I recently libeled my cat, and it’s time to set the record straight before I receive any threatening correspondence from her legal representation.
I wrote this cat had shown too much moxie in going after mice in my basement, mice which had heretofore been docile and quiet. They had been like good children – not only were they not seen but they were not heard, either.
I went on to write that the mice’s ire had been raised by the cat’s attacks. And now the mice were starting to press forward with counterattacks reaching the very kitchen itself in the wee hours (maybe that’s why they’re wee, because little creatures like mice tend to exult during them) and had become an unaccustomed nuisance.
I further maintained that the cat now seemed overwhelmed and was noticeably absent during subsequent encounters with these previously meek little rodents.
Well, I shall now set the record straight.
The cat has lately taken to staking out the kitchen like an old movie police detective, sans surveillance van and Styrofoam cups of coffee.
I should also point out that my previous accounts may have been a tad exaggerated. There was, strictly speaking, one actual mouse sighting in the kitchen during the height of the crisis.
But, as anyone familiar with mice will tell you, if you’ve seen one, you haven’t seen ’em all.
So what to do?
I could continue to rely on my stakeout kitty, but a more permanent solution was preferable.
However, retrieving mouse cadavers from traps has very little appeal to me.
Retrieving live mice from no-kill traps has only slightly more appeal. Not to mention the problem of what to do with the mice taken prisoner. Should they be released back into the wild while humming, “Born Free?”
Plus, if the “wild” isn’t a mile or two removed from the house, they’re just going to come back in.
Surely, I thought, science has the answer.
It was in the aisles of a Walmart in which I discovered a technological breakthrough designed to ward of mice without having to kill or repatriate them.
You plug one of these devices into an outlet and it emits high-frequency electromagnetic sound waves that mice can’t stand. The sounds don’t bother people or pets, according to the manufacturers.
At first it seemed to me that it couldn’t possibly work.
Then I remembered that Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” has the exact same effect on me.
I once considered jumping from a speeding automobile in which I was a passenger when the driver relentlessly played the CD.
These mouse-repellent devices include a nightlight. I’m not sure why, unless you want to be able to see where the mice would have been had you not been using your rodent repeller.
They’re also pretty cheap – under $20.
There were cons, however.
It seems the sound waves don’t travel well through cupboards, walls, furniture – anything solid tends to block them, so the more introverted rodents who tend to stay out of the limelight won’t be bothered.
Also, while mice do take fright at strange sounds, they also quickly become accustomed to them and adjust, so the repellers may not work over a lengthy period.
I decided to attempt a limited trial before purchase.
I’m going to play “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on a loop in the kitchen overnight for a few weeks and see if it has any effect.
Even if it doesn’t bother the mice, it will help me cut down on raiding the refrigerator.
Editor Frank Mulligan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.