Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mice and men, part deux

Late last autumn, we were visited by a small itinerant creature, or at least we hoped it was itinerant. I thought it was unlikely to get Little Bunny Foo Foo to do a home visit, so we called in the professionals. It was the first time we'd seen a mouse in our flat in the three years we'd been here, but with Blake around, we thought it best to get it resolved as quickly as possible.
Three visits in six weeks and we were given the all clear - although Brad, the mouse man, had seen "low-level activity" on his first visit, at the last visit no bait had been taken and he therefore thought that it (or they?) had moved on. Perhaps it just knew we weren't going to be here at Christmas to leave it any presents, and decided to return in the New Year. Maybe even it was a baby mouse, since when it returned it chose to dine on cartons of Blake's ready-made formula (don't worry, we got rid of those very quickly!). This time, what with the recession and all, Matt went online and ordered some bait himself. He set it out in the cupboards and we waited.

The next day, we could see that the bait had been taken, so at that point we just had to hope that whatever had eaten it had then gone outside for a post-lunch smoke. Unfortunately, that hope was in vain. Sometime last week, a mysterious smell pervaded the kitchen. I searched all over the countertops, hoping to find a small crumb of cheese or piece of fruit that had gone bad; I scoured various bags wondering if I'd somehow forgotten to dispose of a dirty nappy; I sniffed at the fridge and in the freezer praying that food would be the source of the smell [nb: in my senior year at Dartmouth, we came back from Christmas to 3 Dorrance, the house where we lived, to the worst possible smell imaginable ("The Smell" as it was known to us); turned out that some ice cream had defrosted in the freezer and then melted down to the bottom of the fridge where the fan was warming this spoiled dairy goop and then blasting the smell out into all reaches of the house]. In all of these cases, I came up empty: we could only conclude that it was a mouse whose soul had gone to the big cheese factory in the sky, and for which our flat would serve as its last resting place.
I love my husband every day, but I loved him just that much more yesterday when he donned his DIY clothes and face mask and decided to dismantle the bath, which shares a wall with the kitchen. I was in the kitchen (despite the smell, I had things to do in there!) when I heard a muffled shout that he'd "found a mouse", and oh, did my heart soar! I went out today to the store and when I came back up the stairs, the only thing I smelled was laundry detergent from some clothes I'd washed and hung out to dry. My friend Amy Feldmann says "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" upon waking on the first day of the month, and I have to say that thanks to Matt, I'm glad that we don't need the services of Little Bunny Foo Foo anymore.

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