Felix the Mouse

8 07 2017

My employer leases the entire second floor of our building. According to the building management’s janitorial staff, our downstairs neighbors are slobs who have so much food lying around the office it looks like the aftermath of a dormitory food fight. So, it was just a matter of time before we began to see signs of mice infestation.

 

Way back on March 29th, while working at my desk, I had a sudden hankering for something sweet-a piece of chocolate would be perfect. So, I walked to the kitchen at my office to see what was in the community snack basket. Only the day before, it had been filled with miniature Kit Kats, miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Tootsie Rolls. To my dismay, I looked inside and saw all the way to the bottom. But, I was in luck-there were two miniature peanut butter cups left. But then, I noticed the peanut butter cups weren’t the only prizes inside the basket. Whoa! There were more mouse droppings than peanut butter cups down there. I suddenly lost my craving for sugar and decided to take a pass on the peanut butter cups.

 

The very next day, I came into the office, opened my desk drawer and saw the unmistakable evidence of a mouse. I had a pack of Toasty crackers with peanut butter in my desk and the little varmint had chewed into the package and eaten half a cracker. He had also pulled about half the tissues out of a new box of Kleenex. There was also about a half-pound of mouse poop inside my desk drawer-he must have been eating someone else’s crackers, too. And he hadn’t been in only the one drawer; he had been in every drawer-he left a trail of black “rice” in every drawer. There was enough poop to fertilize a corn field. How on earth can something so small put out so much crap?

 

So, they called the exterminator, who came in and left several traps scattered around the building-6 in my office alone. But in spite of all the traps, he continued to frequent my office. He would come in, crap on top of the traps and make the rounds. And although mine isn’t the only office he would visit, it did seem to be his favorite.

 

This cat and mouse game-no pun intended-went on for several weeks so I finally decided to give him a name.

Such a neat-nik

At first, I named him Jerome (Jerry for short), but after considerable thought and studying one of the pictures, I decided Felix (of Odd Couple fame) would be more appropriate. In one picture, he had opened and eaten half a chocolate chip cookie. I noticed he moved all the wrappings to one side, away from where he was chowing down.

 

Well, I got tired of coming into the office only to find empty traps. I especially got tired of having to dump my desk drawers so I could wipe everything down with Clorox wipes. I decided to take matters in my own hands.

 

I took one of the traps set out by the exterminator, baited it with crackers and Chips Ahoy cookies and then placed it in his favorite drawer. The first morning after setting the trap- nothing. But the cookies were too much for him to resist. On day three, I came into my office, opened the drawer and tally ho! I got the little critter!

 

So, they called the exterminator to come and get their trap along with its contents. Thank goodness for the long holiday weekend. It’s given me time to adjust to life without Felix. The adventure ends.

Got ’em!!

 

He’s much larger when I tell the story

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Roach or Rat?

4 10 2011

The common roach...lonlier than the Maytag repairman.

I hate roaches! They’re probably nastier than a maggot on a cow pie. When I was stationed on Sand Island at Johnston atoll in the Pacific, it was impossible for us to keep the roaches out of our rooms…I thought. I tried everything to get rid of them but with guys coming and going on a regular basis it was a losing battle-until I found the secret.

 

It was the spring of 1973 and I went into the bathroom one morning to get ready for the day. I kept my toothbrush in a plastic toothbrush holder with an air vent hole on each end. As I stood at the sink brushing my teeth, I happened to look down and saw about 10 tiny roaches crawling around on the shelf in front of me. I knew they weren’t there before so where did they come from? I looked inside my toothbrush holder and saw an empty roach egg case. The little boogers were using my toothbrush holder for a roach motel. Well, that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I had to do something.

 

"Yech!"

Later, I got an empty coffee can and made a trap. That night, after everyone had gone to bed, I took my homemade trap into the mess hall where I knew there were several families of mice living. I planned to take the liberty of catching one and releasing him into my room in hopes he would rid me of the roaches. I figured with all the mice living in the mess hall, they wouldn’t miss just one. Plus, that would be one less mouse to contaminate our food supply.

 

Enter Mighty Mouse!

It wasn’t long after I set my trap that I had a catch, so, I took my new pet back to my room where I let him out of the trap. He

"Here I come to save the day!"

immediately disappeared behind my locker and I would see him from time to time crawling along the floor or peeking from behind my book shelves. I tore up bits of paper and left that, along with Styrofoam peanuts, around for him to take behind my locker where he built a nest. I soon noticed that I was no longer seeing roaches-not a one! For all I knew, he could be climbing up onto my bed at night and sleeping under the covers with me, but because he seemed to eradicate the roaches, I decided he could stay. Since he had eaten or run off his food source, to make sure he didn’t run out on me, I would occasionally bring in a dab of peanut butter on a cracker or a chunk of cheese and leave it on the floor by the locker for him to find.

 

Eventually, I decided if we were going to be roomies then he should have a name. Not sure how to determine if he was a boy mouse or a girl mouse, I decided he must be a boy because he was such a slob. I would find mouse crap on the floor and on my book shelves behind the books. He seemed to be fond of bananas so I decided to call him Elvis.

 

"How 'bout a hunka, hunka cheese?"

Thank Ya, Elvis, Thank ya Very Much!

When I went hunting for a mouse to release into my roach-infested room, I had no idea if he would be able to get rid of the roaches. I don’t even know what made me think to try it. What I do know is that for the remainder of my tour on Johnston Island, Elvis and I got along just fine. But the best part was…NO MORE ROACHES!  Perhaps instead of naming my mighty-mouse Elvis, I should have named him Orkin!