The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Farewell Ninja Mouse

I’m a killer. Not the pathologically homicidial kind found on “Criminal Minds”, nor am I the quasi-accidental kind from “How To Get Away with Murder”.

No, I am a killer of mice.

“Why is there a dead mouse outside,” my wife asked as she headed off for a run.

“I’m leaving him there as a warning to all other mice,” I informed. I think her only reply to that was, Gross, but I can’t be sure.

It hasn’t always been this way.Β I’ve often given the mice plenty of chances.

Time was if they invaded my home I would hunt, catch and release them. This typically involved my apex predator hunting buddy, a cat named Butterscotch, a broom, a stainless steel waste basket and a piece of cardboard.

In his day Butterscotch could be counted on to instinctively follow my lead. Sadly though he has passed and so have my patience with the hunt. We were like highly trained Navy Seals working in tandem exchanging wordless cues using eye movement, hand signals and body language. Butterscotch is gone and his brother is well, to put it nicely, frigging useless which leaves me without a hunting buddy.

As a result I’ve resorted to going old school. That means traps. At first I tried the humane traps. I think they call these things humane not because the traps are “no kill” but because the result is I’m often just feeding snacks to the mice. Other people may have luck with these traps but not me.

These rodents that have taken over my garage and occasionally infiltrate the kitchen and basement. An exterminator put down poison bait traps. Basically this is a little plastic housing containing a bait block. The mice eat the bait and leave the “trap” or they take the bait back to their nest and then *poof* — they die. The bait is a blood thinner which essentially liquifies them from the inside.

“The great thing about this,” the exterminator told me, “is that they can die in the walls and you don’t have that smell.”


“Dead mouse smell.”

Oh. Ok.

I couldn’t tell you if those things worked because you never find a body. For some that might be comforting… Not for me. I need to know. Need to know the little bastards got “got”. I also think that one should have to look their victim in its lifeless beady eyes to feel the full weight of removing her (or him) from this Circle of Life.

Now I lean toward old school mouse traps, the kind that look like something out of a depression era Stooges short, the kind that if you’re not careful will bite your fingers off.

In May we had a yard sale and that meant one thing — clean the garage. Anything not used in a year or two was dusted off and given a price tag. The downside was finding mice droppings.

I went on the offensive deploying four of the old-style guillotine wooden style traps baited with peanut butter as well as one of a newer high-tech design that does the same job but is easier to set.

Within days I caught two big field mice. Two days after that I caught a baby. That’s when I realized — I killed its parents. Over the next week the traps caught two more. That had to be the last of them, I thought, but baited the traps anyway just to be on the safe side.

Suddenly, the traps were empty.

And I don’t just Β mean empty of mice, which they were, I mean of peanut butter. In my garage was at least one mouse so stealthy, so agile that he (or she) was capable of eating this hair-trigger death traps clean of any peanut butter. Could this be? Who trained this mouse? Had he honed this skills absent mother, father and siblings? A rogue mouse of his ilk must be stopped, for what if he dared share these trap defying techniques with other mice, or even chipmunks? The result would be anarchy!

I declared war on this Ninja-mouse.

Well, war in this case meant re-stocking each trap repeatedly with Skippy Natural peanut butter which my wife pointed out only seemed to result in me feeding more expensive peanut butter to the stealthy bastard.

Until Friday of last week.

Then, coming home from some errand or another, bending down to pick up something dropped, I saw it: the tiniest of mice clapped on the head by a spring loaded plastic hammer.

Poor guy. He was only a baby. Which explains how he was able to eat so much peanut butter without tripping up. Eventually his drive for the old PB was his undoing. He should have quit while he was ahead but nature can be reckless.

Later this afternoon I will carry his limp grey body to the shady spot where the shallow grave beneath the forsythia holds his relations.

I will cast a glare to the woods and lawn as if to warn any others watching that the fate which befell such a stealthy Ninja-mouse will also be their fate, as few possess his skills. Silently I will bow my head and acknowledge his worthiness as an adversary.

