Random Rambling Regarding Rodentia
November 27, 2010 | My Jottings
I woke to the skittering and gnawing sounds of a mouse in the wall. It was 1:50 a.m. Even though we’re in a residential area, we live on the edge of a small wood full of creatures of all sizes, and when the weather turns cold it’s not unusual for mice to try to find warmer places to stay. Apparently a little rodent found its way into our house and climbed its way up through the walls, deciding that the best place to chew and get his exercise was in the space of wall just to the left of the fireplace in our bedroom. I turned on the nightstand lamp, then got up and put my ear to the wall and could hear it clearly just beyond the plaster. Chomp, chomp, skitter, skitter, crunch, crunch. Michael woke up and saw me with my cheek pressed against the toile wallpapered wall at 2:00 in the morning and asked, quite understandably, “What are you doing?”
“There’s something in the wall,” I whispered. He turned over and and pulled the comforter over his shoulder and said, “Will you turn out the light? I’m trying to sleep.” I knew there wasn’t much I could do about the mouse at this time of night, so I did crawl back into bed, but the noise kept me awake. I mentally prepared how many traps we were going to need, how I would put peanut butter and a chocolate chip on each one, and carefully position them in the most obvious places. We’ve only had two mice come to call in this house, and each time, even though we heard them in the walls at various times, they came to their ends in the basement. Somehow they had gained entry under the siding or through a basement window frame, and I assumed that this one came in the same way. I knew that at least two of the traps would need to go down there.
I couldn’t get back to sleep because the mouse was now using a tiny rodent microphone. He tore off a dry little piece of plaster with his teeth, and then held the tiny mic up to his furry jaws as he chewed, and the amplified sound filled our bedroom for a long time. I got up and pounded on the wall a couple of times to see if he would stop, and he did. For about a minute. Unfortunately, Sara, who was sleeping on the third floor right above us, thought my pounding was someone knocking on her bedroom door at 2:00 a.m. “Come in!” she called groggily. “Come in!” she kept saying. She got out of bed, opened the door to her bedroom, knowing someone was knocking, and was confused as to why no one was there.
One floor below Sara, I still could not get back to sleep, so I got up and went downstairs to start my day. At 2:00 a.m. I prepared my daily Cappuccino Cooler, turned on the computer, turned up the heat, and put food in Edith and Millie’s dishes, then sat down to read what I normally read online in a day.
I checked my email, and answered a few. I looked to see if anyone left a comment on my blog. I love comments – have I ever mentioned that? When you leave a comment it’s surprisingly comforting. Someone is reading! I think, and I’m encouraged to keep on sharing. Next I usually read the local newspaper. Then I check bear.org to see if they have den cams set up yet for Hope and Lily, the mother and daughter black bears. Then I check a handful of blogs I enjoy perusing – I love the ideas and personality of Melissa at The Inspired Room, the color and humor on my daughter Sharon’s blog at yarnista.com, the writing and chuckles at Jessica’s Bits and Pieces, the deep thoughts and transparent writing at my friend Ember’s Kindred of the Quiet Way blog, and the constant amazement I find at Joni Eareckson Tada’s blog. At Ganeida’s Knots, I enjoy the conversational essays written by Jehane in Australia. I love the gorgeous creations at my dear friend Carey’s Etsy Shop, the photos and dishes from Scotland at A Wee Bit of Cooking, the book recommendations and cultural commentaries found at The Rabbit Room and the never-ending fount of astronomical knowledge from my friend Astro Bob. Then I look at the forecast and am usually ready to start breakfasts for everyone. Notice I didn’t say breakfast, but breakfasts, since everyone eats something different for breakfast around here, for various reasons.
On this particular day I didn’t have to rush through answering e-mails – I had hours before the sun would come up. After a good long while I went to the kitchen and set out meds, prepared sack lunches, made sure the women we care for were properly dressed for the weather, then saw them all off at different times for their days’ work. Later in the morning I placed two of the mousetraps upstairs, and Michael took three of them to the basement.
After I got dinner going in the crockpot, a load of laundry started, the kitchen cleaned and my own self dressed for the day, it was wonderful to sit in the quiet and open my Bible and this year’s CBS study on the book of Acts. It’s like I’m a bone-dry and dusty vessel that needs cleansing and filling, and if I’ll sit before Jesus, the Living Water, I will be filled and refreshed and washed.
After a day of errands, housework and paperwork, I was ready for night to fall. I thought I should pick up Ben Hur, which I’m reading in a two-person book club with Carey, but instead Philip Yancey’s newest book called my name and I read the first chapter of What Good is God – In Search of a Faith That Matters. I marveled at his writing and insights, and then my eyes reminded me I had only three hours of sleep the night before and it was time to give them a rest. I turned out the light on my nightstand and was asleep in no time.
At 1:55 a.m. I was awakened by the gnawing and skittering of the mouse inside the wall, exactly in the same place as before, and I sighed, wondering why our peanut butter and chocolate hadn’t yet lured him to his (hopefully instant and painless) death. I guess when I’m sleep deprived I’m not very merciful.
Somehow, this time the noise didn’t keep me awake and I fell back to sleep before 2:30. I woke fairly refreshed hours later, ready to start the day, and write the most boring blog post I’ve ever written. (Except for the blogs I’ve mentioned above – they’re not boring at all. You might want to visit them when you have some time.)
I hope your weekend is blessed!