Saturday, December 17, 2005

Whereupon Alena Discovers She Does Not Live Alone...


So, yesterday, I was poking around in my bedroom closet, trying to find some rope that I suspected was in a container at the very bottom of everything. The rope was for the purely innocent application of hanging something outside to air out, lest you think my sex life is more interesting than it actually is at the moment. Anyway, I'm very leery of poking around in closets due to my abnormal fear of spiders living inside my shoes and God knows where else, those crafty buggers. I cautiously pulled out some items to have better access to the container, when I noticed something quite odd.

At the back of the closet on the floor, there were the remnants of a stuffed unicorn. Now, the unicorn was mine.. It was a wall-hanging-type-thinger that had been given to me when I was a baby. I have been called a packrat, but I don't just save everything: I am compulsively sentimental. If I have had an item for years, even if it's something I wouldn't use or decorate with now, it gets saved. So this unicorn is something I've had all my life, and apparently it was put in my bedroom closet during my move.

The unicorn had been mauled, chewed apart, and as it lay dying alone in a dark closet, it had hemorrhaged stuffing everywhere. I was a little shocked and couldn't believe what I was seeing. My first thought was that Melissa's dog, Greta, had somehow gotten into my closet during her stay with me. I pulled out the remains and looked them over, trying to understand. As I squatted in front of my closet, I began to notice other things. There was a section of shoelace that had been obviously chewed off a pair of my Bean Boots. I was like, WTF?

It occurred to me then that Greta was not the culprit. Even if she had somehow gotten in my closet, she didn't have enough time to demolish the unicorn AND my shoelaces. I mean, I kept my bedroom door shut nearly the whole time she visited. As I looked, I noticed more shoelace pieces, this time from another pair of boots. A light bulb went off in my head, and I'm sure my eyes went appropriately wide. I began piecing things together.. the unicorn, the shoelaces, a phone cord that had 'split' (i.e. was chewed in half) while I was away this summer, scratching noises in the ceiling of my kitchen..

Oh yeah. Mice. Fucking great!!

When I realized this, I freaked out. I fetched a flashlight and began inspecting my closet. While I have yet to find mouse poo in my apartment, hear them partying in my closet, or God forbid, SEE one.. it's more than obvious that they're here. I think I found a mouse hole in the closet and I suspect they probably are living in that wall, cozily nesting in the insulation and unicorn innards. Damn it!

I immediately called my landlord, hoping he would deal with it. Instead, I was told that unless the entire building was infested, it was up to me to buy poison or traps. Or live with them. Feh!!

So my landlord is all, "Yeah, you just go to Lowe's and buy some mouse and rat poison, it smells just like peanut butter, and you leave it out for them. What it does is cause blood thinning, so if they get hurt, they bleed to death because their blood won't clot. Yeah, they would die in the walls and there might be a smell. It also makes them very thirsty, so be sure to close your toilet seat and leave the sink empty and dry. The idea is that they'll get so thirsty they'll go elsewhere."

And in my head, I'm like, "OMFGOMFGOMFG, stop, stop, stop.. OMG.. please don't tell me this.. stooooooop!!"

This launched me into Freak-Out #2. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not believe in killing things and I feel quite strongly about this because I think it's wrong. To me, all living things have as much right to live as I do. There is a very short list of things (mosquitos, flies, roaches, ants) that I will kill if it comes down to it, but even then I don't feel great about it. In this case, there is no good solution. A snap-trap would provide a more merciful end, but then I have to be face-to-face with what I've done and it would honestly break my heart... On the other hand, poisoning, while allowing me to be somewhat of a coward, causes a slow death and I think that's even more wrong than the death alone.

After the conversation with my landlord, I called Melissa because I was flipping out. As further proof of what a big bleeding-heart baby I am, I started crying when I was explaining to her why it tore me up that I was even considering poison. It still makes me emotional when I think about it. Then I talked to my mom, who had a casual attitude about it and told me they have to poison rats and mice all the time in their orto.

I still haven't decided what I'm going to do. Earlier I took my flashlight and further examined the closet and my shoes. Almost all of the ones that were on the floor had been chewed on, one pair in particular was quite obviously a favored mouse snack. I moved them all off the floor and found what looks to be a hole in a corner behind/underneath the linoleum. The closet door doesn't latch shut, so for psychological relief, I placed something heavy in front of the door. There aren't any signs of them in the kitchen, but I don't know who I'm trying to fool.. as evidenced by the chewed phone cord, they have been in the living room.

Help!

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