Saturday, October 24, 2009

Further adventures in independent living

Last weekend I went home to Tennessee for the wedding of one of my high school friends. In addition to the main event, I also had a highly successful shopping trip with Mom (two stores, two dresses, two pairs of shoes, all on sale—and none of it from Ann Taylor Loft!). But that is not relevant to this story. This story is about what happened later.

I drove back on Sunday afternoon, making record time and immediately finding princess parking. By 9 pm, I was just settling onto my couch for an hour with the dreamy Alex O’Loughlin when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something scurry from under the radiator into the darkened kitchen.


I sat there frozen for what seemed like hours—it was probably about 30 seconds—considering my options. I settled on two: a) panic, or b) handle the situation.

As I sat there, I heard a quiet rustling from the kitchen.

I went with option c) panic, and make someone else handle it—Marlon, the super. I called him to see if he had any mouse traps. He didn’t. I was going to have to face this alone.

So! Time to obtain some traps. But first, I steeled myself, flipped on the kitchen light, and peeked around the corner. I gingerly picked up the trashbag and nearly had a heart attack when the furry inteloper went skittering from under the bag to behind the fridge.

I took the bag, fled, closed the door, and then made use of the stack of old magazines and catalogs that I’ve been accumulating for the last two years.

Yes, my Crisis Handling Skillz are remarkable, and no, I don’t have any idea where I obtained not one but two copies of Marie Claire. I don’t read Marie Claire. I don’t recall EVER reading Marie Claire.

I also closed the bedroom door and used the bathmat to seal off the crack at the bottom. Heaven forbid this renegade rodent make his way from the kitchen through the apartment to the bedroom while I was out.

Anyway, I went to CVS and stood in front of the pest control section for about five minutes. With each product, I pictured the scenario where I would be forced to dispose of the creature. None of them pleased me, as unfortunately, none were the kind I wanted--the kind where you don't have to actually SEE the mouse, which is the only mouse trap I could even consider touching post-catch.

I bought two of the least horrifying traps and reluctantly headed home.

During the three minute walk from CVS to my door, I had an internal debate about whether, as a Strong, Independent Woman, I was capable of handling this alone. By the time I got home—which was only about 20 minutes from the initial Mouse Sighting—I had come to terms with the fact that there was no way in hell I was going back in that kitchen without reinforcements. The question was, which of my friends (who live within a five-minute walk) could I call on a Sunday night who might actually come to my aid? I considered the options:

1) J, who once rescued me from a mouse—albeit a dead one—when we were housemates, would tell me to man up and deal with it. And then he would hang up.
2) Ed is more of a wuss than I am about mice, having FREAKED OUT when I saw one in the kitchen at our old house.
3) Val, who had a mouse in her apartment back when she lived alone. She named him (Maximus) and FED HIM CHEESE. Once she figured out how he was getting in, she sealed up the hole, but it was obvious that as a Friend of Mice, she was not a suitable ally in the war that I was preparing to wage. Also, pride prevented me from calling her. Not sure why.

That left Eric. Whom I had not spoken to in approximately a month. But the situation was dire, and I was willing to risk the fact that he might feel rather…used. I texted him: “First of all, hi. Second of all, MAYDAY. Can you come over immediately?”

Mouse: 1
Independent woman: 0

Following some negotiations, and also, I am not ashamed to admit, some begging, Eric arrived. He took one look at my barricades, rolled his eyes, entered the kitchen, and did a cursory search. No mouse in the cabinets, no mouse behind the fridge, no mouse—apparently—still in the kitchen. FOR NOW. We set the traps, I secured all the food in the cabinets, and Eric left.

Not long after going to bed, I heard a mild racket coming from the kitchen. It sounded like my visitor had perhaps gotten caught. Rather than investigate, I put in earplugs. I slept with the lights on in the living room, figuring that Ratatouille would be disinclined to venture from the kitchen though a brightly lit room to my bedroom.

The next morning, I chose not to investigate the situation in the kitchen, but instead left Marlon a note asking him to check the traps. He did. No mouse.

So here we are, a week later, and still no mouse. I choose to believe that it got partially caught, freed itself, and is too freaked out to come back.

The magazine barricade, however, is still in place.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very good story. But I still prefer the 5" bug. You are not alone in dealing with household pests. We killed (another) GINORMOUS cockroach on Saturday and the bug spraying pest control man is supposed to be here today. Thank goodness. I'd take a bug over a mouse any day, though. Good luck with Ratatouille, although being a mouse, his name would probably be Mickey or Minnie or Jacque or Gus.