Life

Not Mickey, Chip, or Dale


Something funny about being sick is that the world doesn’t stop turning. Life happens around you no matter what is personally happening in your own private world. I was sort of amazed when I found out I had cancer and a couple of days later Christmas still came. And these things are continuing! Despite everything I’m dealing with there are meals to make, there’s laundry to fold, dogs to care for, theater groups to drive to, snow days to celebrate. It’s all still going on. 

Probably the not frustrating thing that has refused to stop going on but has, in fact, become worse, is the problem of the skittering, squeaking, crewing, running rodents in my walls. It all started one night when we were watching tv in our den. It’s the only tv in the house and it’s in our lower level. We could hear something small running in the ceiling. To be honest, we didn’t really worry much at first. People get a mouse or two from time to time. We figured we’d put out a few traps if we heard something again and we’d be done. 

But then it started happening more, and it was a whole lot louder. 

We started to think there were large things living in the house with us. We were super uncomfortable and pretty freaked out. Well, no, that’s not true. Husband was pretty nonchalant about it. Daughter pretty much never heard it because she was in bed by the time they became active. I was to the point of losing sleep and being visibly upset by what I was hearing. 

We started calling exterminators and not really getting anywhere. At first we just couldn’t get people to return our calls. Then when we finally did get to talk to someone and they asked what we thought was going on, Husband told them he thought he had seen a chipmunk, so we had to ding find someone with a special license. We finally found someone who came on a Friday but decided not to set a trap until Monday. He wanted to put out peanuts for our critters in the one spot we could get them to come out. That way when he put up the trap, they’d be more likely to go in. 

The nuts were gone Friday night before we even went to bed, and boy did it make them celebrate in the walls. 

On Monday the humane trap was set up to catch anything from a mouse to a chipmunk. You see, in the mean time Cat managed to kill a mouse and leave it for me at my recovery spot- how kind of him- so we didn’t know if it was all just noisy mice. We were prepared. When we went into our bedroom Monday night we could hear the trap rattling in our bathroom under the sink. Something had been caught. What was it? Would it be a chipmunk or mouse? We were dying to know. 

I am the only person I know who has an issue with flying squirrels. Oh yeah, you read that right. Flying. Squirrels. 

So now, every day around two pm, our incredibly sweet exterminator visits, takes away a flying squirrel, resets the trap, and leaves again. I’m grateful to him for that. I’m also grateful that he found where they’re getting in so we can address it. I’m even more grateful thatbhehrw not something really icky, like rats, which I don’t care for. Flying squirrels are pretty adorable, actually, so I’m glad he doesn’t kill them, too. I operate on the basic principle of most people: if you’re cute you can live, but if you’re ugly, best of luck. 

I hate that I have something loving in my house uninvited, but it’s a good reminder that life goes on no matter what else is happening. It’s helping me, as I write this, to think about how I can take a step back and be better about seeing what goes on around me with or without my existence. 

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