They terrify me.

Simple as that.

When I was in high school we lived on a farm in Eastern Oregon, and every time they cut the fields, the mice would flee to our basement in droves.  In my head, it was like watching a 1950s horror movie.  Now that I'm 32, I realize logically that there weren't that many.  Emotionally, however ...

Two nights ago I was sitting in my small, graduate student apartment, making some desperately needed updates to this blog, when I looked casually over my right shoulder to see a gopher sized rodent lazily trundle across my kitchen floor.  I did what any mature, grown up 30 something woman living on her own would do:  I shrieked and tore out of the apartment, wearing only socks, raced through the rain to pound furiously on my landlord's door.

My landlord, who is a spunky, confident woman in her early 60s, grabbed a broom, set her jaw and said, "Let's go get it."

She broke through the front door of my apartment while I hopped around outside, freezing with soaked socks.  Two seconds later she hollered, "I see it!!"

And then,

"Lisa?  This thing is so tiny.  And fast.  I don't know that I'll be able to get it out.  Squirrels are easier."

Turns out my imagination may have blown the size of the little guy out of proportion.  We chased that thing for 2.5 hours.  Tore up my apartment.  Emptied out closets.  Went and got my landlord's cats from upstairs, who casually sat, twitched their tails and, without moving, watched the thing run in front of them.  We never got it.  What could I do?  I thanked my landlord profusely for trying to help and then got in my car to go buy mouse traps.

And I called Shoes (because what  other logical thing is there to do than to call your partner who lives 4 hours away and has a district court docket first thing the next morning?).  Shoes was less than helpful.  Not unsympathetic, but unhelpful in the, "Well.  We could name him Gary" type of way.

I arrived home, gingerly (somewhat nauseously)  baited the traps and put them down.  I sat on the bed.  And waited.  And waited. And when 45 minutes had gone by and nothing had happened, I cautiously started to clean up my torn apart apartment.  But.  When I put my coat away in the hall closet, there was a furious scurrying at the back.  I slammed the door, threw down a blanket in front of it to stop the gap underneath and raced back upstairs to pound on my landlord's door again.

She couldn't find it.

With nothing left to do, I shoved towels in all of the door cracks, left all the lights on, and went to bed.  I laid in bed, cowering, my heart racing.  The last time I looked at the clock, it was 12:30 and I know I woke up 5 times before my alarm goes off at 5:45.
Left all of the lights on.
Heard one of the traps snap shut in the middle of the night.
Pulled the blanket over my head.

I haven't seen one since then, but the cats upstairs have since killed 2.

They're there.

I know they're there.

5 comments

  1. Elizabeth on April 27, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    So was there no one in your trap? I'm glad you have such a wonderful landlord who would come, armed with a broom to help you fight the beast.
    I know you think this is horrible and I'd probably freak in your same situation...but wasn't it nice to free your brain of all the logical thinking you've been doing and all the studying to have an adventure in mice hunting?

     
  2. Willow on April 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Oh, lord love ya girl! I am not quite as freaked by mice, but I sure don't like them. I hate finding poop in my kitchen cupboards and drawers...evidence that they're back. Every fall. Or I'll find one of the traps with a smashed carcass in it and it scares me. Or I go outside and find that the neighborhood cat (why do they never seem to BELONG to anybody?), has had a feeding frenzy...and while I appreciate the effort...why does she leave my yard littered with mouse heads and asses?

    We had a bat in our house when Rob was little. Talk about freak!

    And my last place, not only did we have a mouse problem (trailers are notorious for being full of little holes), but we had a problem with birds flying down the woodstove pipe...to the tune of 5 or more a day...that would then be flapping around inside with ashes...nope...can't go back there...it makes me twitch to think about it.

    So? Do you have the mouse?

     
  3. Lisa on April 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    @Elizabeth - it's certainly been adrenaline producing. I would love to say that's been nice not having to focus so narrowly on theory, which is seriously hurting my brain, but the lack of sleep is a real problem! One lady at a professional meeting I had just snorted and said, "You know they're not going to hurt you, right?' and I said, "The fear and the adrenaline and the lack of sleep are hurting me." WHERE'S MANKIE WHEN YOU NEED HIM?? ;) I wonder what Rebekah would think if she saw the mouse ...? She'd probably love it. And that would make me sad.

    @ Willow: No birds, no bats. No good! The poop is the worst. I just found some this morning by a bar of soap I keep on my bathroom counter. They love soap! I should have remembered!

    Update:

    I had my friend Scott from my MSW program, a huge, ex Army drill instructor, come over to check the trap that snapped shut. He took it outside to find there was nothing in it. Then he said, "Have you considered getting some CBT help for this?" (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). None of the traps have caught anything. Shoes is coming this weekend to mouse proof the house. Steel wool in holes, snap traps, if they sell it, I'm purchasing it!

     
  4. SUSAN on May 4, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    This is hilarious...you need a cat (of your very own)! Maybe the landlord will let you borrow one of hers? Unless of course, you're allergic =)

     
  5. Lisa on May 4, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    @Susan ... we talked about that! But I am *so* allergic. I think we're on the up and up -- all the holes are stuffed and it's been a few days since I've seen anything. Fingers crossed!

     


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