the trigger. The next morning I came downstairs filled with dread, for fear that Nikolai Alexi would be dead in the trap. There was no mouse, but the trap had been licked clean. On advice, we set two traps against the walls where a mouse would usually run. We hid one behind the fridge, and the second behind the oven, casting our net wide.
The next morning, I peered behind the oven and saw that the trap had been disturbed, and it was now upside down. I took a broom handle and retrieved it. There inside the trap was Nikolai Alexi, no longer a brave, dashing mouse. Not usually a woman of tears, I began to cry for poor dead Nikolai, and also out of relief that the menace was now gone from my kitchen. Nikolai looked much smaller than I had envisioned him to be. We dropped the mouse and trap pair in the garbage and put it outside.
The mouse had been caught, so I was about to throw out the second, undisturbed trap. What stopped me, was the sage advice I received from my Mom: “Where there’s one mouse, there’s likely to be others!” Could it be that Nikolai Alexi had not been acting alone?
Can you guess it? The very next morning the second mouse trap was also occupied by a mouse looking exactly like Nikolai Alexi! Was it a brother, a sister, an auntie? I just could not tell with the strong family resemblance. They both had a grey back and a white tummy. In lieu of the infestation, no more tears were shed by me. This was war!
I unlocked my pristinely sanitized dishwasher, and there was more mouse poo at the bottom! I removed every dish and glass from its inner sanctum, and replaced the dishware with 2 more mouse traps laced with peanut butter. We had just tucked ourselves into bed, when I heard the SNAP! of a mousetrap. It was surprisingly loud through the locked dishwasher door. I felt sick to my stomach fishing out the dead mouse from my beautiful dishwasher! Yes, you counted right, a 3rd mouse in my house, er, dishwasher!
Not 30 minutes later, there was another audible SNAP! The 4th mouse made me sad, as it was the only baby among all the mice, and it had cute little ears, a tiny pink nose and whiskers. We did another round of traps in the dishwasher, and also caught mouse #5 and #6. I had one more trap, and set it up. Days passed, and there was not so much as a nibble at the peanut butter on the trap. Once again I followed my Mom’s advice: “No harm to keep the trap out for another week, just to be sure you’ve caught the last one.” I was a little skeptical, as there were no more signs of mice in the house.
It was the fourteenth day and I was just about to take down the last mouse trap. The house had been lovingly swept, there was no food or garbage within a mouse’s reach, and no more brown rice in the dishwasher. And there it was in the trap, unlucky mouse #7! How had all the mice gotten into a sealed dishwasher? I guess the mystery must have died with the mice, and Nikolai Alexi took the secret to his grave.
This article was written by me, Jenna Em, and appears in the Wednesday October 30th, 2012 issue of the Kuklamoo blog.