We have a mouse. His name is speedy. His name is speedy because if you crack his cage he will jump, squeeze through the tiniest crack, jump on your face, and then haul ass like Speedy Gonzales.
He will then jump off the counter with abandon, legs spread like he thinks he's a flying squirrel, land at a full sprint, and immediately hide under a hard to remove appliance.
I have now caught Speedy four times.
Three of those times, I had to uninstall the dishwasher. I'm serious.
I swear I heard a soft "areebaareeba" every time.
The reason we have a mouse is because mid-winter, I saw him in the basement. He went speeding by. I used a live trap and peanut butter to end his basement racing escapades. Speedy CANNOT resist peanut butter. It's his kryptonite.
My mistake was feeling proud of my cleverness and presenting the victim of my victorious battle of the hunt to my girls, aged 9 and 12, for acknowledgment of my intelligence, manliness, and dadliness before disposing of said mouse in the nearby woods.
As it turns out, that wasn't gonna happen. It was winter. The mouse had big sad eyes. The girls had big sad eyes.
So speedy got a home. A plastic tub with a lid drilled with 30 holes. Yes, 30. The girls and mom were not satisfied with 20 or even 25.
It turns out that my girls are effective googlers and decided, supported by a stack of expensively printed expert advice, the tub didn't provide the proper ventilation or exercise required for a healthy mouse. My wife, in her abundance of anti-dad wisdom, had taught my children that they can always win with dad if they use logic supported by facts supported by big sad eyes.
My reaction was simple, I grunted. They had an allowance and a mom on their side, deal with Speedy's inadequate living conditions yourselves. It turns out they had already hatched a plan. The plan was there was an upcoming birthday, so DAD was going to go purchase a new, wonderful, and mouse expert approved cage. They googled and printed out, on my paper, using my ink, for my convenience, the cage they wanted to be brought to them. Dad, however, was determined he was NOT going to spend his Saturday picking up a new home for speedy.
So, while at PetSmart, on a Saturday afternoon, receiving texted instructions from my girls, I discovered mouse cages, wheels, and food, costs about $50. That's good for you to know if you have daughters with sad eyes and catch a live mouse with sad eyes.
Speedy now had a nice happy home with food customized to please a mouse. Assuming speedy was just any mouse. He/she was not. Speedy was given a few cashew pieces from a nearly empty tin by one afore mentioned nine year old girl. Speedy decided cashews were agreeable to his/her sensitive tastes. The girls now insist that the cashew, expensive as it is, are required additions to the speedy food bowl.
Speedy needed a lot exercise according to the experts hand selected by my girls. So speedy was given a wheel. It turns out the wheels that Speedy likes, wheels made of metal, with a precisely sized square grid that fit his/her paws well as a running surface, squeak a lot. Like, the whole family is up all night listening to a mouse run a lot, a lot. Silicone spray will reduce the squeak for about half a night. WD40 will eliminate it, but the smell makes it unacceptable to wives and children with sad eyes. It turns out it's best to go through three wheels until Speedy is happy and there is no squeak.
The reason I'm telling you about Speedy is the other day, when we apparently had the tornado in U City, I was in the basement with my girls and wife. I had been checking the weather out the front door and, when the weather front was close, I could hear the straight line winds howling and see the distant trees bending.
I went to the basement to inform my protected, bed laying, and dvd watching family, that the storm was both near and fierce.
Unfortunately, at that very time, my rabid animal loving mother-in-law asked my girls on facebook if we had speedy and cherry-blueberry (our beta fish) with us.
Of course we didn't. I herded the wife, children, and dogs to the safety of the basement, but who adds a wild and spoiled mouse and a five dollar fish into their tornado plans?
The answer is my mother-in-law, daughters, and wife.
So, with Weatherman Dave warning me of my imminent death on TV, winds howling, horizontal hail banging against the sliding glass door, I was sent on a rescue mission for a wild mouse and a beta fish.
The moral of this story is don't ever show sad eyed girls a sad eyed mouse. You're risking you life.
This is not speedy, but it is exactly what he looks like:
This is not my girls, but it is exactly what I have to deal with: