When li'l Jerry outdoes Tom, breaking every possible bone in his body, we laugh. We smile at all the impossible things the duo does on screen. Jerry is perhaps the most loved mouse, next to Mickey. These days I even feel he's beaten the latter to it. Mice have always been cute in the movies, be it Mouse hunt, Stuart Little or...donno, there are several movies on this little 'cute' creatures. Once you switch off the TV or come out of the cinema however, these four legged rodents are something quite different. My tryst with mice started in Mysore, many years ago. There was this mouse (my mom always calls them rat). So, this 'rat' came in on a rainy day to take shelter I guess. When and how it came, nobody knows. But it walked right in, like it were walking into a Hilton or a Sheraton and booked the kitchen suite for good. It all started when one night I walked in to drink a glass of water. And there she was. Standing on the kitchen plank, staring right into me. I rubbed my eyes. I'd been watching Tom & Jerry the same evening and wondered if she'd appeared right out of my dream. But no, the bold li'l thing stared at me while I drank as if to say, 'well, finish it and go. I've to eat." I raised a hand, to shoo her and she disappeared into thin air. Over the year or so she stayed with us, she fed on only potatoes and other raw veggies kept under the stove. We let it stay cause most of the other things in the kitchen were intact. Little did we know that an entire family was being raised in other places in our house. I still remember the count when we bid goodbye to the 'jerry' family. A total of eight mice!
When I moved to Bangalore, a cousin of our friend's came visiting once again. Only this time, she had an elephant's appetite. Mixie cable, the washing machine electrics, TV cable. She had an 'electric' presence.
You know, mice are damn intelligent for all of their tiny girth. They'll tease you, dare you, defy you and counter every little move of yours. Just when you thought you'd seen the last of them, they'll peep their pesky little heads from some hole and stick their tongues out at you. I thought they'd been awfully glorified in the movies. Boy, was I wrong!
We shifted home recently. And there seems to be a colony below our house and they picnic in our frontyard. One enthusiastic mouse even knocks on the kitchen drain every single night. I've sealed the drain cover and called pest control. I don't mind a stray guest or two, but a whole bunch of refugees? No, thank you. And I don't wanna try rat poison because that's more a vaccine. I'm not even going there.
I hope I'll be seeing the last of them soon, but I know they'll have the last laugh. Until then...