The Saga of Marty the Mouse

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, I’ll catch you up by simply stating that I’ve had a busy week: I spent a few days at the Star Wars Celebration, met Anthony Daniels, and was almost killed by an ill-willed and unreasonably clever mouse.

Did I mention the rave with Chewbacca?
Did I mention the rave with Chewbacca?

Essentially, I was attacked by a potentially Rabies-laden mouse while I was trying to sleep. I live-tweeted the entire encounter, which took place between the hours of 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., ultimately culminating in a strongly-worded email to my landlord.

It all began when I saw a small mouse run across the back corner of my room around 10 p.m. Wanting to scare it back into whatever crevice it came from, I went to the corner and started shaking things around – moving books and jostling bags to rattle the tiny rodent.

I was not prepared for what followed.

The following is the actual email conversation that took place between me and my landlord:

Subject: Hell beast haunting my room
4/14/2015, 6:37 a.m.

Hey Lawren,

You may have heard me frantically cursing toward the Gods or shuffling furniture around my room this morning around 4 a.m. While I’d like to say I was engaged in some kind of colorful and exciting sleepwalking escapade, the truth is much more depressing.

Last night I saw a small mouse run across the other side of my room. Like an antagonist from an 80s teen flick, I laughed him off. I got off my bed and started moving stuff around over there – admittedly, it was a display of dominance. I wanted to scare the mouse back into his hidey-hole and show him that his presence was no longer welcome in my room, akin to said movie bully warning smaller, nerdier people to keep away from his stomping grounds.

Unfortunately, however, I didn’t get the last laugh.

When I woke at 4 a.m., I could feel that something was off – by “that” I mean “a mouse,” and by “something was off” I mean “on my pillow.”

That crafty sonofabitch had climbed into my bed and displayed his own form of dominance on my pillow. I quickly sat up and he fell behind my mattress, no doubt fearful of the repercussions he brought upon himself.

I turned on the light and began searching for the devil creature, whom I’ve since named “Marty,” after lovable protagonist and bully-bait Marty McFly. He was hiding in my knitting – no doubt a power move meant to show me that no place in my room was safe anymore, including the storage for my favorite hobby.

The war had gotten personal.

Naturally, killing the creature was out of the question. You remember the rat debacle from last summer*. Plus, I can’t live with the ghost of a wronged mouse – that sly bastard would wake me up each night by phantom crawling on my face or nibbling on my toes.

No, this beast required craft and agility – two things I lacked at 4 in the morning. I decided to set out cheese on an old notebook. I was planning to trap him with a plastic container if he took the bait.

After some extensive Wikipedia searching (there was no way in Hell I could fall back asleep until Marty had been held accountable for his actions), I discovered that mice don’t even like cheese – it’s an urban myth. However, chocolate supposedly does the trick.

At this point, I had set out a smorgasbord of food for the little creature. As I continued my downward spiral into the black hole commonly known as “Google,” I learned a) Yahoo! Answers is not a reputable source for mouse facts, and 2) there is a VERY slim chance I’ve contracted the plague.

It’s been 2 hours and I haven’t seen him again, aside from one false alarm that turned out to be a deceptively large skein of yarn (nothing is sacred anymore).

Please help me.

I can’t sleep. I can hear him mocking me through the walls, laughing with its mouse friends as it regales them with the tale of the large bully.

Can you please assist me in figuring out a way to trap this hell beast? I’m working all day – probably from 7 – 5, in all likelihood, I’ll come home and nap. I’ve learned mice are nocturnal, so daylight may be my only time to sleep in peace. You have permission to enter our home and help set humane traps for Marty. But be careful – he’s a smart little shit.

I’ll be in California from Wednesday evening to Monday morning, so feel free to roam around my room as you see fit during this time.

Seriously, I’ll cry myself to sleep every night if you set up lethal mouse traps in this room. Text or call me if you want me to pick up nonlethal ones…and also include places where I could pick one up, because I know nothing about where one procures mouse traps. Do I have to visit an exterminator?

