Harvey the mouse has to go!

Last updated: Jan 30, 2002. 3:40 MST.

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Have no doubt people. I am at war. I didn't want it, but these mice have invaded my homeland. I sleep here, and I eat here, and I someday hope to entertain girls here. The mice have to go, dead or alive.

So there is no confusion, this is a war. There will be casualties. Emotion plays no role in this. I know the enemy, and it is mouse.

For the Kitchen:

And for under the toilet:

It really cheeses me off when they try to get into my tea.

Jan 8, 2002. 8:30PM MST

I bagged my first mouse tonight. It was a baby. I heard the snap and ran into the bathroom to see what I had caught. It was still twitching, but it was cute. It looked so cute, and I felt so bad. I didn't want to do it. Why did the little guy make me do it?

The first casualty of war is innocence.

The Killing MUST stop. That took a lot out of me emotionally. My goal is peace. Then I thought, 'What would an Army person do?'.

If it's good enough for the war on Terror, it's good enough for my apartment.

Jan 9, 2002. 10:45AM MST

I had an early morning meeting. When I got home, I found a second mouse solider dead, face down in the bathroom. Another young mouse who gave up his life for a bad cause. The leaflet didn't seem to work.

I'm beginning to become immune to the carnage. War does funny things to mice and men.

Meanwhile, the cheese trap on the top of my microwave (the one with the sign that says 'super mouse cheese') has been raided. There it sat, still set, with the bait gone. I know who stole it; Harvey. Only the ringleader, the mother of untold legions of bastard mouse soldiers, would do such a thing. Well, the jokes on her. That was not super mouse cheese, it was just regular cheddar, and will give her no help.

The cheese is too easy to steal. I replaced it with peanut butter, and a new, more stern warning. I hope they stop before the body count gets too high.

January 9. 2002. 8:58PM MST
2 Dead, 4 taken prisoner.

Since starting this, I've received two main objections from others.

1. I'm insane.
I assure you I am not insane. I don't take any sick pleasure from this. My stomach turns and I feel awful every time another mouse dies. But at the same time, What else am I supposed to do? Let the mice continue to breed, chew on my wires and take doodoos in my house?

2. I'm an 'awful, awful man'.
The best way I can deal with this is to say 'I don't feel good about killing these mice'. I really don't. I'm at war, war against an enemy with unknown numbers, and whose whereabouts are a mystery. They hide in tunnels all over my apartment that I can never hope to discover. I don't hate the enemy, but they threaten my way of life, and while it's not pretty, it must be done.

Sounds kind of like another war we are fighting. So once again I looked to the U.S. military, who's been at this far longer then I have. I read on the Internet that lots of the terrorists are being held prisoner in Cuba, which gave me a good idea:

I also read on the Internet that mice are not indigenous to North America; they were carried over on ships from Europe, which means they might not speak English. It could be that's why they didn't get my earlier warnings. Now I'll translate the best I can.

I think this is far more humane. Don't you?

January 10th, 2002. 10:22AM MST.
Dead: 2, Mostly dead Prisoners: 5.

I've been receiving literally dozens of letters of support. Thanks to everyone. When time permits I'll try to respond the best I can.

I think this is a war I can win. Only one mouse got trapped over night and is in the POW camp. They don't look happy at all. I took a course from the American Red Cross back in college about the Geneva convention and the proper treatment of POWs. I don't remember much of it, but if a Red Cross truck shows up at my house with supplies and letters from home, or wants to inspect the conditions of the camps, I'll be a gracious host.

NEWSFLASH: Mice strike back, 1 human wounded.
Jan 10, 2002. 11:40AM MST

The mice got me. I'm not dead, but I'm injured. The mice seem to be able to snag a bit of peanut butter from the traps without setting it off. I can never underestimate the cleverness of these beasts.

So while resetting a trap, I cut my thumb on one of the many jagged metal edges. I was horrified. This was a trap I was reusing after catching a mouse. Who knows what diseases and filth were lingering around that trap. Then one thought hit me and I freaked: Anthrax. I rushed to my medicine cabinet for some first aid.

Note the generic Neosporin has 3 types of antibiotics. One of them has to be the kind that kills Anthrax.

Ok, now that I'm patched up, I realize it's pretty unlikely that mice would have access to Anthrax (but the way things have been going, it wouldn't surprise me). I do know they carry all sorts of nasty diseases, however, and a little preventative medical treatment for the wounded is probably a safe bet.

Jan 10, 2002. 5:01PM MST
Dead Mice: 7.

Ok, those POW camps just weren't working out. There's something very disturbing about looking down at 4 squirming, squeaking mice every time you go to use the bathroom. So the POW camps became death camps. I felt bad, but there wasn't much I could do.

I made sure to give them a proper funeral, and said a little prayer. I don't know what God mice believe in, or if they are promised immediate entrance into mice paradise if they die while trying to steal food of nibble on electrical wires, but I hope the best for them.

Adios, muchachos.

The only sad thing is, when I sent them to their grave (a city trash bin), they still had some fight left in them. A neighbor looked at me funny as I threw away a sack that seemed to be alive and had high pitched squeaks coming out if it. They started walking away very quickly after I took a photo of the inside of the garbage can. I guess if I didn't know the context, that would worry me a bit too.

