February 28, 2012

Self-discovery and rodents

When I started this blog, I planned on blogging every week day morning. Now, it is over a week since I have updated and that is by no means unusual. Through this blogging journey of self-discovery, I have discovered that I am simply not interesting enough to blog every day. There is very little to self-discover apparently. Humiliating. I always thought, with all my worrying and neurosis, that I would be able to make interesting self-discoveries every hour on the hour. Or at least DO something interesting. Not so, my friends, not so. I am much more boring than my neurosis would lead you to believe. So instead of startling insights, we will talk about rodents.

I hate mice. There is something about scurry, furry creatures being in my house that really sets me off. Whenever I fuss, Justin says, "I thought I married a farm girl--and here you are blubbering about mice for crying out loud." I tell him  farm girls are allowed weaknesses as well. So there.

Lately, the horrifying possibility of seeing a mousie run across my kitchen floor has diminished in horribleness. Not because I am maturing. Not because I feel they are God's creatures too and shouldn't be terrified of being mousies. It is because we now have rats. Seriously. RATS. As in R-A-T-S. Actually, it might be one rat. But even so, I feel strongly on the subject of ANY rat. Even if Templeton in Charlotte's Web is great comic relief and I love hearing Lily and Orianna quote him, I don't feel any kinder to rats in general.

Last month, I opened the kitchen/garage door to toss out a bag of trash and saw a wee mouse nest at my feet, just outside the door where the warm drafts and breezes blow from the kitchen to the garage. Being my rational self I freaked out and then refused to open the door without knocking  and banging on the door loudly to let the mouse know I was coming out. (I hate the idea of interrupting mouse privacy like that!) Even then, I tried to hide behind the door while opening it so vermin wouldn't run over my toes. I made Justin deal with this as soon as possible, much to the disappointment of the kids who were enchanted with having a real live mouse house right outside their door. After Justin took all the trash and mouse nest to the dump, he casually mentioned, as I was standing where the mouse house was a few hours earlier, that it wasn't a mouse, it was a rat. I don't think my blood pressure has ever recovered.

(As I writing all this rattiness, the sun is shining brightly down on our 5 or 6 inches of snow, melting it slowly. Out of the corner of my eye, I just saw a clump of snow sliding off our roof and with the accompanying scritching noise, I jumped about 5 inches, sure the rat had actually gotten into our house.

My nerves are shot.)

The original rat has gone where nasty rats go, namely dying in the wall from rat poison. Dad said it would stink forever, but mercifully, it only smelled for a few days. Now we have a new rat. These rats are really intrigued with the wall area around our stove. They scritch and scratch and make a racket trying to get in. When I thought it was a mouse, I would just bang on the wall and make it stop. So ignorantly brave..... Now I think about banging on the wall and having the wall crumble, allowing the rat to jump onto me. I have stopped banging.

Yesterday afternoon, Lindsey made the kids some macaroni and cheese. It was the homestyle stuff, past expiration date, so I meant to take the leftover stuff over to Owen's piggies last night. I completely forgot, so there it sat in all it's beautiful fake cheese aroma. Tempting the rat beyond what he or she could endure apparently. I woke up at 3 AM to a fearful racket in the kitchen. Very disturbing. The first thing my sleep hazed mind thought was, "Someone is in our house!" As the racket continued I realized only a very stupid burglar, murderer, kidnapper would make so much noise. And then I contemplated for all of 5 seconds how mad Justin would be if I made him wake up and go bang on the wall. Then I hit him several times and whispered "The rat!" It was dark, but the rolling of his eyes seemed to take on a physical dimension, palpable through the darkness. Still, he got up and banged the wall. I followed along, 20 feet behind him helpfully offering words of wisdom. He wasn't very receptive to my words of wisdom. But he DID put the macaroni and cheese in the fridge and generously sprinkle lavender oil on tissues in the general area. We like to give the rat a spa like atmosphere. It also blocks any food smell and makes the rat give up in disgust. Who wants to break into a pleasant, lavender-y smelling kitchen anyway?

The rat retired for the night. As did Justin.

I was painfully wide awake. I asked Justin several questions pertaining to rats ability to chew through brick (on our kitchen wall) and when he told me to GO TO SLEEP, I helplessly whimpered, "But they can chew on kids faces!" He was not impressed and rolled over and was sleeping in 3 minutes. I kept imagining I heard it moving around. Then I kept contemplating what it would feel like if a rat managed to get into our bed. Whenever Justin twitched, I had a nervous breakdown.

I would like to sue the rat for emotional distress.

Gilbert is now unknowingly torturing his sleep deprived mother by playing with his zhu-zhu pet, those mouse like creatures that scoot around making squeaky noises. It keeps running into a little blanket and pushing it across the floor.

Thanks to the rat, I have now self-discovered that rats are much, MUCH more threatening to my sense of well being than mice are.

My nerves are shot.


Rebekah said...

I, too, would be an absolute mess. I've dealt with mice and hate that. Right now we have some bugs flying around and I. don't. like. it. one. little. bit. Makes my house feel dirty and gross. Argh!

Sheena said...

I'm so sorry! At least you have something exciting to blog about though!

geri douglas said...

I am laughing not at you Bet but I can picture everything you are saying. Most houses I lived in except the last two had more mice than people in it, makes having a cat around very comforting, except when the cat stalks a mouse one step at a time at midnight( me, sitting in bed minus Scott, with a lamp ready to kill the burglar to find Lincoln our cat pouncing in my bedroom, ready to jump on a nervous mouse, almost giving me a heart atttack! Rats would definately kill me! Keep blogging!

laura said...

You may not THINK you're interesting, but you make me think about the so-called "every-day" things in a much more interesting (and comical) way!


Maybe you do need a cat... (:

Evan and Clover and Co. said...

I am so glad you realize the importance of mouse privacy. And at this point, maybe you should let Dad do a little target practice in your garage.

Cecil and Amy said...

I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY FREAK OUT ABOUT MICE!!!! Mice send my heart into palpatations. I was reading my Bible in the recliner when a stupid mouse ran underneath the chair. I would have screamed bloody murder, but we had workers visiting. What do you do? Stay in the chair and miss teaching my precious 5th graders, or throw the foot rest down and run for your life? I chose choice #2.
I have not gone into our shop since August because that's when it was occupied by rats...not mice. Cecil and our friend shot them. They found out later that the rats had a cache of goodies under the freezer- bullets, orange hunting vest, orange tape measure, an unsprung rat trap (so comforting to know that it is a collector's treasure in the rat world) and many other weird things.

Thanks for the fun tear-inducing blog...again!

Cari said...

While I share your distain of mice and rats I have to say thank you to the most hilarious story I've read in a long time. I'm laughing so hard at you telling Justin the rat could chew the kids faces off and the dimension of his eye rolling!! Ive seen those reactions in my family so many times that I can envision it perfectly and am perfectly amused!!
:) Aunt Cari