I’ve been in denial for a couple of months now, ignoring the tiny pieces of evidence left on the counter tops in the morning. The odd noises coming from the kitchen in the middle of the night. When the dog wakes me up with loud barking directed at the hallway, I tell her to calm down because there is nothing there. Many a morning, I’ve cleaned the counter tops while telling myself, “It’s not what you think.”
This morning, while brewing my coffee, I decided to wipe the counter tops more thoroughly and lifted a basket that held a plastic bag of pistachios. Well, it used to hold pistachios. As I discovered just a few minutes ago, all the pistachios are gone, and the plastic bag has a small hole in it the size of a quarter. Also, there were lots of gifts under the basket.
I wiped the counter, threw out the empty plastic bag, and put the basket in a lower cupboard.
Denial, no more.
I am sharing the house with a mouse (I choose to believe it’s just one).
The question is, what now? Do I try to trap and kill it? Or do I accept that, apparently, I have a roommate? Part of me feels like I brought this upon myself by moving to the countryside, and this sort of dilemma goes with the territory. I am living close to nature. Maybe I should just be “one” with it.
Besides, as a former city dweller, I have had my share of unwanted guests, including roaches, ants and what really should have been the 11th plague – bed bugs. In comparison, a mouse seems almost quaint. Not that I want to see it. Or hear it. Or continue cleaning up after it. But I also don’t want to deal with a dead mouse. And I’m not getting a cat.
To be quite honest, I’d really rather not deal with it at all.
This past month has been crazy busy, and things are not going to let up any time soon. To mention just a few recent activities, I completed a first draft of my book proposal, met with my book agent, developed a professional website, updated my LinkedIn profile, traveled to NYC twice, flew back to California once (more on that later), spent a weekend reporting a story, and wrote my first news article (to be published). I’ve also read three books, taken my dog to the vet twice (she’s fine), went to Albany for the first time, and learned how to make chili.
In the next week, I have to read a friend’s book proposal, give feedback on said proposal, finish reading another friend’s book, write an essay, write another article, type up all my notes from last weekend and cook some dishes for Thanksgiving.
Yesterday I finally took a day off to go shopping for food and much-needed cooking supplies. Which brings me back to my unwanted friend.
Maybe if I simply hide all the food, he will go somewhere else? Is it possible to lure a mouse away from your home, which is also his home? Should I borrow someone else’s cat? Or try to peacefully live together? Is that gross? It’s hard for me to gauge.
I do have to say, this mouse seems really discreet. So far, he hasn’t dared to show himself during the day, or even at night, when I sometimes get up for a glass of water. The city mice I’ve met in the past were much more bold.
I think if I saw him, I would probably feel different about the situation. As it stands now, we are like strangers who keep missing each other, but know the other exists. Except less romantic sounding.
On the bright side, at least I’m not dealing with a bat. That would be a little too much nature in the house.