Even worse, almost immediatly after performing the funeral service, dark clouds rolled in and it began to rain. I feel very depressed right now.

So this is what it sounds like when mice cry

There have been no real developments since my last update. Like the real news, I guess when things get slow, it's good to find out a little 'behind the scenes' news of the war effort.

Munitions against mice don't just grow on trees: You have to find a place that specializes in that sort of arms. Luckily, there's a place nearby where instruments of death are available 24 hours a day.

You have to love America.

The munitions store has everything a military supply officer could want. Just check this out:

They don't even try to hide the fact that these are for war. Products called 'Combat', 'Raid', 'Hot Shot' or 'Def Con'. And on another aisle, they have greeting cards for sale, in case it's your mothers birthday.

Finally, I've changed my attidude. A good freind of mine e-mailed these words of wisdom:

One thing that disturbed me, however: you stated that you THOUGHT you could win this war. One of Colin Powel's fundamentals of was is that you only enter a war you KNOW you can win.

He's right. I WILL win this war. I just have to.

Jan 11, 2002. 2:55PM MST
NEWSFLASH: Two 'Special Forces' mouse solders killed in midnight raid on water supply.

Ever since the mice started invading in earnest, nothing has been the same. Despite the untold terror of having mice in my house, the most important thing is to keep getting up in the morning and going on with my daily life as best as possible. If I don't, the mice have already won. But I've had to change a lot of my daily routine to ensure the mice do not get the upper hand.

I can no longer leave dishes sitting on the counter, knowing I can just do them tomorrow. If I'm working on a project, I can't leave papers lying around on my desk willy nilly over night, lest the mice start shredding important documents (nothing looks more unprofessional then submitting a contract with chew holes and mice droppings).

It turns out these methods ended up working better then I could have imagined, when last night two special ops mice tried to get to my water supply. I had left a particularly nasty cooking pot in the sink to soak in soapy water (as opposed to just letting it set on the stove top until later). It turns out I did the best thing possible. What you're about to see isn't pretty.

Apparently, SCUBA is not part of the elite forces training for the mouse army.

The plus side is, the water supply is safe. The downside is, I don't think I'll want to cook with that pot again.

The raid on my heavily fortified kitchen counter appeared to be with two mice. The other one died directly under my sink in a snap trap baited with Rolo candy (Thanks to a suggestion from a supportive reader).

Then, sometime, during the night, another mouse happened upon one of my POW camps.

Total score: 9 Dead, 1 POW. I feel victory in my grasp.

14 January 2002. 7:03 PM MST
All quiet.

It's been nearly 3 days since any mouse activity. 10 dead mice, and no signs of them. I've yet to see any droppings, or hear any rustling.

I know this is not over; Harvey, the orgininal mouse, is still at large. She could have retreated and moved to another home, or she could be in hiding, attempting to recruit more soilders.

Jan 14, 2002. 12:10PM MST.
Harvey the Mouse escaped?

6 days since I've last seen battle. Not a peep or a squeak. Not a single discovery of droppings.

The entrance to the mouse caves have been blocked. (Thanks to all those who suggested steel wool.)

The man hunt is still going on for Harvey. For a while I was debating whether or not to enlist the neighborhood for help in his capture and trial (but lets face it, she's wanted more dead then alive). The neighborhood providing something instead.

Yesterday, I received re-enforcements in the most unusual form. This dog showed up, literally, at my doorstep. I don't know who it belongs to, it has no tags or collar. When I open the door, the dog is there. When I return for work, the dog is waiting. Today, when I walked down to the store, he followed me.

Look into my eyes. I'm crazy, and I'm bloodthirsty.

The only thing I can think of is that this dog was sent by someone to patrol the outside grounds for any invaders, or more importantly, to stop any of the war criminals from escaping. You have to admit, that looks like one bad mofo mouse killer.

I'll keep you up to date if I find out anymore. If this dog belongs to anyone reading, thanks for letting it stay on the property.

Sabotage!. Body count = 11.
Jan 21, 2002. 12:45 MST.

What a crazy weekend. So crazy, no time for updates.

Harvey is still at large. No sign of her, but a reader from Gilbert made this for me:

That's not exactly what Harvey looks like, but it's close enough.

Thanks Lisa from Gilbert. Worse comes to worse I'm going to have to start posting that up on telephone poles in my neighborhood, but I'm a little afraid most people around here will think it's for some local rock band and will become confused because they won't be able to figure out where 'Harvey the Mouse must die' is playing.

The dog's identity was discovered. It belonged to a couple of transients who broke down in Arizona and decided to park their truck on the lot. They would leave the dog to run wild all day on the property while they were who knows where panhandling for cash to get there truck fixed. Probably Mill Ave.

Eventually my landlord got sick of them and kicked them out, so no more dog, which is a shame.

At the same time, I informed my landlord about the mouse problems. He discussed some options. "So you don't have a problem with killing them?" No. Kill the bastards.

