WAM

A young husband and his wife awakened from their slumber at 3 AM when their cat bounded up and onto the middle of the bed. Once the cat had their attention, she sat up straight and proud, anxious to show her owners the mouse between her teeth.

That’s called a WAM (Wide Awake Moment). Believe me, it did not take Cat long to realize that her presence was neither welcome nor appreciated.

I’m not certain which would be worse. A cat on my bed with a mouse dangling from her mouth? A cat leaving a half dead, bleeding mouse on my bed? Or, waking to a very much alive mouse running all over my bed?

Given those choices, I choose none.

However, a mouse-toting cat that jumps on and then off a bed makes for a long night of playing “Catch the Cat.” When the cat is not cornered, the focus changes to find where the cat left the mouse after she grew tired of him.

Oh, what a night.

I do not like mice. Oh, I’m OK with Jerry from “Tom and Jerry.” And, 33 years after the release of An American Tail, my heart still softens every time I hear Fievel sing, “Somewhere Out There.”

That being said, I’ll clarify my former statement. Cartoon mice are fine by me, but I draw the line at furry mice—dead or alive.

“Surely, you mean rats, not mice?” you say.

I loathe rats and bats. Both put my heart in panic mode. I don’t fear mice, but the sight of them in my space gives me the willies. They would feel the same way about me, I’m sure, if they discovered me nibbling crumbs in their underground burrow.

When Gary, my main squeeze, said, “I do,” he signed on as husband, father, bat slayer, snake be-header, and mouse-catcher. Until last fall when my go-to guy was out of town, I had never set a mousetrap.

I’ll bet you didn’t know there are YouTube videos that demonstrate how to set mousetraps. Trust me, it’s worth saving a finger or three to watch one.

Not long ago, a young woman and her boyfriend hosted their first dinner party. While their guests mingled in the family room, they slipped into the kitchen to check food warming in the oven.

On top of the stove to greet them sat a fat, little mouse. If I placed a bet—I won’t, but if I did—I’d wager that the furry rodent was smiling.

They caught the not-so-fast mouse on a sticky trap and then felt sad for him. This is where the couple and I part mindsets.

What did they do? They googled, “How to Remove a Mouse from a Sticky Trap.”

Not kidding.

Google said, and I quote:

1) Protect yourself with gloves.

2) Place mouse and trap inside a container.

3) Cover the mouse with a towel (because we all keep tiny mouse towels on hand).

4) Pour vegetable oil on the trap (not on the mouse).

5) Free the mouse.

6) Wipe off excess oil (“Here, little mouse, let me towel you dry.” Uh huh).

7) Give the mouse time to rest (on the miniature cot we keep for him).

AND…

8) Call a wildlife rehabilitator or a veterinarian.

I live with the veterinarian, and it would never cross my mind to call my husband about the mouse I would not consider saving from the trap I used to catch him.

But, then, I am not the sweet dinner party host and hostess who followed Google’s instructions and freed the pint-sized pest (that will return). They are much more humane and caring than I will ever be when it comes to a mouse in my bed, on my stove, or anywhere else in my house.

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