Remember our mouse situation? Well, for the longest time we didn't catch anything in our single trap. I'd locked up the dog food in a plastic bin and moved most of the nibblies out of the cupboards and onto the countertop, where we'd never seen any evidence of a mouse. I thought maybe, just maybe, I'd convinced them to go elsewhere, and bloodshed would not be necessary.
And then, Thursday morning, I found a gnawed-open bag of wild rice in the cabinet, and when I got down underneath the cupboards, behind the baseboards, I saw more evidence of mouse activity.
Time to pull out the big guns. So to speak.
I had Dave buy four more mousetraps -- the old-fashioned kind -- and I set them all. Within 24 hours we'd killed four mice in the kitchen, and we got another one this morning in the front hall closet. We put the bodies in the back of the garden, and they inevitably disappear overnight, probably taken by a cat or a fox. (They're not poisoned so they shouldn't harm a predator.)
Adding to my rodent excitement, some squirrels dug up four pots of zinnia and cosmos seedlings on Thursday morning. I repotted them, put flowerpot shards around them to discourage digging and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they won't die.
Why is the animal world against me? I grew up on Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" and Ranger Rick nature magazines! I'm a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds! I'm on YOUR SIDE, guys!
We've also had some more adventures in British plumbing. I spotted some damp spots on the hallway wall yesterday and opened our linen closet to a distinctly wet smell. When I looked around, I realized a pipe joint in the closet's back wall -- which feeds into our shower -- was leaking. A slow drip, drip, drip was coming from the joint, seeping into the plaster and running down the wall into the floor, where the unfinished floorboards were quite wet.
So we called our managing agent's emergency maintenance number and got no answer at all. I sent them an e-mail with pictures of the situation, and we called our own plumber to come today and solve the problem. Meanwhile, I've jerry-rigged a drip-collection system so no more water can seep into the wall, and I've poured three pitchers of drippage down the sink so far. I'm hoping we can deduct this plumber's fee from our rent. This really isn't something we should have to repair, but it also isn't something I want to leave until Monday (at the earliest).
Finally, I bought some hydrogen peroxide to treat Olga's paw. She doesn't seem to mind the treatment and it makes me feel better knowing it's getting disinfected, though whether it has much practical effect I have no idea. I was amused by a warning on the peroxide bottle: "Do not give to children under 12 years old as a mouthwash, unless your doctor tells you to."
Does anyone use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash? Is that something a doctor would recommend?
(Photo: A quiet, mouse-free corner of our entrance hall, earlier this week.)