My late husband, Jerry Flint, and I were chatting with his son, Doug about the cruelty of mouse traps. Glue them down and let them starve or snap their little bodies in half. Yuk. Doug sent us a couple of catch and release traps along with a supply of peanut butter crackers that his Virginia mice like, but we never got to use them together.
My first night in the house alone, as if being alone wasn’t enough, I heard scratching noises in the ceiling. I was sure the house was being occupied by gigantic rats. I loaded a trap with crackers, threw it in the area where I’d heard noises and beat it back to the city. When I got back the following week, two pair of little black eyes stared out at me from the box. What to do?
Being suddenly solo when you have been a partner for so many years is difficult on all fronts. Some you anticipate but trapping mice isn’t one them. I put the three of us—all terrified-–into the back of a Cadillac CTS wagon, my test car for the week, and drove up to the town’s public park situated on a high hill overlooking the spectacular Hudson River. I flipped open the traps with a garden tool that had a long handle and returned the creatures to the wild with an extra supply of peanut butter crackers.
The next week I caught another one and transported it to the park in a Buick LaCrosse. As I escorted the mice to the rear seat of the coach, I thought, “Is this progress for mankind or for mice?” Maybe both. I was feeling compassion, not repulsion. As for the mice they got a luxury ride to their idea of heaven.
I thought about Gus and Jaq, the two mice who powered the pumpkin-turned-coach that took Cinderella to the ball. In a great reversal, Cinderella was taking mice to the ball. Jerry would have loved it. And I'm sure the mice did too.