Mouse Attacks!

blog 8.1.13At this point, I can’t remember why I was sleeping on the sofa, but I was.

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)).


“What’s wrong?” I asked.


“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.


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.


25X: Meowy Christmas

Because what’s better than anthropomorphic animals during the holiday season?  I have surprised myself in wanting to dress up our pets in stupid costumes from the first day they came home, sorta like Angela from The Office (hey, I also have a gay husband! Maybe we’re not so different after all…) I mean, check out our gender-bending Santa Claws here:

Express yourself, ’cause you were born this way, baby.

Cute! Though Kitty Boo is now devising a plan for major retaliation.  I fully expect barf all over the sofa when we return from our trip this weekend.

“You will pay. When you least expect it…you will pay.”

If you’ve missed some of our 25X: The Lance+Jeff Advent Calendar posts, catch up here!

Pooed Awakening

Our current morning routine with me waking up about an hour before Lance. This gives me time aplenty to walk the dog, feed the pets, make myself breakfast and catch up on overnight tweets.  When 6:20 rolls around, I head into the bedroom to begin Lance’s De-Slumber Process:

Me: “Honey, it’s 6:20.”


Me: “I’ll come back in 10 minutes?”


Inexplicably, we both think that if we start pulling Lance out of Dreamland 10 minutes before his wake-up time (I should also mention at this juncture that alarm clocks don’t work on Lance), that somehow it will be easier for him to roll out of bed on time at 6:30.  Five years in, we have little evidence to support this claim.  Usually I have to pester Lance repeatedly, often accompanied by the mother of all stink-eyes, until he stumbles, half-awake, into the bathroom.

Thankfully, the dog has been a godsend to me in this regard, since he loves bounding onto the bed and bestowing Lance with lots and lots of kisses.  He’s a good, trained pup, though, and will wait patiently outside the bedroom door until he’s beckoned.

The other day, it’s right around 6:30 and Lance is showing no signs of life. My routine anxiety that we’re not going to get out of the house on time to catch the train starts to simmer.

Me: “Honey, it’s 6:30. Time to wakey wakey, eggs and bacey.”


Ripley then jumps onto the bed, but stays at its foot instead of attacking Lance’s face with kisses.  Since he’s not bothering Lance, I leave the room to go put away the ironing board, giving Lance a few more minutes of rest—heck, its Friday, after all.

Me, upon my return: “Alright, honey, it’s about 6:35 now, we really need—Ripley, what are you eating?”

Ripley’s busy munching on something as he’s lying on the bed, and whatever-it-is is getting all over the duvet cover.  At first, I think it’s charcoal—for whatever reason, in my mind, it looks like the smudging you get when using charcoal in art class.  That couldn’t be it, though, since I haven’t had charcoal in the house in years.  Did he grab a clump of dirt from outside and I just didn’t notice until now….?

As all pet parents grow accustomed to, I pry open his furry mouth and plunge right in with my fingers.

Me: “Ugh, Ripley, what is in your mouth?”

I extract the substance, at first a bit mystified as it rests in my hand.  This is some squishy dirt—


Me:  “It’s poop.  It’s poopit’spoopit’spoop.”

Yep, it’s a soggy log of cat poop sprinkled with litter, just sitting there in my hand.  Initially, my mind is blank.  What the hell am I supposed to do with thing?  I hot-potato it for a few seconds as my conscious mind comes back to me, all the while Lance is half-asleep in a poop-covered bed, accompanied by a dog whose snout is crusted with cat litter and feces.

Ripley looks up at me, tongue lolling out of his mouth.

Once it dawns on Lance what’s going on, he snaps awake like that poop was a shot of espresso into his veins.  He’s had his own fair share of puppy poop stories, and while sure, poop is universal humor, it’s not quite so funny at 6:30 in the morning.

While it was no fun, and I freaked out about Ripley being okay (kitty poop is not good for pups), it did occur to me later that at least now, if I’m worried about getting to the train on time, I have a deuce up my sleeve if I need to get Lance out of bed in the morning.

The Ripley Dog & Kitty Boo Variety Show

They act like they’re mortal enemies, bitter rivals in the struggle for which one of them can demand the most attention from their owners.

They squabble, chase after one another, paws flying, growls growled, meows meowed.

But behind this contentious façade lies what might not be a friendship, but at least a mutually agreed-upon collaboration between Ripley and Kitty to drive us crazy.

I imagine they plot during the day, when we’re at work.  Ripley’s in his crate, and Kitty paces nearby, scheming on how to get back at us for bringing Ripley into her life.  Ripley, the Pinky in this Pinky & The Brain relationship, is cool with following Kitty’s direction since, you know, he is a puppy and wreaking havoc is par for the course.

