All was quiet in the apartment. Well, for a moment. Then the distinct scratching noises came from overhead – as if a small rodent was scuttling across the ceiling.
Lauren glanced up.
“Odd,” she thought and hoped that she was just going crazy.
For the longest time, the alleged animal didn’t make a peep. Or squeak. Or scuttle.
Lauren thoroughly convinced herself that she imagined it. But it came back, scuttling across the ceiling when she had friends over. Now, all three of them imagining it was too much to ask. But Lauren still pushed it out of her mind.
“It’s only in the ceiling.”
She didn’t even think that she’d have unwanted houseguests – impossible!
The weeks passed. One evening, she was preparing some food and discovered an odd hole in the side of a bag of peanut butter chips. Her heart sank.
And then, that turned to anger.
You see, that was the LAST BAG of her peanut butter baking chips.
“Oh, but get some more,” you say.
Not so fast. This was the last, carefully saved and preserved, bag of peanut butter chips with the dairy-free recipe. When she first found them at Aldi’s, she rejoiced. And then they changed the recipe a year later and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth (actually, itching and sneezing because she didn’t think to check the bag before she bought/ate them).
Anyways, I digress.
The mouse had unwittingly thrown down the gauntlet. Not only had he plucked up the courage to invade, he plundered her baking shelf!
Lauren responded as most would – she texted her best friend who was also dealing with a mouse epidemic. And then she examined her apartment, found way too much evidence of mice, and read extensively on how the CDC recommends taking care of such an incursion.
Somehow, she managed to sleep that night. The next day was a work day, and she regaled her coworkers with the latest development in apartment life.
“I know I’ve been wishing for a furry friend. But this was NOT what I had in mind.”
Post-work, she armed herself with all the weapons needed:
- a spray bottle
Upon reaching the apartment, she entered and immediately declared war on rodent-kind. Order of operations after that was Chick-Fil-A first (for sustenance), then gloving up to remove all traces of mouse-dom from the apartment. About two hours later, she was setting traps, baiting them with peanut butter.
And then the waiting game started. The rest of the evening was quiet – until she went to bed. It seemed like as soon as she closed her eyes that she was jolted instantly awake.
One trap had snapped.
But it was late. And dark. So she curled up again, resolving to check the traps in the morning. But when she checked, there was a mouseless snapped trap.
She reset the trap and went to work. For the next several days, she checked the traps every time she returned to the apartment.
Everything was quiet. She began to hope beyond hope that the mouse had gone.
But it was all a ruse – a trick to lull her into a false sense of security.
On a Sunday evening, Lauren was curled up watching Thor: The Dark World when something caught her attention – something moved.
She glanced over at the living room wall and made eye contact with a mouse.
Witnesses cannot confirm who was more freaked out by this encounter. Mostly because the sole witnesses were Lauren and the mouse. The mouse was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. Lauren’s trying to block the memory.
In the game of chicken (but really just staring), the mouse broke first, running back from whence he came.
Lauren was, by this point, essentially hyperventilating and low-key* freaking out. As she was calming down, the mouse came back.
*it was only low-key for about 10 seconds
Eye contact. Return from whence it came. Sit on an ottoman with a broom and shoe as weapons and attempt to get the mouse. Repeat ad nauseam until it induces a minor panic attack.
- If Lauren made eye contact, the mouse would turn around and run away.
- If Lauren didn’t make eye contact, the mouse continued to the exquisite destination of under the fridge.
- Lauren is useless at trying to hit a mouse with a broom – the little suckers are fast!
After the mouse invaded at least a half dozen times and Lauren started carrying a broom everywhere with her, she decided enough was enough. She also started assigning motive to the mouse.
- this mouse was just trying to get his steps in, or,
- there was a mouse party going on somewhere, and these mice were venturing out on dares.
Regardless, Lauren was so done. She left that night and acquired glue traps and gummy bears from Target. (Traps for the mice, gummy bears for the human.) She set the traps and went to bed…and had mouse-induced nightmares, waking up multiple times that night.
Since the glue traps made their debut and Lauren’s landlord patched some holes under the bathroom and kitchen sinks, the mouse (and his evidence) hasn’t been seen again. He’s still very here. Just back up in the ceiling, doing his thing again. Or potentially with the upstairs neighbor. That’s always a possibility.
Random mouse facts:
- Most common names for friends/family to bestow on mouse: Mickey, Gus, Jacques
- Way to really freak yourself out: Read the symptoms of the diseases you can catch from the mice and discover they align with your typical allergy/asthma symptoms, so you wouldn’t realize there was a problem until your lungs started filling with liquid.
- Mice can be kinda cute. Until they set up residence in some part of your home and taunt you.
- If you have a mouse in your house, your friends will start reminiscing about The Great Mouse Detective, discover you haven’t seen it, and insist you watch it (yes, the bat is creepy at the beginning)
- Mice can be incredibly smart – one walked up to a mousetrap, looked at it, and continued on its merry way.
- If you call a mouse, “vermin bastard houseguest,” you will end up in a discussion with your sister about how to determine the mouse’s parentage to ascertain whether that is a correct label (methods discussed included potentially using interviews, emails, forms, and public records).
Have you had experiences with mice (or a mouse) in your house? What kind of stories do you have from those adventures?
Mouse image by George Shuklin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons