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Off the cuff: A real game of cat and mouse

There’s a mouse in my house. And the little furry critter is getting the best of me. For the past three days I’ve reverted to Cave Man mode — I am a hunter, determined to wipe this mouse off the face of the planet. And so far, after mousetraps, bait, sonic noise and chasing it with a frying pan, the scoreline is still Mouse 1 Man 0. It all started on Friday. At least that was the first visual confirmation. Come to think of it, I may have heard scratching noises for several days before hand but I just thought it was the gale winds whipping in off the Irish Sea and blowing through the eves. It wasn’t. It was the first indication that there was a mouse in the house. On Friday, however, this monster made its appearance, darting across the kitchen countertop. I was sitting at my computer and thought I saw movement. Nothing at first, so I thought I must be seeing things or just imagined it. The mind does that you know, play tricks. But sure enough, a few minutes later, as bold and as brazen as you like, I see my hairy adversary scurrying along the counter behind the coffee pot and the toaster. I’m up out of the chair and arm myself with a pot that’s been sitting on the draining board beside the sink and I’m frantically pushing things aside ready to skull it with my saucepan. Sure I might as well be hunting for Osama Bin Laden or the like. It’s way too quick, darting around, leaving me looking like a madman in my own kitchen, flailing away with my pot. Absolutely potty indeed. So, then I put on the coat and went out to the local store. “Any mousetraps?” I ask the girl behind the counter. All sold out, comes the reply. Off to the next store. more off the cuff from the writer For better or worse, in sickness or health The first day of the rest of their lives Off the cuff — Hair today and gone tomorrow Watching the clock and the passage of time “Any mousetraps?” I ask the stout middle-aged woman behind the counter. All sold out comes the reply. “Everyone in the town has been looking for mousetraps this past week,” she says. “The weather’s turned cold. They’re all heading inside for the winter.” Inside for the winter? This little critter could be my unwanted lodger for the winter? Spring’s five months away and by then it might get used to the place and not want to leave. It might even figure out how to use the three remote controls to turn the television on. Or learn the WiFi password. No, it’s war. Either he goes, or I do. Or it could be a she-mouse and have a litter and before Christmas I could be overrun by rodents. So I head into the bigger town, where the shops stay open longer and you can buy all sorts of things in bulk. Next to the garden supplies I find just what I’m looking for. I arm myself with three conventional mousetraps. And then I see a pack of three high-tech thingeys that you plug into the wall and they emit ultra-high sound waves that are guaranteed to scare off mice and other rodents. So home I go, set the mousetraps with dollops of peanut butter and strategically locate the three high-tech sonic weapons around the house. I think I must be infested with the only mouse that’s allergic to peanuts and is deaf. It’s still here. I was dashing around the kitchen again on Saturday, frying pan in hand this time as it eluded me once more. Now I’m going for all-out chemical warfare. I’ve tracked down some poisoned bait and stuffed it into the hole under the skirting board where it made its last escape. It’ll not be spending the winter with me.

There’s a mouse in my house. And the little furry critter is getting the best of me.

For the past three days I’ve reverted to Cave Man mode — I am a hunter, determined to wipe this mouse off the face of the planet. And so far, after mousetraps, bait, sonic noise and chasing it with a frying pan, the scoreline is still Mouse 1 Man 0.

It all started on Friday. At least that was the first visual confirmation. Come to think of it, I may have heard scratching noises for several days before hand but I just thought it was the gale winds whipping in off the Irish Sea and blowing through the eves.

It wasn’t. It was the first indication that there was a mouse in the house.

On Friday, however, this monster made its appearance, darting across the kitchen countertop. I was sitting at my computer and thought I saw movement.

Nothing at first, so I thought I must be seeing things or just imagined it. The mind does that you know, play tricks.

But sure enough, a few minutes later, as bold and as brazen as you like, I see my hairy adversary scurrying along the counter behind the coffee pot and the toaster. I’m up out of the chair and arm myself with a pot that’s been sitting on the draining board beside the sink and I’m frantically pushing things aside ready to skull it with my saucepan. Sure I might as well be hunting for Osama Bin Laden or the like. It’s way too quick, darting around, leaving me looking like a madman in my own kitchen, flailing away with my pot. Absolutely potty indeed.

So, then I put on the coat and went out to the local store.

“Any mousetraps?” I ask the girl behind the counter.

All sold out, comes the reply.

Off to the next store.

more off the cuff from the writer

“Any mousetraps?” I ask the stout middle-aged woman behind the counter.

All sold out comes the reply. “Everyone in the town has been looking for mousetraps this past week,” she says. “The weather’s turned cold. They’re all heading inside for the winter.”

Inside for the winter? This little critter could be my unwanted lodger for the winter? Spring’s five months away and by then it might get used to the place and not want to leave. It might even figure out how to use the three remote controls to turn the television on. Or learn the WiFi password.

No, it’s war. Either he goes, or I do. Or it could be a she-mouse and have a litter and before Christmas I could be overrun by rodents.

So I head into the bigger town, where the shops stay open longer and you can buy all sorts of things in bulk.

Next to the garden supplies I find just what I’m looking for. I arm myself with three conventional mousetraps. And then I see a pack of three high-tech thingeys that you plug into the wall and they emit ultra-high sound waves that are guaranteed to scare off mice and other rodents.

So home I go, set the mousetraps with dollops of peanut butter and strategically locate the three high-tech sonic weapons around the house.

I think I must be infested with the only mouse that’s allergic to peanuts and is deaf.

It’s still here. I was dashing around the kitchen again on Saturday, frying pan in hand this time as it eluded me once more.

Now I’m going for all-out chemical warfare. I’ve tracked down some poisoned bait and stuffed it into the hole under the skirting board where it made its last escape. It’ll not be spending the winter with me.

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