“’Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house,

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

Well, except at my place.

I was working my morning coffee routine this weekend and noticed the tell-tale sign that a mouse had invaded my kitchen overnight. From the looks of the prolific amount of scat he left behind, he must have been gorging all night long.

Yea, I know it’s disgusting, but just about every home has to deal with these little creatures at one time or another. It helps to have cats — my feline recently took a vacation and I haven’t seen her for a few months — but rich or poor, mansion or trailer, sooner or later you will deal with them.

Not wanting to be outsmarted by a creature whose brain is smaller than a pea, I first did some background research before attempting to remove my new friend.

According to the Web site www.mousie kin.com, the word mouse comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “thief.”

Long before Mickey Mouse became a household word, some ancient cultures revered the furry little creature. In Ancient Greece, the God Apollo was also called Apollo Smintheus — which means Apollo the Mouse. In his honor, white mice were kept in temples under altars.

In Egypt, stomach aches were thought to be cured by eating a cooked mouse. Cooked mice were also once used to treat whooping cough, smallpox, measles and other ailments. The Roman writer Pliny recommended mouse ashes mixed with honey to cure earaches.

In current times, some people still believe that fried mice or mouse pie ( I wonder what type of ice cream goes with that) is a cure for bedwetting. I bet those same people buy a lots of products from telemarketers.

Mice originated in Asia and came to America as stowaways on the ships of explorers in the 1500s.

They can produce 6 to 10 litters a year, with some generating 135 mice in one year. Because of their rapid breeding capabilities, mice can be used by scientists to study heredity patterns of several generations in just a few years.

They have tails which are as long as their bodies and are also equipped with scales used for gripping surfaces as they climb.

Mice have a 12-inch vertical jump. If I had the same jumping skills, I could dunk on a basketball rim 50 feet in the air. You would be watching me on TV then.

They have a life expectancy of just 2 years and weigh about an ounce full grown. Pet mice are available in at least 70 different colors from black, blue, champagne and red.

House mice gnaw through electrical wiring, which causes fires and failures of electrical items. All rodents cause over a billion dollars worth of damage each year.

Mice can also transmit diseases such as salmonellosis (bacterial food poisoning and hantavirus (pulmonary disease), which can be deadly.

So much for keeping this fella around as a pet. I had no desire to kill my new friend, so I figured the catch and release method would be the best modus operandi.

This may appear to be hypocritical because I am a deer hunter, but I could never eat the tenderloins out of a mouse. Plus, where would I be able to find the tiny little bullets to put in the tiny little rifle needed for hunting?

I did find something called a glue board. It’s non-poisonous and used for mice and insects. The sticky surface traps the mouse.

Later that evening while working on a few stories, I could hear and see my brazen new friend trying to gnaw on the cap of a chocolate syrup bottle that was lying on a cutting board. I had just taken a swig of the same syrup to help my chocolate addiction.

I put a little chocolate syrup on the glue board and placed it where I had seen the mouse. He was caught within five minutes.

Although the instructions suggested taking the mouse a mile from your home, I didn’t because I’m not going to drive across town with a mouse stuck to glue board in my car. I took him down by my barn and released him without fanfare. He scurried away with much fervor.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Carpe Diem everybody.

— Christian is a Register-Herald reporter and has a love for all of God’s creatures.

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