My mother had a mouse living in her garage, so she went out and bought a trap. Granted, mice can carry various diseases. Also, it got into a bag of seed for the bird-feeder and made a mess. And what if it had got into the house?

Mom is 88 years old. The real issue wasn’t disease vectors or birdseed. The real issue was that the mouse freaked her out. When you’re 88 and suffer from chronic insomnia for reasons having to do with medication, being freaked out is not a good thing.

Today I drove over and emptied out the trap. I felt very bad about the death of the mouse. It’s a cruel thing, trying to get a bite of tasty fresh peanut butter and having a huge hideous device clamp shut on your head.

I feel worse about the deaths of animals than about the deaths of human beings. Animals live in a world that we made. There are few wild spaces left where they can get away from us, and we have huge advantages. It’s an unequal contest.

Maybe the mouse was a mom. I didn’t see any teats, but I wasn’t looking closely. Maybe there are going to be baby mice starving in the rafters. I’ll try not to think about that.

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