Finding Freedom in September

A personal story by Brandy W. Walt

What started off as any other morning, was about to prove the opposite.  I was awake, had my morning coffee, and was navigating through my morning routine.  I couldn’t tell you the exact day of the week it was, though I know it was two weeks ago on an overcast day in September.

The Joan Jett Station was playing on Pandora, when a friend of mine appeared quickly before me and seemingly frazzled.  He told me that it was screaming and that he didn’t know what to do.

After a moment of confusion, my mind made the connection.  We were in the city, which was well known for its “pest and rodent problems.”   The screams were those of a mouse stuck on a trap.  I had my own frantic thoughts, as the last story I had heard of a similar situation was of a helpless mouse being drowned.  Drowning was the solution in that other story.

Would I have to do this?  Would I have to be faced with a situation where I might decide that another living being is incapacitated from a trap to the point of needing an assisted death?  How could I be thinking about something so morbid?

There it was in front of me.

There was a trap in front of me.

There was a piece of cardboard, a thick layer of stickiness, and a mouse firmly attached to the trap screaming.

Glue trap with mouse hair (WikiMedia Commons)

“Rodent glue boards” to be precise.

That’s what this trap was.

Inhumane cruelty for sale.

Let’s be honest, when is cruelty ever humane?

I had to think fast.  We had to think fast.

What helps adhesive bandages or first aid tape lose its adhesiveness?

I grabbed soap, water, the glue board, and followed my (human) friend outside.  There was no way we could let this little earthling suffer any longer or die.

I found a small rock, with a rounded smooth point and initiated the hardest part of this rescue.  This was something I had never done before.  In theory, it should work.

Apply liquid soap, add some water, and gently lift this frightened being off the glue board with the small rock.


Repeat again, and again.

I kept repeating these steps, while using a significant amount of soap, though it concerned me that I was causing more panic at this point than was good.

Thank goodness for the Internet!  As I was trying without much avail to save this tiny someone from suffering, my friend researched to find a more effective way to combat adhesive.  The solution was canola oil, and he ran back inside to grab a cup.

This method was much more effective, and I was able to use it sparingly.  In a matter of minutes, the horrified grey mouse was free, and very deserving of the name Freedom.

Picture of Freedom, by Brandy Walt

Freedom scurried over and in between a few obstacles that I had set up, hid away, and began to gather themselves.  I applied one last round of soap and water to their body, before they ran off to enjoy their regained freedom in the world.

From the point of screams, until the moment of release, this all took about twenty minutes.  Can you imagine twenty minutes of panic?  That does not account for the unknown length of time that Freedom was glued to that board before being found.

What are we doing to this world?  What are we doing to every single species on this planet?

This is not okay.

As tenants, as homeowners, and as business owners—we as a society have become so wrapped up in ourselves that we have forgotten that we share this world with everyone else.  We have forgotten that we build and inhabit, where other beings have already built their homes and are existing without us.

It is possible for us to coexist, and I really believe that we need to take a better look at how we can do that.

Trust me, I understand that the last thing most of us want in our homes or places of business, would be to have “wildlife” fully coexisting within the same space.

The current method of restricting such cohabitation is highly outdated and absolutely inhumane.  Can we not catch, without harming, and release the innocent back into a more natural setting?

We don’t have a right to kill them, just because they are “in our way” or viewed as pests.

There has to be a better way to go about this, both residentially and commercially.  As individuals, we have to start consciously making the decision to be more humane on every level.

What that means, is doing your research on effective and harmless catch-and-release traps.

What that means is leading by example, and then telling your colleagues or friends your newly found chosen methods of “pest control.”

What that means, for someone in the “pest control” business, is to modernize your business.  Modernize your business in a way that shows that you not only understand the importance of “pest control,” but you also value life.

Be the change you wish to see.

Begin today.