Sunday, March 4, 2018


Apparently it's pretty easy to get into my drawers, but I think you already knew that.

Jon, why don't you move way out into the countryside - away from trouble and stress? It'll be fun!

That was me talking to myself a few years ago.


That's the sound of me kicking my ass today. 
If an ass is kicked in the forest and nobody's there, does it still make a sound? (don't ponder that for too long - you might hear something).

All right. Let's cut to the chase.

It's no secret that I've been having problems with wild animals ever since I first moved here. 
Squirrels are in the roof. Unknown creatures are under the house.
I've had two (TWO - count 'em) 'possums inside the house (I've done blog posts about those adventures). 

And then there are mice.
My cat Scruffy deposited a dead mouse in my bed once. Right by my pillow.
A few nights ago Bosco killed a mouse and (thankfully) left it by the front door.

I grew apprehensive- to say the least- when I recently heard post-midnight scratching noises in one of my desks.
It's a small desk that my parents bought for me when I was about fourteen. I've kept it for sentimental reasons.

Yesterday, in the safety of daylight, I cautiously opened a drawer - already knowing what I was going to find.

Sure enough, there were not only mouse "droppings", but the little bastards had started eating some of my file folders!!!

mouse droppings in my drawers

That was only the first drawer. The others were far worse.

They even took sporadic shits on the Easter cards that I had planned to send to friends and relatives.

Trying to look at the bright side (hahahaha), I said
"Well, at least they didn't urinate in the drawers."

That was right before I opened the lower drawer and was greeted by an odious puddle of rodent piss.

When they weren't crapping and peeing, they were obviously stockpiling cat food.

Various bits of dry cat food

They gnawed the tail off this old mechanical Easter chick, which I bought a few years ago for the cats to play with. You wind it up and it hops along the floor.

They also emptied this basket of California seashells and used it for a nest!!! I cleaned the basket and salvaged the shells.

I had initially reserved Saturday afternoon for working on some long-neglected important projects. Instead, I had to spend hours cleaning and disinfecting the desk. And I was forced to throw out many of the things that were in the drawers.

Fortunately, the mice had peed on some thick cardboard instead on the desk drawer itself. Thank God for small favors. No permanent stains.

Here's the last laugh.
In one of the drawers I found this box of Chinese stress balls.
They are a pair of silver balls that you place in the palm of your hand to relieve stress. When you move them around they make a soothing, vibrating sound.

So, here I am -
devising ways to kill the mice....
and playing with my balls.

Note: the Oscar post on my sidebar was written last year.


  1. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Now I don't mean to laugh, but the way you picture the evidence and write the story is funny as hell, and gave me a good laugh. With the amount of those shits, you best set traps with Imodium to block them up!!!!!

    And when I saw those stress balls, why did I think they were Ben-wa balls???

    Rolling balls does indeed reduce stress, who knew? My ex used to lay in bed and would roll my, huh, well "Chinese stress balls" to relax him. I thought he was doing it to start another round of sex. he got relaxed and I would get worked up. A round would happen, and then he start again after. It was a vicious cycle.

    1. Hey, I've rolled a lot of balls in my time but I still have a helluva lot of stress. Maybe I should try rolling something else.

      Delighted to know that I made you laugh. I usually manage to extract humor from bad situations. My life seems to be full of laughs...

    2. Another thing I thought of. When I had three mice late fall last year when it got cold, I wondered how they got into a second floor abode. A friend suggested looking under the sink at where the pipes come in. He said I bet there is space around the pipe. There was indeed. He told me to stick steel wool around the pipe and any other holes I saw. Mice can't chew it. It worked!!!! After I caught the three mice in a no kill trap, I stuffed the holes... and have yet had any more. Just a suggestion when where they may be coming in.

    3. You're absolutely right. I have three sinks in this house and they all have spaces around the pipes. The previous owners stuffed plastic around them but I'm sure mice can chew through it. I'll have to get some steel wool. Thanks!

  2. "They even took sporadic shits on the Easter cards that I had planned to send to friends and relatives." Jon, sometimes mice can do things we are bound by consanguinty to avoid. I cannot fault them, but friends are another issue. Next trip into town, get mousetraps --and one of those pickeruppers one uses to pick up things without bending over. Don't use poison because it will hurt the cats if they eat the dead mice --and they will, you know. Sounds like you fixed everything except maybe Easterchick, but further invasions must be curtailed. As to the balls, I suggest you watch Bogart in "The Caine Mutiny" and reconsider that particular therapy. That's all I know about life. Good luck!

    1. You'd think that with three cats I wouldn't have mice. The problem is that the mice are faster than the cats (most of the time). I will definitely have to buy some traps. I don't like poison at all. It unnerves me. And I've noticed that many stores no longer sell it.

      I've heard that mothballs will repel mice, so I'll probably stock up on that, too (but I won't leave it where the cats can get it).

      I've never seen "The Caine Mutiny" but just checked and discovered that it's available on YouTube.

  3. Put mousetraps behind your desk so the cats can't reach them. I caught seven or eight mice a while back and haven't seen any more since. I keep the traps in place and check them periodically. I think a quick death is kinder than sticky paper or poison. Brace yourself - I once read that mice leave a constant stream of urine as they travel so they can re-trace their route. Maybe it's an urban legend.

