Trip Start Oct 26, 2009
97Trip End Ongoing
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Raton – mouse, not rat.
We first noticed that the tomatoes and chilies that were stored in a basket in the galley had been carefully shredded – I blamed it on some very talented bird who flew in through the open hatch and had his fill. As we had not been tied to a dock in four months, what else could it be? We were anchored in the Bara de Navidad lagoon and things were tranquil. The next morning we saw suspect droppings and more fruit chewing, but being the optimist, I blamed the birds again.
Later that evening, I noticed that the Kleenex box had a pile of shredded tissues near it … the bird theory flew away. We had a raton! We looked and looked, but found nothing and heard nothing. This was a smart little guy. I reached in a cupboard to get my coffee cup and within seconds there were two very startled individuals. I grabbed a warm furry thing that bolted out of the cupboard and the mouse was rousted from its hiding place.
The war was declared. We took a trip into town and got sticky pads as well as mouse traps. Being a humanitarian, the first attempt was catch and release. This notion lasted only about an hour as there were foot prints across the traps and more food consumed. We looked further and found bags gnawed into, cartons opened, baggies shredded, and the cord to the coffee grinder consumed. It was now time for the unwanted guest to go. Out came the traps with peanut butter. After several failed attempts and snapped fingers, I mastered baiting and setting these things without flinging PB all over me and the boat. The traps were set and we felt good.
He saw the traps and decided to let us know it was not so easy… he darted into a cupboard and I was in hot pursuit. He vanished. Looking at the locker, there was only one way he could have gone and that was up into the wall. Unfortunately for him, it was a sealed area. We blocked him in with wads of tin foil moved the traps to the locker so that he would have to be an acrobat to get through them. We left the boat for an hour and when we returned, he had gnawed his way beyond the foil balls and landed firmly in the peanut butter mine field. We got him!
OK, catching a mouse is a small victory in the big scheme of things, but this was no ordinary mouse. He had special powers. He swam to the boat, or did he fly? He might have been a Houdini and hid in a day pack or bag of groceries. The bottom line was that he needed to go, and he did. He was last seen floating away from the boat on his own personal journey down the river Styxx into the mouse afterlife on a wooden raft and a supply of peanut butter for the journey (unfortunately, this was one of the pictures that vanished, so use your imagination.)