I don’t know where our heads were last Fall when we closed up the cottage, but, we seemed to have forgotten to do a few things.
Most things if you forget to do aren’t really a big deal. But, there are a few big ones, like not leaving anything outside that can blow away or get weather damaged. Or, making sure to lock the windows and doors. And, don’t leave water sitting or in the pipes. Those things, I’m happy to say we’re all taken care of.
Then there is one other thing to do and it seems minor but if you don’t you’re going to have destruction and a mess to clean up. It’s simple, just remember to set the mouse traps.
Simple right! Or maybe not!
Well for us, this past year, it was a maybe not.
Yes, We forgot to set the mouse traps! As we opened the front door there sat the evidence in front of us.
Sitting on the counter where the mouse traps. Right next to them was the jar of peanut butter that was supposed to be used in the traps. And surrounding them was mouse poop. Lots of mouse poop.
The droppings were on the counter, in the drawers, and in the sinks. As I went along cleaning, I found more.
It turned out every room had to be cleaned. Every towel in the cottage had to be washed. Potholders, tea towels, and bath towels had to be thrown out.
This mouse, not only had been in every drawer but It had brought in plants from the outside. The plants all had seed pods which it had opened leaving seeds and seedpods in multiple drawers, again, in every room.
I started with stripping all the bedding and washing all the pillowcases including the throw pillows. Then I started to vacuum the house including the furniture and that’s when I found them! Mistake number two.
We had forgotten to put away the coffee and hot chocolate pods in the Fall.
As I was vacuuming I was finding multiple pods on the floor and under the furniture. And the little bugger had cleaned out each one of them.
The results of our forgetfulness had an outcome. A Supermouse had moved in over the Winter. It had a steady diet of caffeine and hot chocolate while throwing a five-month party.
Yes, you read that right. Our little Super Pooper of Mass Destruction had spent the whole Winter hyped up on caffeine which gave him that extra energy to run through the house.
Several hours later, the house was cleaned and the floors were washed. At no point did I find the Master of Destruction.
The next weekend when we arrived, I found no droppings or evidence of the mouse. The traps had been set and they were empty. I had hoped at this point that our intruder had gotten out the door when we were bringing in the supplies.
Later that night around 3 AM Juliette woke us up chasing something around. We got up hoping to find the guilty culprit but found nothing and eventually, we all went back to bed.
The next day I packed up some extra items not needed anymore at the cottage and put them in my trunk to bring home. Keeping in mind the 3 AM chase the night before, I emptied the car very carefully going through each box before bringing them into the house. To my relief, no travelers had joined our journey home. Or so I thought.
Five days later I was at the grocery store when I opened the trunk of the car when out jumped, yes jumped, the mouse. First, it ran under the car. Then it headed to where the grocery buggies were parked. Then it ran under multiple cars before returning to the buggy area where it stopped and sat looking at me.
At this point, Mr. Mouse and I had a short conversation. It went like this. That is a grocery store with lots of food for you to find. There is no charge for your rent or your ride. But I am leaving you here. He responded with only a cold stare from his beady little eyes.
When I pulled away he was sitting in the parking lot only feet away from the entrance of the store. I hope for his sake he made his way inside. I hope for the grocery store owner’s sake, he doesn’t find the coffee aisle.
From this point on, there will be a checklist for closing the cottage. Number one on the list is to set the mouse traps. Number two, just in case number one gets missed, put the coffee away.