We live in a 104-year-old house, which means we have to deal with the maintenance issues that go along with owning a money pit. (Most of you who know me won’t be surprised that among my favorite television shows are “Love it or List it,” “Property Brothers,” and “Rehab Addict.) We have lived in this house almost 14 years, so we’ve also had a bit of experience with mice — four, to be exact.
The first two made their appearances soon after we moved in. We heard them at night, and we set traps; the mice were smarter than the humans, though: They never took the bait.
But at that time, we had a secret weapon: Maxine Mieux-Mieux.
Maxine, our black cat, found the critters at night. She waited patiently for us to arise in the morning; she kept watch over her prey in the kitchen, for she knew our second stop of every day was the coffee pot. Both times, she proudly stood over the dead mouse, and we properly praised her and gave her a breakfast of her beloved Fancy Feast. (Of course, she ate better food; but after a long night of mouse-catching, the cat deserved her junk food.)
Word got out in the mice community that there was a vicious cat at the Kennedy Compound, and we had no more problems.
But Maxine Mieux-Mieux died late last January at age 19 1/2 years old.
About a month ago, our Chihuahua-pug mix, Goldilocks, started stalking something in our pantry. She was so intent that I often had to shoo her out of the room just to get her to eat.
Last week, Joey and I were enjoying a quiet evening in our living room when Goldie ran into the room and jumped onto the sofa. I could see something in her mouth, but I thought it was a leaf or a piece of cellophane. She looked at me, then dropped the object; I saw that it was moving. She grabbed it, then dropped it again. This time, I saw a tail: It was a mouse — and it was still alive! It was so tiny that it fell into one of the tufts on the sofa and couldn’t get out. Joey took over, and disposed of the critter. (I don’t know whether it was a humane disposal; all I know is I wanted the thing out of my house.)
We praised and praised and praised Goldie. We gave her a treat. And we praised her some more. Our 17-pound “problem child” had become our heroine.
Then, last night, Goldie jumped at something in the pantry, grabbed it in her mouth, and took off for her favorite spot on the sofa. This time, this mouse was dead; she had killed it with one chomp.
Again, more praise and more treats for our Goldilocks.
I’m thinking the word is getting out that the vicious cat has been replaced by a vicious chug. At least, I hope this means the last of our mice adventures for awhile.