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Around the middle of October, after a sudden drop to freezing temperatures, Patsy spotted mouse droppings in her basement.

Apparently, a mischief of  Mus musculus had moved in and made themselves very comfortable.  But at a heck of an expense!

Patsy immediately went on mouse patrol to eradicate those mischief-makers, running down to the hardware store for a two-pack of those old tried and true, wooden platform, spring-loaded type traps.

Patsy’s primary choice of mouse bait was to share whatever was in her fridge.  The same plain and simple spreadable cream cheese she snacks on will do.

Once those first two traps were down, Patsy checked the outside of her house.  Then she did the same with every nook & cranny she came across while on her hands and knees, nose to the floor and butt in the air, crawling around the laundry room, furnace area, and pantry.

Wherever a crack appeared, never a cartoon-like mouse-hole, inside or outside, she chalked, foamed, or used fast drying cement.  Most of the time, she used all three, hoping to entomb the little buggers.

Speaking of the pantry, while she was baiting, taking precautionary measures, and disposing, Patsy decided to reorganize and redecorate.  She bought containers, (and color-coded labels), for her edibles, which she kinda’ matched to the size of the packaging ~ a cereal box size, a macaroni sized box, sugar, flour, and coffee comparable sized jars and tins.

Then shelving; both wire and wood, which sits off the floor.  Cork shelf liner, from Amazon, baskets, risers, under shelf shelves, and more and more and more!   This was the primary expense in money, labor, and time!  

Once a critter was caught, Patsy would position a gallon freezer bag, the kind with a secure zipper-like closure – no link needed, next to the trap, then use some rolled up newspaper to sweep trap and squished rodent, into the bag.  God forbid the parcel touches the rest of her garbage.

Patsy’s been very successful, if that’s what you want to call it.  During those first five or six weeks, she slew at least a dozen mice!   We figure at about $100 a mouse!

But – there’s always a “but” – for the last few weeks, though the droppings have been very few and the pantry is safe, through inspection, detection, and reflection, Patsy’s been waging war against a lone challenger / LC=Elsie.

Patsy tried peanut butter and cheese: sometimes separately, sometimes together with the cheese piggybacking on top of the peanut butter, (both smooth and chunky), in the hope that the longer Elsie stays at / on the trap, the more likely the trap will spring.    Nope.

Patsy imbedded bacon bits into the cheese.  (There was no way in hell, she was going to make real bacon for Elsie, after the expense of the pantry.)  Zero.

She tried ABC bubble gum as bait ~ the aromatic fruity kind, that, as a kid, you chewed and blew into face-size bubbles which got stuck in your hair and once, painfully, in my eyelashes and brows.  (Vaseline worked.)  But zilch in this case.

Patsy tried brand new traps; new traps she washed; new, washed traps sprayed with cooking oil; new traps dropped, dirtied in dirt, and dried ~ all kinds of enticing experiments.   Zip.

What’s more, every time Elsie eats but doesn’t get caught, Patsy throws the “tainted” trap away.

Patsy got to playing with Elsie after a few days.  She places the traps where she wants Elsie to go, (away from the panty but sometimes right in the middle of the floor), dinner was served, and Elsie ate a different meal at a different restaurant location every day.   Nothing.

Finally – last week – after eight weeks – Patsy came up with a new plan, that she swears came in a dream.

She put the usual soft, cream cheese on the trap ~ THEN put the trap inside a cardboard shoe box, figuring that there would be no room for this stinkin,’ freakin’ Elsie to maneuver.

There wasn’t !

Snap !   Squish!    Ooze!    Sweep and dump!

Patsy can’t wait for another cold snap.  She figures eight hours tops.

Yours ’til, Kate