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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On Fashion Plates and Wee Houseguests

Fashion Plate, Union Square
Photo by myself near Union Square, at 14th Street and Park Avenue South.

A fashion plate stood in medium winter gear near Union Square.

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This weekend, Mark and I officially became New Yorkers.

How so? Do ten years living in a walk-up on the Upper West Side, a sleazy landlord, subway commutes and a hardened skin count for nothing?

Well Sunday night, I discovered a mouse in our house. Yes, Mark and I are finally New Yorkers because we have a live-in rodent.

I heard scratching coming from a closet and approached slowly, carrying our cat in one hand. Our (Neanderthal) upstairs neighbors had reported a mouse recently, so I've been on the look out.

I turned on the hall light and eased open the closet door. There, sandwiched between folders of old tax returns, was a tiny grey mouse, about an inch long. His whiskers twitched at me mockingly.

Long story short, the cat wound up walking away. Then the mouse did too, after I shined a flashlight into his beady little eyes. Argh!

So Mark and I are discussing glue traps vs. 'humane traps' vs. the old-fashioned metal mousetraps. My rodent-experienced friends are pitching in their advice, telling me many a tale about how some poor mice met their end.

To be continued.

Related posts: Fashionista Not, On the Streets and on the Runways and Fashionably Late.

13 comments:

Olivier said...

superbe photo, on dirait un mannequin ;)

Lily Hydrangea said...

if you use the glue trap, it (or they, God forbid) may be still alive when you catch him. I've been using them to quell the Cricket population in my basement & trust me, it's not pretty!
I love this man's jacket & also the nice balance of color you have in this photo, mostly Winter greys with splashes of brightness, so lovely.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Your photo has me looking at it over and over again. What is the fascination with it? I don't know... but it is fascinating.

Kizz said...

Just want to reiterate what Lily Hydrangea said about them often being alive on the glue trap. (Read: always alive) If you aren't prepared to dispatch the mouse by hand then you should pick a different sort of trap. The old fashioned snap traps are generally pretty humane in their killing at least.

jodi sh doff said...

Glue traps are the cruelest thing you can do. Mice have been known to chew their own feet off to get away. Others starve to death if the traps aren't checked regularly.

The snap traps are the most humane, if properly set. Live catch and release *sounds* humane, but if you take an apartment mouse and release it into a field or empty lot to which it has no orientation, you're just turning it in to prey for other predators. It will either be someone's dinner or it will starve/freeze to death.

Best solution? Mouse proof the apt by finding the holes and sealing them up.

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» supposes it is better to have a mouse in the house than one of the RATS in Washington...and hopes you can get rid of it soon!

Jose said...

I'd say YES you and Mark are official New Yorkers! You deserve to celebrate!! Tim (my partner) just celebrated his 20th and I just celebrated my 10th! We went to Serendipidy and got some frozen hot chocolates! Yumm! I've got nothing for you on the mousetraps though:-) Our kitties has done a great job...they love those water bugs:-)

José

CrowNology said...

Well, I guess I am a New Yorker too! I've had mice every winter (much to my cats pleasure!) for the last 3 years. I bought an 80 year old house in a downtown in a city in Newfoundland and it has GAPS.
I like your photos of people. I want to do this too...I was curious do you ask people or do it "on the sly" or just snap away? Has anyone ever been mean about it?
Lovely blog.
Andrea

Kitty said...

Thanks Olivier!

Thanks Lily
Yes, I've heard terrible things about glue traps. There seems to be very few sensible options. Eek. My guilt is kicking in.

Ha Brenda
I'm the same as you. I like the photo but can't put my finger on why.

Hi Kizz!
A coworker vouches for those metal traps, especially if you're using peanut butter rather than something more portable, like cheese.

I've heard many a terrible story about glue traps. Oy, awful.

Thanks Jodi
Actually one coworker recommends a special trap that electrocutes the mice. I'll have to learn more about post later.

We'll definitely mouseproof the closets by sealing any hole with steel wool. I've been told though that mice can get through openings 1/4" small. That's pretty small.

ha, Louis!

Hi Jose!
I had no idea you've lived in NY so long. Interrrresting!
I might have to put our cat Dida on probation. Or she should get some talking to from your kitties.

Hi CrowNology
The whole candid photography subject has been an issue of late. Usually I do not ask people I photograph. I like taking photos on the sly because people look most natural.

So far, no one has been outraged, though some store owners have asked me to delete photos. I usually ask whether I can photograph when I'm inside a private space (restaurant, hotel, bar).

I will have to lecture our cat Dida at length for her failure to perform!

CrowNology said...

Thank you Kitty,
Perhaps I'll try today!
Best,
Andrea

Torilpia said...

I don't like mice .. my cat does :o)

Great shot ..

Lozzie Cap said...

Forgive me, but what does "fashion plate" mean, please?

We put poison down when we had mice in our attic. And, most importantly, identified how they were getting into our house. I appreciate that might be a bit harder to do in your situation, though.

Bibi said...

Hi! Your June 16th fashion post sent me here. I imagine you've solved your mouse problem, but I agree that a quick death (old-fashioned mousetrap) is better than those inhumane glue ones. I caught a mouse in the school where I work by putting seeds (or something else it likes) in a large (tall) bucket. To lead into the bucket I attached a yardstick. The mouse climbed up the yardstick to get to the seeds. He jumped into the bucket, but couldn't hump back out....I drove him away (covered the bucket) to a field quite a distance away!