A Better Mousetrap

There were 4 mousetraps set. One was missing. Mission accomplished ?


Mission Impossible Image. Reddit.com

Five hours later, he emerged from under a storage box in the basement.

He was still alive, neck was partially trapped, he was dragging it around.

It was my first encounter with a field mouse. I am told, it had happened in other homes, other basements, but I was never witness.

Having written before about a positive relationship with local wildlife, this caught me off guard.


I was alone, barefoot, in the pre-dawn hours when I caught the movement out of my peripheral vision. It was too big, too fast to be a simple insect.

There was no “EEK”, I didn’t jump up on a chair. I pursued him.

All of a sudden, I had a greater understanding of childhood cartoon drama. Speedy Gonzalez. Tom and Jerry. Mickey Mouse ??

He circled the entire downstairs, jumped on a dining room chair, stared at me.

I emptied a cardboard box and went after him, thinking I could outrun/outsmart him.

I did neither.

He ended up in the basement, with ample hiding locations. Mousetraps were purchased, armed with bait, doorways were blocked.

A full 24 hours later, all was still silent. “Not a creature was stirring…etc.etc. ”

And then I heard the sound of metal…which I assumed was the snap of the trap.

I ventured down. Found that one trap was missing. Assumed it was all over.

Felt bad, but relieved.

We both searched the basement, moving boxes around as best we could. Considered waiting until the smell emerged.

Five, yes, five hours later, the noises began again. And that’s when we spotted him, wearing one trap, feeding on another.

Amazing endurance, this one was worthy of a rescue.

We (he) carried him to the back yard, using pliers to release the trap. I’m told he turned and looked, then scurried away.

The term “catch and release” took on a whole new meaning.

And, I don’t go downstairs in my bare feet any more.

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79 Responses to A Better Mousetrap

  1. LauraBelle says:

    I would say you had a defective trap that didn’t slam down as hard as it’s supposed to.

  2. Sadie's Nest says:

    I am so impressed by your bravery (and kindness).

  3. J.D. Riso says:

    One tough little mouse. I hope he survives outside.

  4. TanGental says:

    Ha! Very reminiscent. My daughter, the Vet of this parish, had to go to the garage to flip a fuse that had gone and trod on a dead mouse in her bare feet; a gift from the cat. The screams, the flapping hands the attempts to keep her feet off the floor, all were worth the entrance money. I’m sworn to secrecy about this but these comments are private right?

  5. Oh, my, funny and brave. That was one tough mouse!

  6. It’s such a dilemma, Van. They really can cause havoc in the house (in addition to not being toilet trained). I’m with you that catch and release is kinder when it works. We have a cat who brings the mice IN. Sigh.

    • Yep, I’ve heard that one before. We had a few dogs that would do that. We have a tightly sealed basement.. still not sure how he got in..maybe through an open door with us, and we just missed it.Thanks, D.

  7. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, unbelievable stamina, your little field mouse. Your kindness understandable. I would have done the same! Mousey knows now, he should stay out in the field! 🐭 Christine

  8. Joyful2bee says:

    Wow! That was so kind of you to release him. A true Mighty Mouse!!

  9. Erika Kind says:

    Awh, at times we have mice outside on the patio but close to the door. So at times they went in. We also put some traps outside but those who look like a cage. I don’t want to harm them just want to get them further away from the house. These little guys don’t belong into the house but they are so cute.

  10. Bradley says:

    I’m glad he was taken out and released. I’d have hated for the resilient little critter to lose his life.

  11. What an endurance level! He deserved a release, truly!

  12. Wow. Amazing feet of strength!

  13. Elyse says:

    I was with you all the way — and I love the ending!

  14. Endurance and perseverance? In a mouse. I bet there is SOMETHING we can learn from that creature. Thank you for sharing this Van.

  15. Just like bugs and viruses, I think these little creatures are getting more resilient. Glad to hear he made it back outside to where he belongs, though.

  16. Where we live one must have a mouser…mice are cartilage they are amazing little critters…and there is never just one 🤓 happy day Smiles to you Van 💘

  17. That mouse has such spine

  18. George says:

    Oh Lord, I really don’t like mice. Like jump up on a chair don’t like them. But this one seems like it was worth saving for sure. I wonder if he’ll venture back into the house or know that he already played that card and got lucky..::)

  19. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Tough little critter!

