Tag Archives: while the cat’s away

The Story – In a Nutshell


After returning home from a two-month vacation, I noticed peanut shells on the floor by the television cabinet. On the opposite side of the living room, I found shells on the fireplace hearth.

“What’s all this?” I asked Hubby.

“Hmmm, that’s odd. Your grandkids?”

Yeah, sure, blame my grandkids. My daughter had been watering the plants and collecting the mail, but I was quite certain she wouldn’t let her kids run around our house, discarding peanut shells.

“No, it wasn’t them,” I replied.

“Well, ask her, you never know.”

Later that day, Hubby slipped into a pair of shoes he’d left in the kitchen and found a small, round chocolate in one of them. Yep, you guessed it: my grandkids again—according to him!

I suppose they could have dropped a chocolate, even on purpose, into his shoe. More probable a candy in a shoe versus peanut shells in the living room. But I doubted it.

That evening, Hubby opened the door of the cabinet to turn on the television. What! A pile of peanut shells on top of the receiver.

“Okay, THAT wasn’t my grandchildren,” I said. “They’d never open the door and throw shells in there.”

I asked my daughter if the kids had nuts while in the house. Nope. She was in and out as quickly as she could. “But thanks for blaming us,” she said.

Hubby and I discussed the situation that evening. We’d had mice in the past but hadn’t seen any for a couple of years, so I thought we were done with them. But do mice hoard nuts?

Squirrels? Had squirrels invaded our house? THAT was a horrid thought. Squirrels cause way more damage than mice. And how would we get rid of them?

The last time we had bought peanuts was in November or December, and we went away early in January. The peanuts were on the kitchen counter, in a basket, and they were all gone when we left. This meant that critters had scoffed the nuts while we were home! I remembered how Hubby had accused me of eating all his peanuts. I did have a few, yes, but not as many as he had accused me of—at least, I hadn’t thought so. I tried not to eat many as I was trying to lose weight, but when food is in plain sight, it’s hard to ignore. Hubby had taken a bowl every evening and disappeared to his man cave, but I remembered thinking at the time how they disappeared, and I did wonder if I had eaten more than I had thought. Gah, the guilt! But suddenly, everything made sense! It was mice! Or squirrels! It wasn’t me! How dare Hubby blame me.

After we ate dinner, Hubby set three traps: two by the television and one on the hearth. He sat in the living room, watching TV.

Low and behold, a few minutes later a mouse sauntered from behind the TV, heading straight for the peanut butter in the trap. Right by Hubby’s feet. With the TV full blast.


After we went to bed, a trap snapped. We discovered the next morning the dratted critter managed to evade it but had a good feed. I also made another discovery.

The chocolate in Hubby’s shoe? It was an M&M. I had given Hubby a bag of M&Ms for Christmas. When he showed me the chocolate in his shoe the previous day, immediately I thought of the M&Ms, but it was still on the kitchen desk.

But that morning, something made me pick up the bag of M&Ms. Yep: empty! They had shredded the end of the bag. All gone.

I was sick to my stomach. Critters on the counter. Critters on the desk. Critters in the TV cabinet. Critters on our fireplace. And those were places where we found evidence. Where else had they been roaming? Where were they hiding? And still hiding!

These dratted rodents had a field day for the two months we were gone. While the cats are away, the mice will play.



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