is brought to you by Mickey Mouse and Stewart Little, co-founders of Mouse Crap, Inc., whose motto is: We’re proving that real life is a lot more not-so-cute-as-Hollywood one disgusting pile at a time.

The sewer project is not quite wrapped up as we wait for things to air and dry and to leak test before re-battening the hatches. In the meantime, because I didn’t have enough to do with construction, winterization and the general chores of life, I have to empty and clean the contents of two closets.

Mickey and Stewart were frolicking about the living room Friday just prior to getting into trouble — and none of that is meant as a euphemism or an exaggeration.

While kicked back in my recliner, taking a work break to lay on a couple ice packs (yes, I’m that pitiful), I heard miniature chaos breaking out in the coat closet and pretty soon two little rodents spilled out from under the door and romped around the floor. Not 15 feet from me. Bold as can be. Two mice frickin’ playing in my living room.

I didn’t have anything at hand to throw at them, so I got up and checked/reset all the traps.

And caught nothing.

I checked the trap line Saturday morning, and it didn’t look like the mice had even run past the traps to smell them. Well, I hoped, maybe I scared them off. Later, I went back into the linen closet, where the trap at the back of the house is set, and found mouse droppings on the towels. You know, the towels we rub all over our bodies. Some, too, on the sheets formerly known as clean. All new disgustingness since 6 a.m. when I had checked the trap on the floor of that very closet. So I checked the coat closet. Didn’t find any droppings in plain sight, but it smells. I’m imagining a nest in the crate full of mittens and gloves, or a stash of dog food and poo in the pockets or linings of a few coats. I’m thinking I’ll be cleaning out the kitchen cupboards for the third time this year.

I’m imagining the death of these mice until my trap line makes them so.

I went to town for more bleach yesterday, but couldn’t bring myself to start the clean up. I wanted dead rodents to prove that if I go through with this cleaning ordeal, I won’t have to turn around and do it again right away. Still nothing this morning. I’ve always vowed I wouldn’t use Decon or other poisons because I didn’t want to risk a stray cat getting into it or have a mouse die in a wall somewhere.

I don’t care anymore. Dead is dead. I’ll make it so a cat can’t get into the Decon and if I have to cut a hole in a wall to get to a rotting mouse carcass, so be it. I don’t even need a trophy mount or a line of mouse skins stretched and tacked to the barn wall. I just want them dead. I’ve offered my dog a bounty to turn his awesome rabbit and bird hunting skills to more helpful prey: house mouses.

Also, I can’t tolerate the soiled things in the closets another day, so I’ve started washing. Everything. And will be stacking the stuff on my dressers and desk and any other handy surface not related to a closet in my house until the rodents are vanquished. Again. Buy stock in bleach companies.

I’m not as enraged as I might otherwise be, my back is feeling better. I took an early morning walk, saw two muley does grazing the field and a couple magpies heading north to the highway for breakfast in the pre-dawn light, watched Coop work and flush a covey of Huns and stood at the top of a hill, sucking in cold, crisp air, watching the morning sun rise in a cloudless sky with a three-quarter moon dropping to the western horizon at my back.

It ain’t all bad at pam[at]