Thursday, November 6, 2014


It wasn’t my fault, not entirely. I have no sense of smell. I also had mice. I kept finding the little poopy evidence under the stink, not to mention those big craters chewed out of my bananas in the morning. Why I didn’t put out traps, I don’t know. Never got around to it. Mostly, I think it’s that awful anticipation when you know you’ve set a mousetrap. You keep waiting for that fatal SNAP. So I moved the bananas out of reach and secured my trash and cleaned up under the sink and hoped the lack of food would drive Mickey to go elsewhere.

Which he did, after a fashion. I was only cleaning the space directly under the sink. I wasn’t looking in the opposite corner, where I don’t have anything stored. The other day I finally checked back there and found my roommate, dead. I guess my plan worked and he starved or something. He’d been under there long enough to dessicate. I didn’t know. I couldn’t smell him. I picked him up with a paper towel and put him in a plastic bag and put the plastic bag outside to wait for trash day. I also found where he and his buddies had been getting in and plugged it up. No signs of poopies since, so maybe the problem’s solved.

So where was Stray Kitty during all of this? Outside. The mouse was inside. I can’t coax Kitty into the house, so he was no help in this case. Anyway, he knows I’ll present him with a plate of food if he shows up at my door, so why should he bother hunting? The other day a squirrel cursed him out and he just lay there and blinked at it. It’s the stray cat version of government assistance. Work that system, Kitty!

As for me, I should have somebody with a working nose come in and sniff around my house, just in case. I’ve had skunks living under the house and wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t seen them. Can anybody recommend a good air freshener?

# # #

The above story illustrates what happens when you’re on your own. After awhile you get blasé about stuff like skunks and mummified mice and spiders or any kind of bug. Maybe not silverfish and centipedes so much. Those things are just shudder-inducing. But shriek-inducing? Not any more. My days of shrieking over bugs ended a long time ago, if I ever even had those days. I don’t like spiders or the creepier bugs and I sure as hell don’t want them on me. But I just brush them off and maybe swear a bit. High-pitched screaming? Nah.

I don’t know if it’s inborn or what. People just don’t like anything has more than four legs. I think that’s why men were invented, so women wouldn’t have to get close enough to a bug to kill it. What do you do if a man’s not around? That’s why the broom was invented. I’ve got one specifically for cobwebs and crawly things on the ceiling. It’s not like I do housework or anything.

Anyway, men aren’t always such a help. When the family dog would get sick and yark on the rug, my dad would leave the room. All of a sudden she was my dog. Then, while I was cleaning it up, he’d make retching noises and laugh. Thanks, Dad, major male role model during my formative years. Is it any wonder I’m single?

And I’ll tell ya, I absolutely hate it when I’m sitting on the hopper and spot a spider climbing up the wall or a silverfish on the curtain. Being otherwise occupied, there’s nothing I can do about it. I have to sit there and glower at them and mutter, “Just stay there, goddammit,” until I’m done. Then it’s whip out the toilet paper and flush the buggers to Hell. At least there’s a measure of satisfaction.

That’s the way you deal with bugs. Kleenex is one of the best inventions ever. If the bugs are over a certain size, better get out the shoe. Then mop up with the Kleenex. Then compulsively wash your hands for at least a minute. Or maybe that’s just me.

For dead mice I recommend a paper towel or rubber gloves. Back in my other house, I used to find dead bats in the attic. I used a dustpan for those. I’ve never had to dispose of a dead rat. I suspect I’d use the dustpan or gloves for that, depending on its state of juicyness. Anything larger than that, call a neighbor or wildlife control. No reason you have to do everything.

If all else fails, get a man. Or a cat. Both will sit on the couch and stare at you screaming at that spider on the wall or that mouse on the counter, and neither will get up to help. They’ll just ask for another beer or another plate of cat food. If Stray Kitty ever demands a beer, I’m going to chuck a mouse at him.


Savanna Kougar said...

Yeah, over the years... hey, I even quit screaming at the sight of a snake... I'll never forget, though, the first time I saw a serious snake... During my early teenage years we lived on a couple of acres, and the back acre and a half was for the pony, then the horse. Anyhoo, I was walking to the small barn structure, and there it was on a rock... a large snake, very colorful, coiled up, and sunning. I screamed like all git out, and left the snake to himself/herself.

I wish the little critter mice would just stay outside so I don't have to poison them. I hate that... but what do you do? Maybe I should try to find a live trap, and throw them outside.

Pat C. said...

A serious snake? As opposed to a comedic one?

Snakes never bothered me, for some reason. I like snakes. I won't touch a poisonous one, but if they're harmless I'll happily handle one. Ditto for lizards, frogs and turtles. I even picked up a snapping turtle once, but it was a baby, only about four inches long. I did not put my finger near its mouth.

I've had a box turtle pee on me. These things happen.

I'm afraid to use poison on mice because of the reasons given. The last time I actually saw a mice in the house, some years ago, it dove under the burner on my stove top. What if it ate poison, crawled into my stove top and died there? I wouldn't know, any more than I knew about the one under the sink. This is why I use traditional traps, or just lock up the food and hope they go away.

Pat C. said...

A mouse. I saw A MOUSE, not A MICE. My brain knows grammar. My fingers sometimes forget.

Savanna Kougar said...

As opposed to a garter snake... I'd never seen a snake that darn big! One of my sisters loves snakes and had a python once... when she was a teenager in highschool, a snake crawled in bed with her... it didn't bother her a bit, and it wasn't poisonous. Yeah, I handle NOT-POISONOUS snakes... the little ones are cute. Love turtles, and helped a huge ole snapper cross the road once... stayed behind him, and stopped a couple of cars. Love my froggies and toadies too... and lizards are cute, as well.

I just can't do the trap thing. When I was a kid, the mouse wasn't always killed instantly. Yeah, I really need to check out a safe-release trap, or whatever the heck they are.