Our mouse is back. He hasn't dared to come inside this time, but it did inspire me to tear down the patio so I could clean in behind the benches. Telltale signs of the mouse were there although I didn't see the rodent while I was cleaning it up. It was an all-day job but that was ok, it needed to be done. I figured I had solved my mouse problem until later that night when the mouse returned to inspect my work. He knocked over a can set out to be recycled and I caught him in the beam of my flashlight. I knew I had more work to do.
The next day I made a trip to the store and got some traps. They are installed and I'm ready for the inevitable. I'll spare you the gruesome details, but when I was picking them up at the store the lady was very experienced and knowledgeable, so I got a very informative lecture on the pros and cons of each type of trap. Until I've caught the mouse though, I have to put up with our cats wanting to go outside to the balcony area with a look of excitement in their eyes. Of course, all they seem to do is stare at the mouse - they haven't actually managed to catch one.