I like to think of myself as a fairly tolerant person. At least when it comes to other species (with humans, I’m not always that patient). I far prefer a policy of “live and let live.” There are exceptions. I will not suffer a mosquito to live in my presence (buy, hey! they started it!). And an ant discovered in the kitchen has a very short shelf life, though I often turn a blind eye to scouts I find elsewhere in the house. Silverfish and my library don’t mix, and thousand leggers skeeve me out, to the point of hysterics, so I am usually unable to take direct action against them. I positively cosset spiders of all kinds, which help me deal with other unwanted insects (sorry, spiders, I know you’re actually not insects, but arachnids; it’s just easier to phrase it that way).
I revel in the biodiversity in the garden, which is home base for all manner of insects, avians, reptilia, and small mammalia. I tolerate even animals with habits I find distressful, like my resident vole, Vinnie, who is far too fond of crocus bulbs, and the visiting squirrels who routinely decimate the bird feeder, leaving nothing for my feathered friends.
But there is a limit, a line that can be crossed. And that would be my threshold. As an owner (or servant, if they prefer) of cats for decades, small mammals in the house has never been a problem. At least, not for long. But when my sweet girl Ashes passed in the spring, word seems to have gotten out quickly that the prime digs were now up for grabs, and I have experienced an increased (and unwanted) rodent presence.
It started in the pantry, on the laundry/garage level of this sixty-year-old split-level home. My mice, like their unwilling landlord, seem to have quite the sweet tooth, and it wasn’t long before I found empty bags of chocolate baking chips and dried cranberries, with just a small hole in one end, and no product remaining.
My reaction was mild (I assumed diabetes would do most of the work for me). I bought sturdy plastic tubs for any remaining such items, and any other with similar easy-tamper packaging, and halfheartedly placed a few glue traps on the higher shelving, with additional semi-vulnerable items like boxed pasta and cake mix. If the mice have the acrobatic capacity to reach those, they deserve what they get.
And there the matter stood for months, until a pair of escalations required my renewed focus.
Both incidents occurred the same day, September 10th. In the wee hours, as I was drowsing before waking, I felt a strange skittering sensation across the sheet on my upper chest. Startled, I raised my right arm under sheet and flicked my hand upward, only to hear, a split-second later, the soft thud of a small furred body as it fell on the cardboard shoe box near my bed.
A mouse on me while I slept? Now it’s personal!
The next infraction occurred a few hours later, as I stood at the kitchen door admiring the birds on their feeder about twenty feet away. I noted some movement in the grass below, and saw what at first glance I assumed to be Vinnie, my tenant vole. ‘My, how you’ve grown,’ was my thought, until an instant later I realized this was three times Vinnie’s size and had a long gerbil-like tail, not the hamster stub Vinnie sports.
No, this wasn’t Vinnie, it was a rat!
I yelled, and the startled rodent fled, disturbingly, toward my house! Later inspection revealed a hole in the cinderblock foundation. It was rather symmetrical, and hard to imagine that a rat, who presumably has not acquired an engineering degree (unless he ate one), could have crafted such an entrance, but I’d not seen it before.
That was Sunday, and when I came downstairs Monday morning to find that my dish sponge had been torn to bits (apparently in retaliation for the prior day’s space launch), I realized this was war. Within a week it also became disturbingly clear that my garden rat invader was not an antisocial hermit, but matriarch to a family of at least three juveniles.
Something had to be done. So naturally my first course of action was to turn to the skies.
There is no “mouse” or “rat” asteroid, but there is a Mousa 12130 and a Ratte 159409, as well as a Rodionta 11257, which is close enough to “rodent” in my book. There is also an asteroid House 4950 and a Cherryh 77185, for my Cherry Hill Road address, as well as suitable markers for the garden, namely asteroid Gardner 2587 and Gardon 13033. Let’s dig in.