    1. I was really surprised to see that mice can climb up into drawers. I checked every other drawer in the house and no mice (so far). I've heard that mice are repelled by mothballs, so I'm going to put some in all the drawers. They also dislike peppermint.

      I hate poison and that horrible sticky paper - so I'll rely on traps. I've never heard about the urine stream thing - - that's disgusting!

  4. Get some peppermint oil and mix with a little water and spray it around the problem areas. I hear that rodents and some insects don’t like the smell and stay away. We used moth balls one time to stop chipmunks from living under my husbands office. We just threw them in the crawl space under the office. The next day they were all laying out in the yard (the moth balls - not the chipmunks). At least they don’t come inside.

    1. I'll have to try peppermint oil. If that fails, I'll get an exorcist.
      I'm also going to try mothballs - - but I laughed when you said the chipmunks removed them!

  5. Sorry for your plight - but laugh out loud funny .Especially the chewed chick .Incidentally I haven't seen pants like that for years .Please don't tell me they are yours !

    1. In retrospect, most of my plights are funny. I never knew mice could be so destructive. Chewing the tails off of chicks and crapping on Easter cards is as low as y6u can go.

      By the way, the briefs on that top photo aren't mine. I lifted that picture from the Internet.

  6. THERE's that desk again ... I adore! I seriously can't imagine the revulsion you must have felt. Still, the way in which you convey the experience is crazy comedic.

    Facing a back-ordered replacement window, new dishwasher that doesn't fit, and a roofer that hasn't shown, I needed this opportunity to chuckle.

    1. Myra, I feel like I'm trapped in an episode of Green Acres. Or the Twilight Zone. Glad it made you chuckle.

      Wow, I thought most of your moving problems were finally over. I hope all these annoyances will be resolved soon.
      Perhaps you need to get some Chinese stress balls??

      (I'm so stressed most of the time that I need Freud and heavy sedatives).

  7. We've used steel wool for years, it works. Hope you get rid of those nasty mice soon.

    1. I'll definitely try it. Mice can do a lot of horrible damage.

  8. Jon,
    One of my worst nightmares, mice getting into the house. I have a garden shed out back. Last year I discovered the same thing, mice poop and pee all overt. YUK! At our house in Pennsylvania we had mice trying to get into the house when the cold weather arrived, which is probably what you had. I'm surprised that your cats didn't get more of the mice. My late friend Bob Mc. lived in a single wide. HIs place was overrun with mice until he got a couple of cats (brother and sister). They took care of the mice lickity split. Get those cats of yours to earn their keep.

    1. Ron, I never knew that mice could be so destructive and aggressive. There are more this year than ever.
      You'd think that with three cats I wouldn't have a mouse problem - but the mice are extremely fast and shrewd. And there are too many places for them to hide. I've got to get mouse traps.

      BTW - loved the Palm Springs post card (and I'm reading a lot...)

  9. Good grief, Jon, what a mess to contend with. Mice in the house means you have to get rid of them entirely and straight away before they multiply. If all measures fail, get an exterminator. We had to get one many years back when the buggers were in the walls gobbling up the insulation and chomping on electrical wires.

    Best of luck !

    1. Those nasty critters can do a lot of damage. I've encountered occasional mice here before, but never as many as this year. I was hoping my three cats would eliminate them - but the mice are usually too fast, and are clever at hiding.

  10. Brilliant last line, thank you for working that in. You could through your balls at the mice.

    1. I liked that last line, too! I'd actually like to throw bowling balls at the mice.

    2. Jon, I always wanted a proper desk to use when the muse suddenly made itself known to me. But I never got one.

      I always wrote in bed (with two pillows propped up behind me). Later, I learned that Truman Capote always did the same thing: But I have not written anything as wonderful as BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. I think a serious writer should have a proper desk big time :-)

      P.S. Don't know what happened to the first comment I left on here? But I'm glad you somehow managed to save your beautiful desk from those nasty mice!

    3. Hi, Dylan - your first comment didn't show up here - it was probably snatched by the Blogger Gremlins (that's not the first time this has happened). I'm sorry about that!

      I used to have three desks, but I left one in Texas when I moved. I have this small desk and also a large antique desk. BUT - believe it or not - I almost never write at a desk. Like you, I write in bed. It's more comfortable and "natural" for me. I also read in bed a lot.

      I hope you are able to get a proper desk some day - but I think the best writers don't use desks and don't need them (that's my theory, anyway).

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  13. beware of the traps. your kitties could get hurt if a paw gets mangled in one. otherwise good luck getting rid of the varmits.

    1. You're right about the traps. I would only place them in out-of-the-way places that the cats can't reach (like in cabinets or behind heavy furniture, etc.)

  14. Mice can be nasty little destructive critters, can't they? I'm glad they didn't do any permanent damage to your desk.

    I found two little mouse turds in the kitchen a few weeks ago, and we immediately set up a trap. We didn't catch anything, and no more new turds, so I'm hoping the little guy was only... passing through.

    Funny post about a not-so-funny subject!

    1. I hadn't looked in that desk for a long time (which was a mistake) and I was shocked by the filth and damage. Fortunately no permanent damage was done - but I'm definitely going to take precautions to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
      BTW - Bosco caught another mouse last night.


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