Holy shit, they’re evolving.

As many of you know, I live directly above a Mexican restaurant in West Harlem (Hamilton Heights to be exact) and consequently, it’s a constant struggle to keep the pests and rodents at bay. It doesn’t matter how clean I keep the apartment, it seems we always have unwelcome, filthy, disease-ridden visitors passing through the kitchen and into my bedroom.

I know I’ve talked about my methods for dealing with this particular problem in a previous post, but I’ll sum it up here:

Basically, I lay down a bunch of scented glue traps, wait for a mouse to get stuck, don my trusty red rubber gloves, place the trap (and squirming mouse) in a plastic bag and take it down to the trash room in the basement of my apartment, which is home to half a dozen feral cats. It’s totally inhumane and awful.

However, I am able to sleep at night by telling myself that if the mouse is strong/clever/wily (i.e. highly evolved) enough to free itself from said trap, then it deserves to live. And I need to accept the fact there might be mice living under my kitchen sink, eating my trash. Even though that goes explicitly against my policy that any and all living things under my roof have to pay me rent.

I’ve been here going on five years now and I’ve never once seen a mouse get away.

Until today.

Around quarter past five this morning, I was roused from a deep sleep by the sound of frantic rustling in the corner of my bedroom. I usually keep a trap in that spot because the mice love to crawl around in my trash can – even though I NEVER throw food items/wrappers in there. Except for that one time when I did.

I went to bed really late last night because I was cleaning my kitchen (somewhat ironically) and I didn’t feel like getting up. Over the years, I’ve gotten so used to disposing of mice I figured I could get a few more hours sleep and deal with the pesky critter later. I know, I’m horrible, but I was exhausted! So I rolled over, turned my radio on softly so I wouldn’t have to hear the rustling and tried to go back to sleep, hoping that the little guy would die of a panic attack before I was forced to condemn it to a slow, terrifying death.

Apparently the mouse had other plans. It simply would not accept its fate as cat breakfast. Instead it started thrashing around like crazy and squeaking violently.

I put my pillow over my head and told it to shut up.

It did. For about three minutes.

Then the thrashing started again and the squealing got louder.

With a sigh, I heaved myself out of bed, put on my flip-flops and shuffled across the room. I turned on the lights and looked down, expecting to see the trap that I’d placed by the door.

It wasn’t there.

Bleary-eyed and confused, I looked around and saw that the mouse had somehow flipped itself over and hobbled around the trash can to the front of my dresser with the trap on it’s back – its tail the only visible part, stuck to the glue side.

It was pretty impressive.

Those traps are pretty strong (I’ve ruined more than one pair of flip-flops by accidentally stepping on one) so I wasn’t worried in the least about the possibility of escape. I took my sweet time walking down the hall to the kitchen to get my gloves and a plastic bag.

By the time I got back to my room, the mouse was gone. It escaped. I could’t believe it. I was outsmarted by a friggin’ mouse.

I recreated the scene so you could see for yourself:




Crazy, am I right?

So I guess I’ve got a new roommate now. What should we name him? I’m thinking Morris or…Melvin… Kindly leave any suggestions in the comments section.

In the meantime, I’m either going to build Marvin a little mousey bed out of the leftover wood from my nightstands, or lay down a bunch more glue traps to catch the little fucker. Maybe both. Yes! I’ll cover his bed with glue traps! He’ll never see it coming…

*Evil laugh*

Ability to come up with an elaborate plot to catch an animal with a brain the size of a pea? Sarah – 1, Melba (it could be a girl) – 0.

Unless of course I’m living with these mice…

pinky and the brain

…in which case, awesome.

5 thoughts on “Holy shit, they’re evolving.

  1. Dear Frivolity Lady, Get a pet cat (a lady cat will be better than a tom …) and the mice will soon learn and stay away. Good luck!! And by the way – you are a first writer and story teller.

  2. Sarah – I don ‘t think you’re old enough to remember Frank Buck, who was a wild animal adventurer – his motto was “Bring ’em back alive!”. Well, you are a modern day Frank Buck, although much better looking and sing, too.

    Not being sure of the nationality of your mouse friend, there is a good chance that he or she is Hispanic considering your neighborhood, so the name Melky or Melka might be appropriate.

    Also, consider contributing your story to New Yorker magazine. It’s well written and indigenous to the city. If they accept it, tell them I told you to do it.


    Joe P.

    • Thanks, Joe! I’ve never thought of the New Yorker. I was thinking of submitting one of my stories to The Moth on NPR. I’d to memorize it though and perform it live. Could be super cool. I just have to find the right story first. Hope you’re well!


  3. Glue traps are absolutely repulsive and cruel. If you have to use them, put the animal out of its misery first. Don’t just leave it there suffering… if you have to kill the animal, gosh, do so with minimal pain. Set aside your squeamishness, and do the right thing. If you don’t want blood or such all over the place, then put it in a plastic bag and stomp or it. Or drown it. Leaving it for long periods, it will just gnaw parts of itself off or starve to death. And that’s pretty much torture.

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