Two neat little poops gleamed in the darkness, right at the back.
I checked the cupboard where there tends to be most mouse activity - yep, more poops.
I got the mousetrap out and prepared for a short skirmish with the tiny furries that sometimes invade our home to take advantage of my slatternly ways in the kitchen.
It's a black box in which you connect up two batteries. These batteries feed to two metal plates in the box and, as soon as a hungry mouse steps onto both plates and reaches for the peanut butter on the back wall of the trap SZZZAAAAAAAP. He's off to mouse heaven.
The trap was primed and placed in the cupboard.
Cut to next morning and Tertarus opens the trap. Nothing. No mouse. No peanut butter.
He got out his box of electrical tricks and checked all the connections. It was working fine.
The trap was duly primed again and placed back in the cupboard.
Later that day, Tertarus checked. Again - no mouse, no bait.
Confused and getting a bit pissed off, he checked every electrical connection in the trap. It was working. Intermittently. Basically, the mouse was getting a bit of a zap, but not enough to stop it from scoffing the peanut butter (which mice like best in all the world).
'You've ruined the trap.' he said accusingly.
Some months back, I had complained to Tertarus (as he had just come back from 6 weeks abroad, working) that there was a funny smell in the kitchen and that he would need to rod my drains. No euphemism, just rodding m'drains. Wordlessly he went to The Cupboard and he produced the trap. Sprung. With a mouse. That had died some time ago. And whose innards were now outards.
He made me clean up all the leakage. And now that leakage seemed to have affected the efficacy of the trap.
That or we had some kind of nuclearly charged supermouse scurrying through our cavity walls.
Today he went out for a haircut and came home with two traps. One is a replacement for the hideously expensive (but kind) ZAAAP trap. The other is a modern equivalent of a Tom and Jerry trap.
I poked at the Tom and Jerry trap. 'I don't want you using that one,' I said.
'It's just too cruel. It's only a wee mouse. It's not doing me any harm.'
Tertarus waved his battery checking terminal pointy things (again, no euphemism - just battery checking pointy things) and reminded me that wee mice chewed through the wiring and how merciful would I feel to them when the burglar alarm starts discharging at full volume in the middle of the night due to mouse snackery?
I had to agree - they eat absolutely anything - lego rubber tyres, paper, wiring....I even discovered a nest under the sink made from ripped up Brillo oven pads (just brush over the fact that I had mice under my sink and I didn't even notice, please). My marvelling at the ingenuity of the tiny rodent's home-building skills struggled with the scary thought that mice can happily chew up soap covered wire......
So, now the electronic trap is set. I pray that it works and that we find the body of a little mouse in there later today. If the zap trap fails, Tertarus will have no compunction about putting down the Tom and Jerry leg-snapper in its place.
And while it's funny in a cartoon, a mouse dying an agonising death is no laughing matter in your home.