Of Mice, Men, And Smellograms

Ever since we moved into our new house I’ve been waging war against mice.

Some men might be worried if they woke in the middle of the night to find their wife sneaking around the bed with a flashlight, but Hubby greeted the sight with his usual resigned tolerance:

Him:  “What are you doing?”

Me:  “There’s a mouse in here.”

Him:  “Can’t be.”

Me:  “There is.  I heard it.  It woke me up.”

He knows I’m a light sleeper, but he didn’t really believe there were mice in the house; and even if there were, he doubted that I could be woken by the pitter-patter of their tiny feet.  So he observed with skepticism while I bought mousetraps and set them under our bed.

Imagine the scene:

We’re lying in bed in the dark.  He’s snoozing.  I’m staring tensely at the ceiling, clutching a flashlight under the covers.

And then… I hear the little bastard skittering across the floor.

I bolt up in bed, yanking the covers off Hubby and jabbing my flashlight in the direction of the sound.

Hubby:  “What the…?”

Me:  “I saw him!  I saw the little shit!  He ran under the bed!”

Hubby:  “Yes, dear.  Please turn off the flashlight and lie down.  And give back my blanket.”

So we settled down again…


I rocketed out of bed, flashlight blazing.  “I got him!  Ha!”

When I held up the trap containing the still-twitching body, Hubby had to admit that there actually had been a mouse in the bedroom.  But he thought the excitement was over and he’d finally get some sleep.  Poor deluded man.

I got up and disposed of the body (the mouse’s, not Hubby’s); then reset the trap and went back to bed to stare at the ceiling some more.


Once more Hubby jolts awake to find his wife doing a pagan victory dance around the bed, stark naked and waving a dead mouse.

Did I mention he’s a very tolerant guy?

After I’d caught several mice, the traps on the main floor remained untouched.  I still caught one in the crawl space every day or two, but after a while my catch dwindled and I stopped checking the traps every day… until I got my first whiff of rotting mouse and went down to find a bloated corpse leaking malodorous body fluids.


Needless to say, I check my trap lines daily now; and I’m working at closing every tiny aperture around the foundation to stop the invaders.

So when Hubby suggested mice for today’s topic, he added, “Make sure you mention the swollen one.  Maybe you could include a smellogram.”

Me (laughing):  “Is that even a thing?  ‘Cause if it’s not, it should be!  Imagine a knock at your door, and some uniformed guy holds out a jar and says, ‘Smellogram for you.  Please sniff here.”

I did find the word listed in Urban Dictionary, but the definition insists it’s specifically related to farts.  So no smellograms for you today, dear readers.

But if you’re haunted by the recurring image of a naked middle-aged woman dancing around brandishing a dead mouse in the middle of the night, then my work here is done.

Have a good week, and sleep tight…

P.S. I finished the draft of Book 12, woohoo!  It’s with the beta readers now.  Stay tuned for a title announcement and a release date!

26 thoughts on “Of Mice, Men, And Smellograms

  1. Pingback: Nocturnal Ninja | Diane Henders

  2. Pingback: Oh, Deer! | Diane Henders

  3. Definitely time to get a cat. My house came with mice as well but I haven’t seen any for some time. I did catch some with traps but I think (hope) that the word got out that my house is not mouse-friendly.


    • I keep hoping the word will get around the mouse population here, that if they come in they don’t get out alive. I’ve been throwing the corpses outside as a warning to others, but so far it hasn’t been working. 😉

      I just discovered two more mouse-access points in our crawl space yesterday, so I’ll keep searching. Sooner or later I’ll get them all!


  4. Nothing like the smell of a dead rodent to shut down the fun. My guess is that your husband is used to this kind of behavior and fell right back to sleep. I have ten cats, but only about three or four of them would dream of exerting themselves enough to catch a mouse. Long ago my wife caught a mouse by the scruff of its neck and showed our Siamese cat what he was supposed to be doing. He looked at her like, “Keep up the good work. I’m going back to sleep.”


    • Ha! As the saying goes, “Dogs have owners; cats have staff”. And yes, Hubby went right back to sleep. He can sleep through anything. I’m not sure whether that’s an innate skill or a self-defence tactic that he’s learned since being married to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When you used to catch them with your hands, did you dispatch them or put them outside? And if you put them outside, how do you know it wasn’t the same mouse five times? I hasten to add that catching the same mouse five times is just as impressive as catching five different mice, maybe even more so because unless the little blighter was incredibly slow (mentally) he should have gotten faster each time; ergo you must have been faster, too.

