I rolled over, the fuzzy promise of a hot cup of coffee emerging from the fog of sleep.
What I got instead was a little brown mouse, just chilling right next to me on the sofa. Kitty was perched up, front paws batting at the stunned rodent. Her eyes were wide, as if saying, “Look! Look what I got you, Dad! You love me more than the dog now, right?”
“What the fuuuu–” I did not scream. I didn’t yelp or jolt. I was surprised, sure; I’d never seen a mouse inside my, you know, place of residence before. I guess I was more perplexed than anything.
I wrapped my hand in the blanket and flicked the mouse off the sofa. It landed on the rug and stayed there; it was alive, but Kitty had either stunned or paralyzed the mouse, because it just lay there, twitching slightly.
I quickly assembled a plastic bag/paper towel disposal device, and took the mouse out to the Dumpster. Now, before all you PETA (or just generally nice) people get on me about this, I recognize I was not wearing my “humane” hat in this scenario. I wanted the little rodent out of my house. Truthfully, I probably should’ve just killed it as Kitty had gotten it halfway there already. But I couldn’t do that either, because I’m a wuss.
Going back into the apartment, I was shaking. I don’t usually get worked up about this sort of stuff (mice happen, you know?), but it really bothered me–probably since, instead of waking up next to my husband or recently out Ben Wishaw (don’t worry, folks, Lance and I have an agreement), I woke up next to a half-dead mouse.
I went into the bedroom and woke up Lance, who, I was certain, would freak out just as much (and likely more) than I was. “Honey, honey,” I whispered. “I woke up next to a mouse! Eek!”
Lance just grumbled and rolled over. “Eh. Why are you bothering me with this…?”
“Because I didn’t want you to be sleeping and have a whole bunch of mice crawl all over your face!!”
So that was that. Lance, when he finally did wake up, was quite amused by my reaction, though nevertheless required me to go out and buy mouse traps that afternoon while he went on a boating adventure with some friends to which I was not invited (whatever, I’m not mad or anything). I did buy some humane traps that wouldn’t kill the mice, feeling guilty over my cowardly disposal of Mouse Prime.
Mouse Prime, you ask? We found a hole where we suspected the original mouse squeezed in to the apartment, plugged it up, and we went for weeks without seeing a mouse.
Until I went home to Michigan by myself. Just a few hours after I landed, Lance called (and he never actually calls me unless he’s been rear-ended (but not by Ben Wishaw)).
“OH MY GOD I’M PEEING MYSELF RIGHT NOW,” Lance squealed.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I GOT HOME FROM WORK AND THERE WAS A DEAD MUTILATED MOUSE UNDER THE COFFEE TABLE AND I THREW UP A LITTLE WHEN I HAD TO PICK IT UP TO THROW IT AWAY AND KITTY WAS LICKING HER LIPS AND WHY DOES THIS STUFF ALWAYS WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME AND I’M GOING TO STAY IN A HOTEL.”
“It’s okay, it’s not going to hurt you,” I said, hoping my calm, soothing voice would placate Lance a little bit from a thousand miles away.
“OF COURSE IT’S NOT GOING TO HURT ME IT’S DEAD BUT I CAN’T DO MICE. I AM THE INDIANA JONES OF MICEEEEE.”
So. We have mice. We live in the city and should’ve expected as much, and should be honestly surprised we haven’t seen any in the past six years we’ve lived here. We had the exterminator come out and identify possible points of entry, and our building’s maintenance team plugged those up; there haven’t been any mice since.
I suppose one good thing to come out of Mousegate 2013 has been that Lance kinda, you know, likes Kitty now. Kitty lost Lance’s favor after the compounding effects of 1) shedding, and 2) the dog. “You fat old lump,” he’d say to her dismissively. “Maybe I’ll accidentally leave the front door open…”
Now that Kitty has demonstrably contributed to our household as a fearless guardian against rodents, Lance has re-developed a fondness for our feline friend. I think he even pets her every once and a while now.