Game of cat and mouse

Your chewing, hair and 'deposits' do not belong within our four walls

DEAR Mouse,

I KNOW you can hear me, tucked away snugly down behind the dishwasher. (The mouse that is, not me.)

From that vantage point you must plot your cunning runs across the kitchen floor, timed so I get a glimpse but swift enough so as to avoid a shoe.

You unsettle me. This is not your domain. Your chewing, hair and “deposits” do not belong within our four walls, you spreader of disease.

You are a sign of a lack of control within my own house. Who knows what you get up to when the lights are off.

In stopping to ponder your situation, I find it curious that illustrators and cartoonists have over the years selectively chosen the traits to base adorable and marketable characters on.

For instance, the classic Disney animated film Fantasia would hardly have been the same if Mickey was shown stopping to defecate during the Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene.

Nor would it have warmed children’s hearts to see Tom break down with leptospirosis from having lived in close quarters to Jerry.

If such scenarios had played out during my childhood, perhaps now I would be able to take more extreme measures to eradicate you.

In all fairness, I admire your deft touch. You certainly have a skill for removing the bait, be it cheese, a date, sultana, chocolate or pumpkin seed, from a loaded mousetrap without setting it off.

Jewel thieves around the world would be jealous of such light handedness.

I assume the phrase “cat burglar” must really stick in your craw.

There is another factor which plays in your survival favour.

You’re a vertebrate. You’ve got a backbone and skeleton. This makes it just a little bit harder to be rid of you as opposed to other pests.

A fly - sure, swat them every week with deadeye accuracy. A cockroach - no problem; the crunch is music to my ears.

But disposing of something that is so proportionately cute brings me to a bridge I find hard to cross.

Even if you were to scuttle out, sit up and stare at me in slow motion, I doubt whether I’d have the ability stomp on you.

Instead, I leave that task to the wire frame of the mousetrap which may as well be made entirely of jelly, such is its effectiveness so far.

So, dear mouse, I entrust you will consider these points I raise and move on.

Now help yourself to another bit of this greeny-blue block I’ve so kindly left out for you to gnaw at.

The Iceberg LettersDear readers - the majority of an iceberg sits below the surface, and it may just take one special letter to see what else lurks under the tip of a topic.


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