Is there a way I can mouse-proof my room? Like should I seal things? As I said, I’ve done some extensive Google-ing into the situation.

One word of caution: This bugger is brilliant. I’ve made it known that I’m bringing in backup, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he enlists the assistance of his mice friends too. This could turn into a full blown war.

Help me, Lawren Q. J. You’re my only hope.

— Kate

Subject: Re: Hell beast haunting my room
Date: 4/14/2015, 11:50 a.m.

Wow, I’m sorry that Marty is giving you so much trouble.  That’s crazy that he was on your bed.  That would freak the crap out of me.

I’m surprised it would be on the second floor.  Mice tend to hang out on the lower levels of a house.  I’d make sure there isn’t any food in your room and hopefully it will stop venturing up there.

Mice can chew through anything so mouse-proofing your room is going to be difficult.  I have an electric mouse trap already that we can set up which will kill Marty very quickly and humanly.  I expect it will catch him right away.

If you’re really against the idea of him meeting his demise I can pick up some live traps and we can set them up.  The problem with live traps is that mice will come back home even if they have to release them miles away.  Basically the house isn’t a barrier to them so if we catch him and let him go outside he will show up again inside.

Let me know what you’d like to do.  Let me know before the end of the day if you want me to pick up live traps.  Either way, I’ll be around tonight so we can set up traps.

If we can’t figure this out on our own then I’d be glad to hire an exterminator.  They’ll use poison and stuff** and take care of the problem quickly, but let’s give it a go on our own first.

— Lawren

Subject: RE: Re: Hell beast haunting my room
Date: 4/14/2015, 5:18 p.m.

Ok seriously I’ve spent hours juggling this at work.

Here’s what I think is the best course of action here:

I need you to use your judgment and do what you think is best and swear to NEVER tell me, because if you do, I’ll cry. If I draw you a picture, write you a funny story or knit you a crafty hat, can you take care of him while I’m out of town and never tell me how?

However, if I get back on Monday and he has not been captured, we need to remove the traps and I’ll capture him the old fashioned way – Tom and Jerry style.

Subject: RE: Re: Re: Hell beast haunting my room
Date: 4/14/2015, 5:24 p.m.

K.  I’ll grab a couple live traps on my way back and we can set them up.  If we get him before you leave then all the power to him.


So at this point, Lawren sets up two live traps – both lined with peanut butter – in my house and I wait overnight to see if they work – they did not. Honestly, I did get up to check them about once every two hours, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that little bastard was just watching me from the dark corners of my room, laughing as I compulsively veered in the box. I was told that if I caught Marty, I had to bring him at least two miles away from our house – a task I was more than willing to take on.

*The epic rat saga from last summer, also known as “The Night Hanna and I Almost Inherited 5 Pet Mice,” is a great story.

**When Lawren brought the rat traps, he went into explicit detail about how exterminators kill mice, something I’m not going to get into here because it’s so sad and terrible that I want to pretend the entire conversation didn’t happen and that it was all just a dream.

Sadly, however, Marty was not captured that evening. The next day, I flew off to a magical place to spend the weekend with some of the world’s greatest humans, but not before I had a chance to send off one more email to my landlord.

Subject: RE: Re: Re: Re: Hell beast haunting my room
Date: 4/15/2015, 8:56 a.m.

Hey Lawren,

Unfortunately, Marty evaded capture last night. I’m about 95% sure he didn’t get into my bed, so at least there’s been some progress.

You have until Monday to viciously “deal” with Marty however you see fit. I’ve removed and left the live traps on the porch because I don’t remember where you told me to put them (or I actively stopped listening to you yesterday, one of the two).

Please let me know if he’s still running around the walls when I get back. I anticipate you’ll spend the next several days trapped in an episode of “Tom and Jerry,” so let me know what kind of traps the mouse sets up for you.

I’ve included a picture I made of what I believe Marty looks like in his home territory.

PS: We should have used Nutella instead of peanut butter.

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