  20. I suppose after hanging on that long, the little critter had earned his release. It was a kind gesture. 🙂

  21. lbeth1950 says:

    Glad you sprung Mighty Mouse!

  22. Lady G says:

    Van, this had me rolling with laughter. We had one that just would not go away. I tried everything. Sadly, I ended up having to use poison.
    It was my last resort; I so wanted him to ‘go quietly into that good night’ but he was not having it!
    I had no choice.

  23. Bernadette says:

    I think you trapped Mighty Mouse – amazing. It is amazing how fast those little field mice are. When they are running they become a blur. Several times I thought maybe I had something wrong with my eyes! I notice you don’t have a button to follow by Email. I keep losing your posts in the reader.

  24. Ann Koplow says:

    You build a better blog! ❤

  25. I would have let him go, too. He earned it.:)

  26. Impressive! I would have shrieked like a crazed maniac – not because I fear mice, but because of the startle factor. However, like you, the job of transporting the creature out of doors would fall to the man of the house.

    We have encountered only one mouse. By we I mean the Black Cat. He brought it upstairs at 2:37 in the morning. Bounced it around the livingroom a good half dozen times before dispatching the poor thing. We thought the cat was playing with his toys.

    • Well, in a sense, he really was playing with his “toys”. Why in the middle of the night ?? If this guy had made his way upstairs, it might have all ended differently, Maggie. 😱

  27. The glue traps are awful…at least you had a chance to set him free. With the glue traps every move they make bogs them down in the glue. We have no mice now. But when we did I agonized over every mouse I caught.

    • I thought the glue traps were supposed to be an advancement…seems like, not so much.

      • Unless someone intervenes, the mouse dies from fear and hunger.

        Four years ago, I was a regressed mess and we had mice. The property owner had been in earlier to lay glue traps.

        I was functioning emotionally like a five year old and alone because my partner was away with his family.

        One night I heard tiny screams and saw a mouse by the head and forepaws in a clue trap. There was no releasing him to the wild. He was frantic with fear his every move buried him deeper in glue.

        On top of that, I had a Cat.

        I didn’t know what to do. It was midnight and every time the cat looked at it, little shrieks got louder.

        Had I been in a more adult from of mind I would have ended its suffering.

        But not that night.

        I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t kill it.

        I blocked it off with books to keep the cat away and stayed up all night to make sure the cat didn’t get to it.

        It was dead by morning.

        I will never use glue traps again.

      • I had no idea how they worked. That was a tough memory to share from a personally challenging time. You were doing the best you knew. Thanks, Robert.

  28. Nurse Kelly says:

    Aww. He’s lucky he wasn’t permanently maimed! Sorry to put that thought in your head, Van!
    I had to use traps recently in the basement… had a mouse living in a plastic bin for Christmas decorations. The lid wasn’t on tightly enough, and he made himself at home in there… which includes you know what! The contents had to be dumped and a trap had to be set. I hate doing that, but they can be so destructive. You have such a big heart! ❤

    • A Christmas kind of mouse…eek ! I’m thinking about all the storage boxes my guy might have inhabited down there. Glad he made his presence known so quickly. Thanks, Kelly. 💗

  29. I remember as a kid having mice in the garage and my mom putting out mouse traps. One of the mice was trapped, had a broken spine, but didn’t die right away. The trauma of seeing that poor little thing suffering has stayed with me all these years. I’d rather do catch-and-release. Thanks heavens I don’t have mice where I live now. I’d probably make pets of them.

    • Funny you mention that, CM, we once had pet white mice. We thought we had bought 2 females, they were wrong, and reproduced like crazy. When they started eating their young, they took a one way trip into the woods. 🐁 🐁

  30. What a catch! He sure deserved to be released. He’s Speedy, Micke, and Mighty Mouse all in one 🙂

  31. Laura says:

    Holy cow, this is the best. visual. ever.
    Went to feed the dogs one morning at our old house. Reached the scoop down into the bag and up came dog food with a field mouse PERCHED ON TOP. In my hand!! I’m not ashamed there was an EEK followed by that scoop getting dropped like it was burning me. Bwahahahaha!!

  32. Wow, strong guy. LOL. I grew up with mice in NYC (no matter how famously clean Koreans are, you have the neighbors in the apt building). But I’ve become more green as an adult and am glad he was set free. I hate to get lost and have that be the death of me. -)

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