Wednesday 26 Oct 2016

Cat & Mouse 2
Matt Seinberg

Last year I wrote about Daphne the cat in, “Cat and Mouse,” and, again, in October 2012, she is a star.

Little field mice started to appear once again in our humble abode, and of course my wife and kids started to freak out again. There is nothing more disconcerting than hearing little squeak squeaks at night.

The first time I heard it, Daphne was once again in the dining room, trying to corner one of these pesky critters. Just as she was about to pounce, and the mouse about to run, I whacked it with a rolled up magazine. Daphne looked at me like I just took away her dinner, and ran away. She was afraid that she was going to get whacked next. No way! I wanted to give her a treat.

I put the mouse in a plastic bag, took it outside and whacked it against the concrete, just to make sure it was good and dead.

The next night, I once again hear these same noises, but it’s in our room. I look under the bed, and there’s Daphne next to a dead mouse. I don’t know if it was a fresh kill or not, but I didn’t care. This cat was certainly doing a great job!

Daphne is acting crazy the next night as well, only this time she’s staring intently at a laundry basket by the window. I quietly go over there, move the basket and she has another mouse cowering in fear. I quickly grab a magazine and whack the mouse.

I rush into the kitchen to get a plastic bag, and when I come back, both Daphne and the mouse are gone. The first place I look is under the bed, which is where I think Daphne spends a good portion of her time when no one is around.

I point the flashlight at Daphne, grab the mouse with the bag, and take it outside. A couple of more whacks against the concrete and we have a very dead mouse.

Naturally, my wife is truly freaking out at this point, and proceeds to wash Daphne’s face with an oral antiseptic wash. If you’re not rolling your eyes and shaking your heads by now, nothing will faze you.

The next day, Marcy calls an exterminating company and makes an appointment for someone to come over the following Tuesday when I’m off. Eric shows up on Tuesday, and I proceed to tell him our mouse tales.

He certainly understands, and tells me about the main service they offer, which is thermal imaging of the house, both inside and out. These pictures will show probable openings where the mice are entering the house, and where the technician has to do the patchwork.

When I think of thermal imaging, I imagine Navy SEALS, Army Rangers or CIA or FBI agents peering into a suspected terrorist’s hideout, trying to figure out where everyone is, not some technician trying to find mice. Did you know these devices cost $25,000 each? Maybe my wife will get me one for my birthday.

I can set the traps and dispose of the mice, so I don’t have to pay for that. The thermal imaging service is a whopping $395 and that’s after a $50 discount. I have neither the time nor patience to set appointments for other companies to come over, so I sign on the iPads virtual contract and make an appointment for this to happen.

Oh, did I mention that this also started Marcy thinking about remodeling the kitchen? Think how these mice are going to end up costing me a lot more than $395. We have a budget in mind, and while the kitchen isn’t falling apart, the cabinets are original to the house, and we’re just tired of them.

That will be a column for another day. So for now, wish me luck on the mouse hunt and let’s hope between Daphne and the thermal imaging, they will be gone for a long time.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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