On Saturday morning I woke up and went to brush my teeth. There was a high-pitched sort of electronic buzzing sound in the house, similar to the sort you get when you have an auxilary cable plugged into a stereo on one end and dangling loose on the other with the volume cranked. At first I thought my ears were still ringing from the night before (the band at the company Christmas party was Awesome) but as I moved about the house I found the sound had a directionality to it and it pulled me to a corner of the house where we keep our server cabinet.
Still brushing my teeth, I popped the door open. Sound got louder, more mechanical, and distinctly unhealthy sounding. Happy electronics do not make this sort of noise.
I poked around on the shelves and found...
...Mouse poop. In fairly large quantities. Not good. I pulled out a tray. Mouse piss. In puddles. On my server. Really not good.
I here uttered a string of words that I won't type out. Santa's only a few days out, after all. I'd like to think I'm still on the right side of the list.
I put down the tooth brush. I soon returned with my husband's best leather gardening gloves and a mallet from the tool box in the garage. (It's possible I was a little angry at Mickey at this point in the game.)
I began pulling the various boxes out of the cabinet, checking cables, cleaning casings, with my mallet nearby in case I got a chance to play whack-a-mouse. When the cavity was clean (no rodent sitings) I put everything back in, turning on the boxes one at a time until one of them gave me the click of death. Sigh.
When you hear that click from a hard drive, you always think "Well, maybe it's the fan". That's akin to a cop you didn't notice turning on his lights when he's right behind your car. You think, "Maybe I wasn't speeding; maybe he just got a call to go somewhere else." Sometimes it happens, but more often, it's you.
We have backups of course, but restoring 2 terabytes of data is kind of a pain, not to mention the cleaning of mouse excrement, so I was in a pretty bad mood by the time I was standing in front of the rodent traps at the local hardware store. I had my hand on a pack of your standard classic mouse traps of the cheese luring/snapping bar/wooden board variety. Would I regret killing the little punk if I went to clean out the trap and there he was all cute but broken? Maybe. In controlled circumstances, it must be said, I'm rather fond of many types of rodents. I've had several pet rats over the years. I think field mice are pretty ridiculously cute. So maybe, it was just possible, that when I saw the itty bitty little whiskers, I'd feel bad for it. And also, it could be if I picked the standard trap it would lead to splatter inside the cabinet anyway, which is just more mouse mess that I'd have to clean up. I grabbed a live trap instead.
I baited the trap with peanut-butter and checked it periodically over the next 24 hours. And, lo, when I got home last night, the wee little door has swung shut. There was a certain amount of celebrating on my part.
"Whose the loser in the trap
That was set for you by me?
I may have sang this aloud. There may have been more verses. Some of them may not have been strictly polite.
Eventually, I grabbed an empty tupperware container, swung the little trap door open and watched as possibly the ugliest little mouse I've ever seen came sliding out tail first. (To be fair, I don't suppose he'd had the best of days.)
Moment of truth, now. I'm standing in the kitchen. To my left, I can see my fat orange cat with his nose pressed to the glass of the back door, requesting entrance. To my right, the front door and the world beyond. And in my hands, the world's ugliest mouse who pissed on my hard drive. As previously stated, I do like rodents, when they're not causing trouble. It should also be stated that I like cats considerably more.
I took another look at the world's ugliest mouse and turned right. I walked him out the door, down the street, and to the park where I dumped his mangy butt in front of some dense shrubbery. He scampered off in the vegetation while I yelled after him some suggestions as to his future behavior and geographical location. "And also," I told his crooked dirty tail, "you're lucky I'm cool."
Eh, it's Christmas. God bless us, everyone, right?