|Image from this WHIMSICAL ETSY SHOP|
"There's a mouse in the bathroom, we're going to have to put traps down."
Bryan said this nonchalantly as he went about getting ready for work.
We live very close to the ground (read: basement) and near all sorts of wooded nature, full of animals -- so it wasn't terribly surprising to hear, but still.
My mind raced with images of the mouse and its fecal feet, traipsing across my face as I slept. No thanks. I thought of my baby that gets into everything, and puts everything into her mouth. No thanks. BUT A MOUSE TRAP? I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN DO THAT.
I mostly hoped Walter would fulfill his feline duties and take care of things quickly - maybe just by catching it and then we could release it into the wild (read: backyard).
The next day, I saw it scurry across the floor. It was at that point that it turned into a straight up, tear apart your entire home, Mouse Hunt.
Walter would catch him, get confused about why his toy was moving, and drop it. OVER AND OVER. Eventually Walter and I were both on the floor trying to reach under the couch to catch it. The mouse and I made eye contact, and shared a moment. This mouse had kind eyes. I imagined it living in a discarded tampon box, enjoying a tiny cup of tea and reading Game of Thrones. It was too personal. We could not kill this mouse.
We lost it again and called it a day. Bryan and I were in bed when he whisper-yelled, "LOOK."
Tiny mouse poked its head out from a cinder block holding our bookshelf in place. The crazed urgency to catch it overwhelmed me as I shot out of bed and said, "THIS ENDS TONIGHT."
Bryan was laughing at me and also probably concerned for me, because I had completely lost my mind at that point.
The chase went on for a while -- long enough for me to throw enough shoes and end tables and wake up our sleeping baby. Finally, we cornered it in the bathroom.
Walter had all but given up. He was tired, Bryan was tired, Elsa was tired, the mouse was tired, and I WAS GOING TO CATCH IT.
Bryan handed me a blanket and I tossed it on top of it. I had done it. I had trapped it, without killing it. I was going to peacefully return it to the outside world.
"Okay, now grab it with your hand."
To Bryan, that meant:
"Grab it with your hand over the blanket so you don't actually touch it."
Which I translated as:
"Grab it with your bare hands and befriend it like Snow White!"
SO I GRABBED IT.
And the kind-eyed literature-loving mouse I'd worked so hard to catch unharmed SANK ITS TEETH INTO MY FINGER AND I HAD TO DETACH IT FROM MY FLESH.
Bryan said, "WHY DID YOU GRAB IT WITH YOUR BARE HANDS" but I couldn't hear him because all I heard was the Holy Spirit shouting:
WASHYOURHANDS HANTAVIRUS HANTAVIRUS PTLYOU'RESAVEDBECAUSEYOUMIGHTDIENOW.
It was a dramatic evening to say the least -- but I'm thankful that I lived to tell this tale.
The wound healed beautifully, the mouse went to a better place (I can't talk about it), and now I know that Cinderella probably died from rabies because there's no way those mice were her friends.