Adieu, Ninja-mouse. Adieu.Β 

Updated: June 22, 2017 — 9:04 am


  1. I.HATE.MICE. I have not seen one in our house, thank goodness. My husband says there have been some in the garage, which he befriends (UGGGH). I think we have too many cats in the hood for them to last long around here as my husband also says the cats leave him presents. YUCK.

    1. Outdoor cats love to do that. I can’t fault your husband for liking the mice, they can be kind of cute. However the mess they make… not so much.

  2. Oh my goodness. I don’t know if I’m impressed or shocked!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. Both response are acceptable and alright with me…

  3. I’m still smelling remnants of a dead mouse some where in our house. Three damn dogs and a duct cleaner couldn’t find the little bastard either!

    1. What good are the professionals (dog included) when they can’t do their jobs!

  4. I leave the killing of mice to my husband. Not something I want to deal with at all. But don’t you now have cute kittens to train in the mouse hunt?

    1. I am certain that the female will be the huntress. I plan to encourage that trait.

  5. My parents found they were partial to Mars Bars too! RIP ninja mouse!

    1. They love chocolate. A couple years back I found a partially eaten tin of baked Christmas cookies and the only thing the mice devoured were the Hershey’s Kisses.

      1. Lol! They have taste then!

  6. Awwww. Poor little guy! But I must admit I feel the same way about mice that I feel about spiders and even plants. If they’re outside, fine. Indoors? We’ve got a problem.

    1. Yes, it is a bit sad to see them go. But having them close to where we keep clothes, shoes and food is gross.

  7. we salute you, brave defender of the home

  8. After spending quite some time on your blog today and going fascinated through your abouts, I’ve come to the conclusion, that you have got always a little ‘topper’ hidden somewhere.. so so, a punker you are! But what I actually wanted to say: I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award, and so are you πŸ™‚ I have nominated you:

    1. Thanks Claudia. We appreciate the acknowledgement.

  9. I’ve been fortunate and never had mice in the house. I don’t think I could face the little creature in a mousetrap. Lol😊

    1. Please knock wood as you say that. The first time you see one in a trap it is unsettling but after numerous occasions you get less bothered. I for one do not know if that is a good thing or bad thing…

  10. Luckily we don’t have to kill any mice ourselves, we have four cats to do that. Only problem is, they insist on showing us how clever they have been, before noisily eating everthing but the liver and kidney.

    1. Gross. But then again, as you point out that is their job. Why don’t they eat the liver and kidneys, I wonder?

  11. But you have 2 kittens—they should be doing your dirty work!!!

    1. Yea, well they’re all about food and naps right now… not unlike most teenagers…

  12. Should I even mention that my husband and I JUST came back from releasing 2 squirrels that we live trapped? 12 miles away. Yep, I’m crazy.

    1. Those squirrels are on your porch right now wearing t-shirts that say, “Got dropped in the middle of no-where and all I have is this stupid shirt”. Also, those acorns you think are dropping are actually being thrown. Squirrels are a crafty lot.

  13. Not a fan of mice either but then I kind of felt bad for ninja mouse! LOL

    1. As you can tell I sort of felt bad too. When they’re not ducking for cover in my living room they are kinda cute…

  14. I hate rodents! But now feel a bit sorry for ninja mouse. I agree about humane traps – definitely just feeding snacks to the mice!

    1. Glad I’m not alone in thinking that. Thanks for reading.

  15. Hahaha oh my goodness…MY Tony and I were literally just discussing this earlier today – the turmoil of loving mice, but having to end them.

    Our “neighbor” doesn’t actually live in his house – he’s just been “working on it” for four years…which means the house is overrun by rodents,which he chases our way on the rare occasion he is actually over there doing work. I love mice, but not in my house. You come on my property, you’re waging war. And while I’m sorry for the bloodshed, I’m left with no other choice…

    1. Battle lines need to be drawn. That situation with your neighbors house really sucks. Maybe he needs to “work” a little harder before you unleash some feral cats his way…

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