repost: of mice and woman

this is from another defunct blog that i used to be a part of, zaadz. zaadz turned into the gaia community, which was a part of gaiam, which is when i stopped writing so much there. although i like gaiam’s website and products, the whole thing smelled too corporate for me, so i went onto blogger. when i heard that zaadz/gaia was going away last year, i saved most (but not all) of the postings that i had left behind.

anyway, this particular posting is about my fear of rodents and how they are my ‘room 101’, and how my fear clashes of them with my feelings about the sanctity of all sentient beings. really, we’re all just trying to get by. it also kinda cracks me up, because of the way i handled this confrontation with a mouse who was already just about dead. one of my friends who originally read this had a creative idea on how to deal with that conflict: meditate ‘good thoughts’ to the mice, telling them that i loved them because they were a part of god’s creation but if they didn’t leave my home by a certain day, i was going to have to kill them. i did try it, after this particular event, and it worked, at least for that season. (the following year i had mice again, and actually don’t remember if i did this again or not.)

so far this fall season, no mice have been sighted, but i have an awesome little cat who will take care of it for me if they are. in the meantime, here’s hoping i don’t have a replay of the following scenario again…

of mice and woman

[originally posted on Sep 22nd, 2006 on zaadz.com]

i have a mouse problem.  yes, it’s that time of year when mice start coming in from the cold, hiding out in various nooks and crannies in apartments and homes, and that is certainly happening in my home at this point in time.  however, my mouse problem consists of questioning why mice and other rodents even have to exist.  what in the world was god thinking???

snakes and bugs don’t creep me out in the least.  i used to know this guy who had a female boa constrictor named floyd, and i had no problem letting floyd wrap herself around my arm.  i also used to live with a guy who would literally scream like a girl if a snake came within 20 feet of him, even an innocent little garden snake.  when our cat brought in a snake from the surrounding woods, it was me who ended up retrieving it.  however, because we lived in a rural area, we had a mouse problem, and whenever we trapped one, his bad idea of a joke was to chase me around the house with the dead animal, taunting me with it.  and because he considered himself to be egalitarian, he insisted that we take turns disposing of the dead mice, instead of being a gentleman and doing this one little thing for me that he knew i could barely stomach.

so anyway, over the last couple of weeks i have found two dead and one half dead mice in my apartment.  i’ve said something to the apartment management, and they just shrug their shoulders.  meanwhile, i continue to put out the de-con (and feeling guilty about it), use sonic rodent repellants (that don’t work), and sleep with a light on (which i am finally getting used to).  the other day i got home and the half dead mouse was in the middle of the floor, so i could not ignore it.  (how did i figure out it was not dead?  from throwing shoes at it from across the room and seeing that it jumped, but didn’t scurry off)  so that’s when i started crying…

…back when i was 21 years old, i was still living at home with my mother and her significant other.  they had gone to mississippi on vacation, which meant that i had the house to myself.  whoo hoo!  my bedroom was upstairs directly across from the attic/storage room, and the first evening they were gone, i heard a rustling noise across the hall.  i gingerly looked in, and saw a rat.  i ran downstairs, and after several attempts, managed to dial the number where they were staying.  sobbing hysterically, i told them they needed to come home immediately.  (for the record, my mother practically hung up on me.)  they, of course, did not return home, but i enlisted a friend to accompany me to my bedroom one last time so i could gather my clothes, etc., for the week that i’d be sleeping downstairs in the guest room, until they came back to deal with it….

…so this crying because of rodents is not a new thing to me.  and i knew i had to dispose of this mouse but there was no way i was going to go near it, on the off chance that it would suddenly decide to run up my arm and into my hair.  i had to kill it.  i truly do believe in the sanctitiy of all living creatures… except for rodents.  and that really isn’t the case, but, well you know how some people wonder why god made mosquitos?  i really wonder the same about mice, so that and the fact that it was on the way to dead anyway were justification enough for me to do what follows.

crying and apologizing aloud to the mouse the whole time, i sprayed it with about half a can of bug spray.  at first it started convulsing, but then, mercifully (for both of us), it stopped.  okay, it was dead, but now i was breathing in all these carcinogens with a shiny dead mouse on the floor.  i wanted to sweep it into a bucket and flush it down the toilet.  instead, i guess because of the angle the bucket was at, i kept sweeping the mouse under the bucket, and then somehow the bucket was squishing the mouse and then the mouse got wedged against the refrigerator and as it turned into a comedy of errors,  i started crying again, saying ‘oh why god, WHY is this happening to me?’  i finally had to use a dustpan to unwedge the little fella and sweep him into that so i could flush him down the toilet (hoping to god i didn’t trip on anything between the kitchen and the bathroom, knocking the dead mouse someplace much worse, like onto my bed).  i then proceeded to scrub down every surface in the kitchen.

i would like to think that i learned something from this experience, and that maybe my fear of rodents has lessened.  however, other than learning a new way to kill a mouse, i don’t think this is the case.  a part of me felt horrible for taking the life of another living creature, and i tried to imagine how i’d feel if this giant alien came down from the sky and sprayed me with a supersize can of raid.  still, if i gained anything from this, it’s that i can do the thing i think i can’t do.  and i also learned that it’s time for me to get another cat.

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