What evidence is there to suggest their coordination?  If it seems like a coincidence… and all that:

  • Kitty knows just where to sit on the sofa to get into Ripley’s eye-line, just taunting him with her pudgy little face until he has NO OTHER CHOICE but to jump on the back of the sofa. Kitty will bat at him, to no effect.  I yell at him to get down, which he does for maybe 10 seconds, then is back up the back of the sofa.  Repeat until I scream.
  • Ripley, like pretty much every dog, would much rather eat discarded plastic from the trashcan than the animal byproducts that compose his food (and really, who are we to blame him?) Ripley routinely gets into the trash, and Kitty has taken full advantage of this fact.  Around dinnertime is the worst, so as we’re about ready to eat, Ripley’s busy tearing open a discarded ice cream carton.  We scramble to get him out of the trash, only to turn around and see Kitty eating from our dinner plates.  I let out a guttural yell of agitation.
  • This last one hurt the most: I was so proud of myself, remember to get cash out early to pay our dog-walker, instead of forgetting until the morning of and having to squeeze in a run to the bank before catching the train.  We usually stick the money in an envelope and leave it on the ledge by the stairwell leading to the front door.  I set the cash (a couple of $20s) up on the ledge and walked into the other room to grab an envelope. Somewhere in those 15 steps, I got distracted and went to do something else, spacing that the cash was still up on that ledge.  This is when Kitty, with the complete heartless disregard of a diabolical mastermind, casually makes her way up on to that same ledge.  I can just imagine what’s going through her little pea-sized mind. “Whoops,” she thinks with a giggle as her back leg just happens to kick loose a bill.   Not long later, I make my way back over there with an envelope, and literally say out loud, “There’s supposed to be two twenties here…OH SHIIIIII—” I begin darting around the apartment, trying to track it down, knowing already, in my heart of hearts, that all is lost.  Then I see it: half of Andrew Jackson’s face.  I snap my head around to the dog, who is sitting there, tail wagging, tongue hanging out in that perpetual “Look at this! You can’t hate this!”  face he has.  “Where’s the other half of his face, Ripley?? Where is it??”  Of course, it was gone, the only other remnant of currency being the opposite end of the bill—the middle was entirely gone, lost to the same digestive track that intakes mulch and carpet.  I let out a silent scream, a mix of disbelief and horror that $20 just—poof, gone.

Who knew that pet ownership involved so much screaming and weeping?


Periodically, Lance and I will challenge each other to a draw-off.  One of us pics a topic or theme, and then we both have to draw our interpretation of it.  (Note: Lance tends to giggle incessantly during this exercise–it’s actually kina cute!)

Past topics have included:

  • The moment we got engaged
  • Eating at Ruby Tuesday
  • When we adopted Kitty

Our latest draw-off happened a few days ago.  The prompt?  Our furry friend brigade, Ripley and Kitty.  Here’s what I produced:

Cute, not terribly funny (can’t hit ’em all outta the park), inoffensive.

Then Lance shows me his. Parents, you may want to hide your children, for you’re about to look into the Hellmouth:

I mean, besides Kitty’s wheel-legs and extraneous flipper…WHAT THE SUPERFUDGE IS WITH RIPLEY’S EYES??  I think Lance just broke the last seal to Hell, Sam and Dean!

(…Ooh, Dean!)



When we rescued Kitty all those years ago (well, like two), she came factory-declawed.  I wouldn’t declaw a cat myself, but, you know, it has its advantages and we weren’t going to turn her down.

And so, for many a year (read: two), declawed Kitty and her two daddies were happily living life, chock full o’ purring, belly rubbins, and lap-sittin’.

Then the big, bouncing monster known as Ripley came along.

Kitty, ever the lady, didn’t want to seem rude at first, and would graciously allow Rip to get close to her; I guess she assumed he’d just bow to Her Majesty, but unfortunately, that approach was more like “a precursor to a pounce,” and soon Kitty was underfoot (err, paw).

Eventually, Kitty tried to assert her dominance by batting at Rip’s snout any time he got too close. The bad news?  Without a sharp-clawed deterrent, Rip just saw Kitty’s bats as a cute, rhythmic petting.  He didn’t really take the hint that Kitty is boss and doesn’t care to play with him.

I feel bad.  Kitty is my princess and deserves better than to be under constant threat of a dog-based terror attack.  I need to give her the tools in which to defend herself.

Kitty needs to be weaponized.

Gentlemen, we can rebuild her.  We have the technology.