Posted in CRITTERS ETC., Southernisms


An earlier post, described my ongoing war with a mouse that had taken up residence at my mother’s house.  I knew that Momma, an Alzheimer’s patient, had been freeing the mouse from the live trap.  Then, I found carefully placed potato chips nibbled upon by tiny teeth.   Momma was feeding that little critter!  So the mouse became officially known Pringles.  A respectful nod to his preferred brand of chips.

The gloves were off!  I placed small traps under the dining table, near where I found the potato chips.  Yes.  She feed the mouse in the most antiqued furnished, silver-laden, crystal chandeliered room of the house.  Now that’s extreme Southern hospitality!   No matter – I caught Pringles.  Victory at last!  But I’d learned not to rest on my laurels.  I reset the traps.

Once Momma found the traps, though, she just wouldn’t leave them alone.  She would either disengage or relocate them.  Once I found the traps sitting on one of her dining room servers.

“Momma, why are the mouse traps sitting up on this server?”

“I don’t know.  I guess the rat must have put them up there.  Besides, those traps ain’t big enough for the rat.”

Ask a stupid question…but wait – was there really a rat or was it a delusion from my mother’s diseased brain?  I knew of course Momma moved the traps.  But a rat in her house was absolutely unacceptable.   Alzheimer’s or not – I trusted Momma’s words on this one.  So I went out and bought a bigger kill trap.  I ain’t gonna catch and release no nasty rat.

It didn’t take long before the rat got caught in the trap.  I stared in amazement. His body was as large as a burly man’s fist.    His fur was immaculate and patterned a lovely calico.  That rat looked so healthy!

guinea-pig-1408034 Davis

Think “pet shop” guinea pig with a long naked pink tail.  No doubt, Momma’s pet.  I wondered how many potato chips this bad boy had eaten over the years.  What other snacks he had washed down with some ice tea – honey buns, cheese bites, chicken nuggets anyone?  And did he have friends over?  Nobody likes to dine alone.

I reset the kill trap.  But again Momma would not leave it alone.  I often found the trap empty.  No bait.  No dead rat.  Then eventually, the tell-tell odor of an invisible decomposing rodent.

I was mortified to think my frail 89 year old Momma released these large rodents.  Visions of her fingers getting crushed by the quick spring action of the trap or worse her getting attacked by a confused and hurt rat, haunted me.  I gave up and removed all the traps.

This war was beyond my ability.  I needed special feline forces.  Momma reluctantly became a cat owner.

So how did that work out?  Check a future Critter’s post!

 Rat in Trash Image Credit: Davis





Hi! I'm Denise Massey - the funny face behind ArtReach at Home. My past: museum curator, art teacher and consultant. Today: a blogger sharing creativity and personal stories about life in the South.

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