As international disputes flare over oil, land and religion, I have been facing my own battle within the confines of my once-safe home.

A battle has begun, against what I am convinced are the most intelligent and flexible rodents I have ever encountered. Based on the number of traps they’ve gotten out of, they seem to possess the intelligence of a genius.

These mice have gotten out of three types of mousetraps.

Every morning I wake up and there the little fur balls sit on the stove, their whiskers and deceptively cute noses twitching in the air.

Their favorite place to hide is in the stovetops. Their favorite place to poop is…well, everywhere, though they prefer defacing our kitchen counters.

Let me tell you, playing the “raisin or mouse poop” guessing game is not something you want to do when sitting down to enjoy your morning bowl of raisin bran.

Either way, I guess you’re getting your daily dose of fiber.

Made up of a total of five mousetraps and a mountain of mousey delectables, made of peanut butter, popcorn and nuts (a meal similar to that of your typical off-meal-plan college student), I recently constructed what some have called a shrine for these pests. Then, I waited for that special snap to sound.

And it did. Twice.

Our illustrious Funnies editor, Maria “Legen-dairy” Jantz, had the honor of flinging the mice into the great outdoors.

This will undoubtedly please the local feline population, because our dead mice bring all

the cats to the yard.

So, there is the score. Alma: 2, Mice: 0.

Although, to be fair, they should really get half a point for the intricate defecation design they left for me on my computer desk last week.