    I wrote about mice in our house on my blog, but I’ll give you the short version. We did catch and release, with my cat catching and me releasing. A cat can hold a mouse just as carefully as she can hold her kittens in her teeth, apparently! Both mice were unharmed, as far as I could tell.

    I’m surprised the mice came in this time of the year. I thought they only came in in the fall. LOL – that’s how much I know about them 🙂


    • I thought so, too; but apparently there are so many mice here that they’re always coming and going. Yet another reason to get all our access points plugged before the fall migration!

      As to the five mice (or one mouse five times; who knows?)… I used to have a pretty good pitching arm back then. The ones that hit the tree at high velocity probably didn’t return. But if the poor things were wandering back into the cabin concussed, it’s no wonder I was able to catch them again (and again)!


  6. May I recommend Maine Coon cats or mutt cats bearing a lot of Maine Coon traits? I have one that I’m caregiving for a niece while she’s in college. No spider is safe in my house from this cat, and I once caught him crunching the last bit of a mouse who was stupid enough to come into the cat’s vicinity. No gifts are left for me since the cat is on a weight loss diet. He eats anything he catches – totally. I read in a cat care advice book that mice are a perfect cat food. Fine by me. Bon Appetite. Indoor mice do deserve a speedy dispatch.


    • I love Maine Coon cats – what big beautiful softies! I always think of Hellhound’s John Lee Hooker as a Maine Coon mutt. 🙂

      I’ve been in touch with a feral cat rescue association in our area and our acreage might become “home” to a colony of four that needs relocation. I wouldn’t put a housecat outside in our area – too many cougars, bears, eagles, owls, and other hungry critters. But the ferals know how to take care of themselves – we only have to build them a bit of shelter, and they’ll be fine. Another thing on the to-do list…


  7. You’re too funny–and too brave! I would not like a mouse in my house, no I would not, and I would definitely not be in charge of killing and removing it, not to mention doing it nekked. You’re so cool. Hope your husband knows how lucky he is! But sorry to hear you have mice in your new place. Maybe it’s time for a cat?

    Congrats on finishing book 12! That’s awesome!


    • Thanks, Carrie! I’m so glad to be finished Book 12 – I love to write, and it’s been immensely frustrating to only be able to spare scattered minutes to do it.

      I’m hoping to resolve the mouse problem more peaceably in the future. I’ve discovered that there were gaps left when they placed our house on the foundation, so once those are filled we may be rid of our unwanted visitors. Fingers crossed! Meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be down in the crawl space in the dark with my spray foam, poking my head into all the joist spaces and looking for points of light. 😉


  8. I’d almost feel sorry for the lil mice, but my ex once thought I’d ask him to come back to save me when he left a mouse here years ago, except like you I bought a trap and disposed of the full response the next day

    Glad you got to the bottom of the issue, and good luck plugging the holes

    I look forward to the release of the new book

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Decades ago a housemate of mine said he saw a mouse in the kitchen of a house we were renting. I didn’t believe him, but bought mouse traps anyway. Within minutes of setting them and turning out the light in the kitchen, I heard a snap, followed quickly by two more. We bagged something 10 of little guys in a week.

    and we had two cats in the house at the time. Cats are useless as mousers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My husband works in micobiology research. They used to do smell tests by making volunteers sniff stinky armpits and rate them (One reviewer wrote “This is one is some kinda stinky!” and rated it as a 8 on a scale of 1-5). But now they have an eNose, an electronic tester of stinkiness – wouldn’t that be fun for you to have around the place? Have an actual scientific tool to compare the decomposing mouse stench with pickled egg/garlic sausage fart stench???


    • OMG, the eNose would be amazing! So now inquiring minds want to know: What is the correct term for a unit of stinkiness? I mean, we have ‘decibels’ to measure sound and ‘scovilles’ for the hotness of peppers… should we use ‘retches’ for stink? Or maybe ‘gags’ is snappier.

      And I wonder how the eNose would compare stinks of equal intensity but different stench-quality? As you say, decomposing mouse stench compared to pickled egg/garlic sausage fart stench – which is more stomach-turning?

      Now I have to go and look up the eNose… 😉


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