On September 10, 2023, when the bed incursion and the first sighting of the garden rat occurred, the Sun at 17 Virgo conjoined asteroids Gardner and Mousa, at 22 and 25 Virgo, neatly combining both incidents, and bringing my focus (Sun) to the situation. As well, this cluster straddles my natal Moon at 19 Virgo, ruling the domestic environment (born 27 July 1960, 1:37 pm EDT, Bethlehem, PA).
In opposition was Neptune at 26 Pisces, conjoined asteroid Cherryh at 21 Pisces, well conveying my sense of dismay (Neptune) at discovering rodents on my property (Cherryh). And as before, there was a natal tie-in, conjoined asteroid Miller 1826 at 23 Pisces. Natal Cherryh at 12 Pisces is too wide to be considered part of the pattern as a whole, but does oppose the Sun. Not to mention the recent “Cherryh Return,” affording the opportunity to reset my relationship with the house.
A T-Square is formed with a triple conjunction of asteroids Rodionta, Gardon and Ratte, at 21, 24 and 28 Sagittarius respectively, another remarkable confluence of pertinent energies, again highlighted by the spotlighting Sun. A loose Grand Cross is completed with asteroid Alex 3367 at 16 Gemini, very tightly squared the 17 Virgo Sun and my natal Moon, advising me (Alex) to focus (Sun) my attention on the home front (Moon).
My lack of feline protection in this matter was portrayed by asteroid NOT 2857 (a general disqualifier or negator), conjoined my 4 Leo Sun, squared by asteroid Katz 22981 (German for “cat”, and a phonetic match) at 2 Taurus, dumping the issue in my lap. An exact conjunction of asteroids Alexander 296907 and Lachesis 120 at 29 Aries also showed which way the wind was blowing: Lachesis is named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, and I was about to perform that role for my unwanted guests. A square from Pluto at 28 Capricorn, modern lord of death and ruler of subterranean realms, rats and mice, identified my target and the probable outcome. Asteroid Alexandra 54 at 23 Capricorn accompanies Pluto, while asteroid Miller at 3 Gemini closely squares my natal Pluto at 4 Virgo, reiterating the theme of Alex vs rodents.
I can’t help feeling I’m partly to blame here. With natal asteroid Rodionta at 11 Aquarius exactly on my IC, I’m a virtual lightning rod for rodents (Rodionta) in my home (the IC is the cusp of the Fourth House, ruling domestic environments). The theme of death and rodents is also repeated natally, with Mousa at 6 Capricorn conjoined Saturn at 13 Capricorn, ancient lord of death, also opposed Ratte at 10 Cancer. Note that asteroid House came to its direct station on September 3rd, just a week before the sightings, conjoined natal Mousa/Saturn from 10 Capricorn, also exactly opposed natal Ratte: time (Saturn) to kill (also Saturn) domestic (House) rodents (Mousa, Ratte). Transit Mars at 9 Libra forms a tense T-Square with the Mousa/Ratte opposition, signaling the conflict (Mars) between us and the start of Rodent Wars (also Mars). With transit asteroid Poisson 12874 (“poison” with an extra “s”) at 5 Cancer, the means for mouse and rat extermination was at hand.
And I did make a kill, though not via poison. On the 11th, I retrieved one of the empty glue traps from its pantry perch and placed it right next to the desecrated dish sponge. That afternoon, I had an appointment with my primary physician, was gone barely two hours – in broad daylight, mind you! – and returned to find I’d bagged a fat mouse, who had returned to the scene of the crime to finish his task.
Like he owned the place! I did not grant mercy. Transit asteroid Stickle 36986 (for the sticky glue trap) at 13 Libra squares natal Saturn (death) exactly; also squared natal Mousa and transit House.
Since then, I’ve placed several more glue traps on all floors, but no further captures. I am hoping that the bed intruder, the sponge destroyer, and the glue-trapee are all one and the same, and a lone wolf, so to speak. I have purchased the rat poison, but also a rat deterrent. The former I will distribute in the basement, laundry and garage, but we’ll try the deterrent for outside initially, and see how that goes.
As long as they aren’t actually in my home, I’d prefer they just moved along, rather than kill them. After all, rats are people, too.