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!!"
"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.
I know they're there.