Okay...there's something I have to say which has been on my mind for some time. Ahhemmmm...hi, my name is Christine, and I'm afraid of mice. WHEW!!!!!!! Glad to finally get that off my chest!
Now that you're thoroughly confused, remember I said I'd be sharing some of the crazy, silly things that happen to me, and they wouldn't always be related to having a disability? Well, here's one of them. And my mother's been begging me to post this story, so you can thank her! I recently moved into the same complex my parents live in...and don't worry, it's not like that show 'Everybody Loves Raymond' where the parents show up unannounced to drive everyone bonkers. I like having them nearby! And the complex is beautiful, and quiet. And most of all, it's MOUSE FREE. That is definitely the biggest plus in my book!
And I have to explain about my old apartment, because I don't want to give you the wrong impression...it was a nice place. The layout was good, it had plenty of light, and even though the kitchen was a little small it was functional. The main reason for moving was safety...I needed a place without stairs, a washer/dryer so I would no longer stress my back trying to carry laundry, and other small things such as faucets I could turn on and off easily. (Okay...I guess this story is kind of disability related.) And it's not like it was RIDDEN with mice, it was just one very determined little mouse. And no matter what I did to stop him from getting in, he still managed it. I started out with sonic buzzers which worked to an extent...if I didn't have them I'm sure the mouse would have been a daily visitor, along with his extended family. And I didn't want to hurt him; I just didn't want him in my HOME. The main problem with the buzzers is that I could hear them, even though the package specifically stated that they couldn't be heard by humans..only mice, who were supposed to be repelled by the sound. Yeeaahh...RIGHT. So I started out with three. Once I realized three wasn't enough I graduated from tiny sonic buzzers to giant, ear-splitting, OH MY GOD...I'M COVERED IN BEES!!!!! buzzers that nearly drove me insane.
Now if you've been reading my post and if you have read my profile, you already know I'm a cat mom. I have two very beautiful, very different cats. My female cat is named Scout, and she just turned 13. She is actually disabled like me, though her disability started from an adverse reaction to anesthesia when she was four. Like me she has adapted to life, and though her legs don't work the way they should she manages to get around. She is very sweet, and often very crabby, and pretty much rules the household! My male cat is named Shay, and he is a handsome tuxedo cat who is also very sweet, a little skittish, and extremely loving. EXTREMELY. I really can't stress that word enough. You would think having two cats would take care of any mouse problems, right? WRONG. I really didn't expect that Scout could do anything about the visiting mouse, because of her difficulties and her age, but assumed that Shay would easily take care of the problem. That's when I discovered that Shay is truly a lover, not a fighter...and the mouse? Has a BIG set of cajones!!
The first mouse visit was on a Saturday. It was just after the weather started to get colder, and though I'm sure he originally came in to warm up, I'm positive he came back because of Shay. Who, to his credit caught the mouse seconds after he entered my home through the kitchen, and proceeded to walk around the apartment with it clutched in his mouth. I was sitting on the couch in my pajamas, which was where I spent the next three hellish, fear filled hours as I watched an unnatural bond form between my loving cat and the mouse, who soon became his new best friend! Shay would drop his friend every so often and they would play a game of chase, which I'm sure completely thrilled Shay...he's been trying to play with Scout ever since joining our little family, and she's been having NONE OF THAT. Finally...someone to PLAY with! And so the day continued. Shay would chase the mouse, catch him once again, over and over...completely impervious to my screams. I stayed on the couch because I assumed mice couldn't climb...oh--silly me! That small hope was dashed against the rocks once I saw the mouse climb the wall. Yes, THE WALL!! That's when I knew I had to be brave. My opportunity for bravery came after Shay (once again) dropped his friend. Instead of starting the next game of chase, the mouse just stood there gazing into my cat's wide, loving eyes. Then they touched noses. I swear to you, it's true...it was like something out of a Hallmark movie. If I wasn't so paralyzed with fear, I might have been moved to tears! Fortunately Shay had dropped him in a most convenient spot...in front of my door. My front doors were glass, and the sun was streaming in on the friendly pair...did I mention Hallmark? And I knew that even though it was risking life and limb, and the mouse might actually jump up and touch me, I had to take a chance. I made my way over there, as close as I dared. Using a rain stick (a long, hollow stick filled with rice that sounds like rain when you turn it,) which I luckily had sitting on a nearby bookshelf, I opened the front door with one hand and prodded the mouse lightly with the other. Holding the stick, of course. And you know what?? The mouse didn't want to LEAVE. Why would he? He was warm, had probably found the only cat within a 50 mile radius that befriended mice...who could ask for more?? But I was tired and determined, and finally with enough prompting Shay's new best friend left my home. And other than having to endure the looks of disdain from Shay for the next few days, I couldn't have been happier!
So life continued on; I got more mind-numbing, ear-splitting buzzers and went about my day. And less than a month ago I moved into the safe, sunny mouse-free apartment I now call home. Though before that happened, my nightmare returned...on the last night in my old place, surrounded by boxes and just short of midnight, Shay's best buddy came back! Now I knew at this point that sitting on the couch screaming like a banshee would get me nowhere, and I was determined not to spend my last night in fear! So I got the broom and dustpan from the kitchen (Why? I was hoping I'd be brave enough to sweep the little menace into the dustpan and carry him outside, but who are we kidding??) and proceeded to follow the two furry friends around the apartment, screaming like an idiot. After a while, with Shay staring at me all wide eyed (Mom, have you been washing the fruit off BEFORE you eat it??) his little buddy ran into a sneaker; part of a set I hadn't managed to pack. So I grabbed the flashlight (without putting down the broom/dustpan combo...for protection, of course!) to see if the mouse was truly in the sneaker. Crawling around on my hands and knees while holding onto a flashlight, broom and dustpan and screaming my head off has got to be one of the strangest things I have ever done. Oh...but it doesn't end there! Once I determined that yes, he actually was in the sneaker, I moved onto the next level of weirdness...tipping a box on it's side, I pushed the sneaker and it's mate into it (because of course, I never planned on wearing them again--EVER!) and proceeded to push the box out the front door with the broom. Still holding the dustpan. And the flashlight. And yes, while still screaming at the top of my lungs!
So now my days and nights of mouse-induced fear are over; it is calm here, to-date there has been no furry little visitors, and no one is screaming...least of all me. Of which I'm sure my new neighbors are thrilled. And other than the fact that Shay spends his nights sitting in front of the oven waiting for his friend to come back (Yes...he really is doing that,) life couldn't be happier! And let me go on record by saying that I wish the mouse the best of luck...may he find another warm, happy and loving-cat-filled home with a human that embraces all things furry, and has less tendency to scream. I'm sure my old neighbors would greatly appreciate that.