A few months ago, my family finally moved into the condo that we had renovated. As anyone who has ever overseen a construction project knows, it is a painful and costly ordeal. But, thank G‑d, our home is beautiful indeed—well worth the time, energy and money expended.

The benefits are many, in both aesthetics and functionality—for example, I have no clue how our family of five previously made do with one restroom. Somewhere high up on the list of benefits is the fact that five months have passed, and we have yet to experience the trauma of a mouse sighting.

While I'm no fan of mice, I won't react with a panic attack if I stumble upon evidence of mouse habitation. My wife is a different story. In our two previous residences, mice would make an appearance on occasion, prompting my wife to embark on all-out assaults against them. The trespassing rodents had to contend with an assortment of traps; contraptions that emit high-frequency, supposedly mice-annoying sounds; poisons; and, of course, my wife's astonishing zeal in ensuring that our home was free of crumbs or any other potential mouse attraction.

Any mouse that even thinks of swishing a tale near our new condo will be no match for my wife—and, for that matter, the rest of humankind that has it out for the mouse who dares invade a home.

And we are not the poor creature's only enemy.

There's the cat. Perhaps the most effective method of rodent control, prowling the corridors of homes (and the occasional store here in Brooklyn), patiently awaiting the opportunity to cruelly put to death the mouse that has the chutzpah to encroach on its territory.

So have I identified a characteristic my wife shares with our feline friends—a passion for destroying rodents?

Superficially, perhaps. In truth, however, they couldn't be more different.

The cat relishes the opportunity to chase mice. It derives intense pleasure from the "cat and mouse game" that culminates with the kill. A cat's vision of paradise would be a large structure teeming with mice that it could chase and torment all day and night.

On the other hand, there is nothing that would make my wife happier than the assurance that she will never again have to see a mouse, a dropping, a rodent-shredded food carton, or mice extermination paraphernalia.

Proverbial mice are even more ubiquitous than the physical furry variety. Distasteful intruders that scurry into our lives, leaving behind even more distasteful "droppings" and effects.

We have to deal with the bad attitudes, unhealthy behaviors, and annoying habits of our spouses, children, and friends, events that leave behind unpleasant "droppings" of hurt feelings and broken trusts.

It would be nice to be able Do we relish the opportunity to engage in a self-righteous, better-than-thou dressing down? to ignore these mice, but life does not allow us this luxury. The question is not whether to tackle these issues but how we will do so: Will we go about this task like the cat, or like the housekeeper?

Do we relish the opportunity to engage in a self-righteous, better-than-thou dressing down; or do we discharge this unpleasant duty merely out of necessity?

Because there is a fundamental difference between the real mouse and the proverbial one:

The real mouse recognizes not the difference between the two predators that hound it.

But when the mouse is your friend – or of his making – boy, does he know the difference.