I was particularly upset because I got another one. The trap went and snapped right through the little fella's skull. Too disgusting for even me to take a picture of.

And you heard me right. Little fella. Really small. Harvey is popping out a new generation. What the mice don't know is, there is no food accessible anywhere in the apartment except the peanut butter on the traps. Victory will be mine!

Saturday night, the mice struck back. I was comfortably relaxing on the couch, when 'poof', the power went out. I'm not an electrician, so I don't know exactly how they did it, but I blew a fuse.

Accident, or SABOTAGE?

This is a very old place. I didn't know houses even had fuses. Imagine trying find a dinosaur like this at 8PM on a Saturday night. I found a Home Depot still open, and had to get a few employees to help me figure out 1. if they still made these, and 2. where in the giant hardware store these things were kept..

When I returned, I found the tell tale signs of mice. They had cut the power supply to do who knows what. My best bet is, they thought I was asleep and were going to try a sneak attack.

With the power back on, something strange happened. My network was all screwy. Somehow, NAT got disabled on my little Cisco router. After fiddling with it for a while, I called tech support. After it was fixed, I asked the lady what could have caused this. She told me "Oh, you know how these things are. Sometimes it just happens."

"Could it have been gremlins?" I asked. She seemed hesitant to answer. "How about a mouse?" She seemed nervous. Is this thing bigger then I thought? Was this just a strange coincidence, or something else. What is Cisco hiding? Or do I dare even dig deeper into this.

This war is far from over.

New warrior enlisted to my army
1/25/02. 3.50AM MST

I've gone several days now with no sign of mice. Good, but not good enough.

The time of peace has given me a chance to read more of the user feedback I've received, and given me time to think.

Harvey's armies may be silent for now, but for how long? I knew I needed some sort of preventive measures that would keep the mice at bay for ever. Some sort of peacekeeping force that would exterminate any new invaders with extreme prejudice.

It finally occurred to me about a week ago that I needed serious help, and I needed a professional. A defensive weapon of untold force and mass.

As much as I didn't want the war to escalate to such a high level, I knew it had to be done.

Harvey, meet Aardvo.

I found Aardvo in the humane society, a prison of sorts for soldiers of fortune who made a mistake somewhere down the line. She was in her cell, and the nice ladies there told me she was one of the most playful and affectionate prisoners. I've been around those in the justice system to know that was code for 'This is the baddest mofo in cell block C'.

When I spoke to the warden, I asked what she was in for. He tapped a few things into the computer, had a shocked look on his face, and told me with a bit of surprise: "Unknown"

Aardvo had probably been in some sort of foreign legion. Her identify, her past was erased. But it is not up to me to question her past. All I know is, now she is working for me.

In the day I've had her, she's been pretty diligent. No mice, and I can just imagine them hiding in the walls in pure terror and fear of Aardvo. Since there is no action, her primary preoccupation seems to be R&R.

She particularly enjoys war documentaries on the History Channel.

Lying on the couch, watching TV, indulging in a sort of psychotropic drug called 'cat nip' are here favorite pastimes.

But don't get me wrong: She's not lazy. She always seems to be sharpening her 'weapons', a set of extremely sharp death claws, on my couch. I'm going to have to find a substitute for her.

When I got her, the people at the humane society told me she had been 'Altered.' A scientific term meaning she has been surgically modified to be more loyal, highly efficient and healthy.

Science has done everything possible to turn her into a true 21st century warrior. Even her food, something called 'Science Diet' comes from the lab.

An army marches on it's stomach.

And boy, does she like to eat. And poop. She even has her own sealed 'chamber' with highly specialized sand. This must be for desert warfare training, but so far all she does is scratch and leave droppings.

I know I should try to remain emotionally distant from this hired gun. She is a killing machine. But it's just so hard not to like her. I can't help to think we will end up being good friends, once the fighting stops.

Jan 30, 2002. 12:15PM MST.
Still Quiet.

It's been nearly a week since I've seen any trace of the mice. The cat seems to be doing her job. So far, her best trait has been chasing another mouse, on my computer screen. This is cute for about 30 seconds, then becomes very, very annoying. Somehow she hasn't quite learned that batting the screen isn't going to stop it.

Making me unproductive has become her favorite pastime. She's obsessed with anything mechanical.

At least somebody finds these spreadsheets interesting.

Once again, cute for about 30 seconds. What's worse is, I know what she's doing when I'm away. Quite often I come home from a meeting and find this on my screen:

22 12:02pm ~ >?
?: No match.
23 12:02pm ~ >g;;;;;;;
g: Command not found.
24 12:02pm ~ >/..........koooooog5rt2w3333333`1ghjk
Unmatched `.

Hands down, her favorite piece of equipment is the fax machine. That makes funny noises AND does stuff with paper. As soon as it rings, she immediately runs across the room to watch the fax come in. How she finds this entertaining is beyond me.

If only I could teach her how to file.

I've started her outdoor training. I have another type of rodent I want her to take care of. One that is more devious and destructive. I'll keep you up to date.

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Please note, I know all about cats, the 'bucket method', humane traps, ferrets, and the humanity of glue traps. Thanks to all who reminded me.

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