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Cat and Mouse

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When we first moved in to our current house, we had a mouse problem.

Well, I should say “mice” problem because it was definitely plural and not just one solitary mouse chillin in the house.

As a new homeowner, I was distraught. I tried all kinds of mousetraps but that only helped catch more mice, not stop them from coming into the house — “treating the symptoms not the root cause”.

So I went around the outside of the house, finding and plugging anything that looked like an entry.

After months of work, my “get rid of mice in the house” workflow looked like this:

This was my workflow for years. My traps in the attic were a kind of tripwire alarm — “THEY’VE FOUND ANOTHER WAY IN! ALL HANDS ON DECK” — but I didn’t know how else to keep the mice out for longer periods of time.

At one point during all this brouhaha a friend told me, “If you want to get rid of mice, get a cat.” I balked at the idea because I did not want another living thing to take care of (I have three kids) — plus I’m allergic to cats.

But eventually my wife and kids forced it on me. In fact, I never actually said “Yes” to getting a cat. When asked, I went from an immediate “No” to “Well let me think about it…” and they took that as me changing my mind because next thing I knew my wife came home with a cat one day.

That’s how we ended up with our cat, who our kids named “Fluffy” (but he also goes by “Gato”, “Fluffer”, “Military Cat” and a wide array of other names, too many to list here).

Photograph of a furry white kate on his back looking up at the camera.

I wasn’t really expecting Fluffy to help with the mouse problem. I’d heard of lots of people who had cats with zero interest in chasing mice. So my expectations were not even low, they were non-existent.

So you can imagine my surprise when three months went by and there were no mice in my traps. A new record! Then four months. Then five. Then six.

“Why am I not catching any more mice?” I thought. Nothing has changed...

Then one day we found Fluffy outside playing with something. We got closer and realized it was a mouse! He played with it for about 15 minutes, then he gobbled it up.

Good kitty!

I write all of this because, just a couple days ago I had my first mouse back in the attic. It’s been just about two years since we got Fluffy and this was the first one to get past him (nobody’s perfect, Fluffy).

I promptly went outside and found a hole behind some ivy where they had been digging. Sneaky little buggers. Ivy is a great place to hide from the prying eyes of cats and humans.

I guess I’m a cat person now.