When my brother and I were little, my parents read us an interactive book called "There's a mouse about the house!" by Richard Fowler. It had a little mouse that slipped through slits in the pages, "moving from room to room". It was actually a really cool book. If only the reality of having mice were as cute as that book...
I have found four mice in my apartment since I have lived here. Two dead, two alive. Jordan Rippy, my friend and the previous tenant in this apartment never saw one. Life is indeed not fair.
I realized that something afoot when I began to smell something really horrible in the apartment. I don't really keep food or trash in the house, so I knew it wasn't something I did.
I also began to see these HUGE flies in my apartment; I believe they were a symptom of the mice problem. Killing those flies was a pretty cool deal. Sometimes I killed them with my bare hands, swatting in a matrix-like fashion. Other times I killed them with a fly-swatter that amazingly turned into a Lightsaber. Everything went into slow motion. In those moments, I was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Then I would see the dead flies on the keys of my piano and reality would set back in - there was still an unidentified smell in my apartment.
The smell intensified and eventually got so bad that I could not rest until I found its source.
The epicenter of the olfactory abomination was a dead mouse in a glue trap under my kitchen sink. It looked like it had taken a mob hit, a gunshot wound straight to the head.
I removed the mouse and replaced the glue trap. A one-time thing, I thought. But no.
A few weeks later, I smelled the same smell, and I knew another mouse was among us. One was. Under the cabinets on the opposite side of the kitchen. It was right before my mom came to visit. She hates mice. I thought she might cancel her trip if I told her, so I didn't mention it.
I told my landlord about all of this. Her solution was to send me a device that emits a high frequency that repels mice. She is a vegetarian and doesn't want the mice to die. To that, I say, she doesn't have to eat the mice.
That device doesn't work, I learned, when one morning during my mom's visit (I'll write about that in a future post), I was going to leave to go get theatre tickets while she stayed to clean. Before I left, I did one last mouse check to make her feel comfortable.
That's when I found the third one.
I told my mom, "gosh, it's crazy that I've seen three."
"THREE!" she said.
Right, remember I hadn't told her about the second one. The cat was out of the bag. Actually, the cat was nowhere to be found because if he were out of the bag, then I probably would not be seeing any mice.
I found the fourth mouse alive a few weeks later, right before Thanksgiving. It was in the loft of my apartment, "upstairs".
I finally called an exterminator to diagnose and fix the problem. His name is Roger, and he's from Jamaica. He determined that the mice were coming in through a hole upstairs between the wall and my air conditioning unit. So he plugged that hole with some steel wool. I haven't seen any mice or smelled any dead ones since then.
Anyway, it's been really funny, and I hope that humor has come across here.