By Judy Reiss
Just to bring you quickly up to date, the bed bugs still rule! I still won’t tell you the name of the nationally known extermination company who has been paid such an exorbitant amount and still haven’t taken them away. But when they are finally gone, I assure you I will. Three months for these devils is way too long! And I am always embarrassed to think that “Jane” has a nasty neat house and they still live and prosper there. I just can’t imagine how long it would take to drive them from a house like mine! God forbid.
When I got thinking about bed bugs, of course I thought about our house. And although bed bugs have not inundated our house, we have had something else.
We have lived in our house for almost all of the 50 years plus we have been married and for probably the entire time, we have also shared our home with mice! Now to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if every year they are a new family, but I really do believe that the mouse family who lives with us is probably the same one and just generations old. But this year it may be a little different. Oh, I should mention that we also share our home with dogs and also at least 2-3 cats. And for the last few years, we have noticed that the cats we have now would no more put a mouse in their mouths than they would go and hunt snakes! I am not sure if Yul would agree to catch a mouse, but just not one of the mouse pets that live in the house though.
However, early in the season I put my foot down and went and bought two fancy traps that I wanted to try. Of course, this foot went down after my dear friend Susie Ricketts was cleaning my kitchen and found a wonderfully toasted mouse in the burners of my toaster. And none of us could even guess how long it had been there and worse, I had just eaten a piece of toast that very day! So, even I knew it was time to try the new traps and see if we could get rid of the mice, for their sakes as well as ours.
Now the new traps that I bought are quite user-friendly. When and if you catch a mouse, you don’t have to look at their little bodies and the way you know that you have caught one is that their tails hang out the hole that they went in. Much more pleasant and easy to open and dispose of the cadaver! Well, Malcolm was amazingly good at setting the traps in the kitchen and after weeks of success thought that we had finally gotten rid of the entire family. But of course, we were wrong. I guess they knew that the kitchen was no longer as friendly as they thought and so they moved. And Malcolm’s ski room became the place to live. So, the new traps moved to this room, too, and once again he became very successful, mouse wise! And each and every time he checked his traps and saw the tail hanging down, he felt it necessary to mention to me how lush and attractive their pelts were. And just a few days ago, he added to his comments.
My great neighbor Gordie has been very busy this winter trying to rid our neighborhood of the coyotes that are eating all the chickens, cats, and every four-footed animal that is easy prey. Fortunately, he has been quite successful. Just the other morning after a cup of coffee, he told our coffee klatch group as we were finishing our coffee and tea, that he had gotten another coyote the night before. And when I got home that morning, I of course, mentioned to Malcolm and we both talked about how lucky we were to have someone with such skill keeping our cats and dogs safe, and any and all chickens that roam our hills. And it was then that Malcolm mentioned the following.
“Maybe you could ask Gordie if you could have the pelt from the coyote.” Are you nuts I said, what would I do with a coyote pelt? Well, he said, to date I have caught 29 mice and this isn’t even counting the ones I caught before I started keeping track. And they have such gorgeous pelts themselves and if you sewed them all together they would make such a nice fur coat! And if Gordie would give you his latest coyote pelt it would make your mouse coat even more attractive with a gorgeous Coyote collar!
Now I assure you that as much as I might like a fur coat, it would be a cold day you know where before I would wear a gorgeous mouse fur coat, even with a coyote collar! Do you suppose Malcolm is envisioning a mouse fur coat with little tails and legs and arms attached? I know that taxidermy is not one of his skills, so God only knows! I’m surprised he hasn’t asked Jane for her bed bug bodies and has plans to make brooches out of them!
And don’t let the mental picture of mouse coats, coyote collars or bed bug brooches keep you awake at night. Just keep in mind that you want to keep your house bed bug free because unlike the mouse family, once they find happiness and comfort in your house, bed bugs will be with you forever! And don’t think that the famous extermination company will help you. And if you believe that, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn that you can buy!
Before I put the end to his diatribe, I want to thank Terry and Ginny Brennan for coming to the wonderful 50th Anniversary party my children threw for us. Fortunately it was several weeks before my knee operation and heart attack bonanza because on the actual date of November 27, I was still unconscious in the hospital. But Terry has never forgiven me for not mentioning that he drove for hours to attend the party we did have. So, thanks Terry you are a peach! And hopefully I will be able to attend our 51st even if we don’t have such a wonderful celebration!