A Texas Rose in a Spanish Garden

Mouse Removal not Extermination

Eek! There’s a mouse in the house, or maybe more. I hear tiny footsteps, the pitter patter of nasty little filthy feet. I am not willing to live and let be. But pest control is not my forte. I will need some help. I have no idea what they do in Spain. With different laws regulating the practice, who knows what terrible toxin could be released in my house. Sure, it would slay the mice, but it might also get me. There are no laws that I know banning the heaviest of sprays and repellents.

So I want to get rid of a mouse, not conventional extermination. Do you remember the old days when they had actual metal spring traps? The stereotype is that you put a tasty morsel of cheese on one end to attract the witless critter. He would go for a bite and instantly a leg or tail would be caught in the trap. He would meet an inglorious end. But then you had to dispose of the carcass somehow.

I think it is more humane now. Traps catch live animals so they can be recycled, i.e., sent out into nature to a place where they belong. (Where is that by the way?). They can go into the sewer for all I know and join up with their brother rats. My Spanish is good enough to ask questions, but I’m not sure I want to find out any gory details if they are not spared in the process of pest elimination.

This is going to have to happen soon as it is just plain unsanitary. As I ponder what to do, I have an “aha” experience. The neighborhood stray cat! This cat comes around regularly for some water and an occasional meal of leftovers or kibble if I have any on hand. I could provide a fat juicy mouse as an enticing entrée. To the inferno with saving the dreaded creature. It is too much trouble to take him in a cage to an unknown destination. Guilt would probably destroy me in the process.

I will have to plan this out carefully. I need to see the mouse in front of me while simultaneously attracting the cat. It should be during his normal supper time. When is that? Too many issues here to work out, too many doubtful details. Nonetheless, I am going to do it. I will get some canned food since it smells the minute you open it. I will open the front door and put it on the ledge of the steps. Once the cat is in the vicinity, I will move the bowl into the house. There his eagle eyes should do the rest of the work.

One week later: I am happy to report that the plan worked. The cat came into the house unafraid as he had been there before. He ate his small supper and was still no doubt hungry for more. I petted him gently and waited for the mouse. About an hour into the shenanigans, the little fellow appeared. The cat and I had been lulled into a post-repast slumber, so we were pretty quiet. As the mouse scurried across the kitchen floor, one cat eye snapped open, followed by the other. He was on alert!

It was almost a Spanish standoff. The two animals facing one another, but one with delight and one in fear. The cat was the quicker and avidly snatched the mouse between his sharp teeth. They were made for this kind of adventure. Frankly, I didn’t want to look too closely as the cat trotted to the front door, gave me a fleeting glance, and was off into the distance.

I will imagine here that he let the mouse go and did me a real favor. I will not imagine the alternative, nor do I care. I solved my problem of pest control without internal extermination using chemicals and traps. I can’t say I am proud, disappointed, or disheartened. I can say I am glad that the mouse is gone.