I am the nominated critter and creepy crawler catcher in our house. The sight of a hairy spider will render both my children and my husband frozen to the spot, leaving only their vocal cords in working order. “Muuuuummm” they bellow. I don’t have to ask what the matter is; they have a certain tone to their wails which alerts me immediately to the presence of a web weaver. I absolutely refuse to allow any living thing to be splatted so until recently, it was up to me and the ‘capture cup’ to expel them out the window.
One day, Hubby spotted a massive spider in the bath tub. It was one of those with a big hairy body and extra long legs and I heard him gasp (sorry, suck in air in a masculine fashion). Unfortunately, he and I were in the middle of a heated verbal battle at the time. I was so angry with him at that moment that I was ready to drop kick his danglies, instead I snarled at him “It’s a spider not Godzilla you Wuss” and without thinking, I snatched up the spid in my cupped hands. The second I did so however, a searing shock wave shot up my spine…what the hell was I doing? What if it bites like in that Arachnophobia film? What if it runs up my arm and into my hair? What if it breaks free from my fingers, yells “Bonsai” and jumps like a spider monkey at my head? To save face in front of the Wussbag, I strutted casually to the window and tossed it out; then quickly retreated to my room to shake.
It was not the first time my so-called bravery had backfired.
When we first moved into our current home, we were not expecting to have to share it with an army of unexpected guests. On the first day, my Mother-in-Law and I decided to organise the kitchen. I opened up a cupboard and was shocked to see weird looking lining paper. “Hey Ann, That’s not mouse turds is it?” I asked. She peered inside and replied “Nah, no mouse could poop that much!” but as she put a dustpan and brush to it, it fell like black hailstones onto the pan. Gross!
A little later that day, Ann was ironing whilst I was sat on the floor unpacking a box when she squealed “Lynz, a mouse, behind you”. My first instinct was to jump up and back against a wall, not because I was scared but because I was wearing low-rise jeans and I was aware that my butt-crack was on show; no way was I taking chances that the mouse might dive into it as an escape route! Ann was a typical cliche standing on the couch whilst I ran around the house with my kids fluorescent fishing net attempting to scoop the little field mouse up. Eventually, I trapped it in a corner and Ann reluctantly looked for something to trap it with….she chose a bin bag. What was I supposed to do with an unopened bin bag and only seconds to act? I dropped to my knees and put the bag over the top of the mouse whilst she taped the edges to the floor. It was a pants plan! We stood back and pondered our next move.
I called my Dad and asked him to bring round some humane traps and then set about trying to find a box to put squeaker in. Ann jumped on to the counter and prepared herself to scream as I un-tacked the tape, put a towel on the top and scooped up the entire bundle. I ran full pelt down to the bottom of the garden with Ann following behind slightly hysterical. I picked up the end of the towel and on the count of three thwapped the towel towards the bushes. Unfortunately for Ann however, the mouse flew backwards. Her throat was still sore from screaming two days later.
Our squatter mice were a real problem until we got a cat. Thanks to our puddy Sandy, the little field mice moved next door so when Sandy had kittens, we thought it only fair that the neighbours took two to defend their home. As for the spiders, Sandy has been trained to get rid of them too.