They Can Polish It Up and Screw A Little Gold Chain Onto It
March 16, 2006
Living in an old house we have more than our fair share of mice, especially this time of year.
Do you know how fast mice reproduce? I don’t know exactly either, but I remember reading that it is really quickly. And they are not bothered by incestuous relationships. So basically one day you have two mice and three weeks later there a million. No, I’m not exaggerating.
Last week we set four traps, and caught three mice. Or so I was told since I refuse to look at them. The fourth trap, which was still set but had not caught anything, Rob decided to hide behind the freezer. That way none of the little children would be able to reach it, but should one of the little mice be brave enough to come out during the day the trap would be ready for it.
I felt a bit queasy at the prospect of hearing the trap go off during the day since I like to convince myself that they are purely nocturnal creatures, that they can not climb stairs, and can not ever enter a bedroom. Yes, those are the lies I tell myself so that I survive in an old house.
At some point during the day we caught a mouse. One of the kids noticed it and then had to call everyone into the room to peek behind the freezer and have a look.
My two year old daughter, who has been badgering us for a cat, or dog, or penguin, pushed everyone aside to have a look.
“He’s so cute. I keep him?” she asked.
“He’s dead.” I informed her.
“When he wakes up, I keep him?”
“He isn’t waking up. He’s dead.” I said, a bit more emphatically.
“When he not dead anymore I keep him?”
I didn’t know how to fully explain it to her. I wanted to say, “Look at his head, it is all squashed and flattened. And his body is all stiff and hard. There’s no coming back from that.”
Instead I said, “We’ll see,” which is parent-speak for, “It’s never going to happen but I can not deal with the tantrum right this moment so let’s save it for later.”
I’m not a complete monster. We have had pets before.
We had Sea Monkeys for a while and I thought they were the perfect pet. Ranking right up there with a pet rock.
Until one day my husband saw the container sitting on the counter and thinking it was just a container of cloudy water poured the contents down the drain. I quickly filled the “aquarium” back up with tap water before any of the children noticed and pretended the sea monkeys were still in there.
I did feel slightly bad when they would peer inside day after day wondering why they couldn’t see anything. And when they broke out magnifying glasses for a better look, well if I had a soul and could have stopped giggling behind my hand, I would have felt really bad.
Eventually they got bored of the sea monkeys, because who wants an invisible pet, and I was able to put the “aquarium” away. Poor children, they are so deprived.
Now we have a cat that keeps visiting our yard. The kids love him (her? I’ll admit I haven’t looked closely) It is obviously pet of someone in our neighborhood and not a feral cat because it is fat, well groomed, and picky about it’s snacks.
So the kids have been whining about getting our own cat, which is not going to happen since I have cat allergies as well as a general dislike for cats in general. I told the kids they should just pretend the cat is their own. It’s like having a pet, but only the fun part. You get to play with him, feed him snacks, pet him, but you never have to clean out a litter box or clean cat vomit off of the floor. They even named him. Really, what else is there?
And if that doesn’t make them happy, we have lots of rocks in our yard for them to chose from.
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