18 March, 2007

Bump In the Night

It's 5am and one of the things you would NOT expect me to be doing at this time of morning is blogging, but Husband is on call and just left and I've already been awake since 3:30 and now I'm sitting here with my wee bowl of dry miniwheats blogging the post I've been writing in my head for the last hour.

This post, however, will be accompanied by yet another disclaimer: Mom, we DO want you to come and visit in July, so DO NOT read this post. If you continue to read, I'm afraid your mind will be made up that we're living in some sort of slum that you will never set foot in. So consider yourself forewarned.

One of the things Mystery Baby will not lack in his/her early childhood is books. Though we possess no actual bookshelf for the nursery, we do have at least three boxes of children's books just waiting to be devoured by curious little eyes. [At this point, I'd like to note that my brother and I must've (<- spellcheck wants to change that word to Gustave) been raised well because although some of the books are rather beat up, I have yet to come across a single crayon or marker scribble in them.] One of the books that is a favourite of mine (not sure if this was true when I was little, but it's true now) is a book called What Was That? I was going to post a picture of it, but seriously, it's 5 in the morning; work with me here!

Anyway, the book is about - great, now I'm getting my animals mixed up - I think it's about a bear who is being put to bed and he hears all these noises around him. His mother explains that it is just all the other little baby animals getting ready for bed too. It goes on to show several little animals being tucked into their various animal beds by their mothers, as each of the bears' siblings reassure him that it's nothing to be afraid of, just other little animals getting into bed. The pictures I remember in particular are the little spider (I hate spiders, but the ones in the book are at least cute) and the little mouse, complete with matchbox bed. If I'm remembering correctly, the story somehow ends with all of the bear family in one bed and the bed breaking and all the little animals we've seen getting ready for bed look up in alarm at their mothers and say, "What was THAT?" (It's a very cute book, published in the 70s. If you can find it at the library, check it out.)

What's the point of my relating this story? Oh yes, wouldn't you like to know. It started actually a couple months ago. We were sitting in the living room one night and there was this noise in the ceiling which, naturally, being unfamiliar with the nuances and sounds of oil/hot water heat, we attributed to the pipes that heat our house. The cats were very curious, but seemed satisfied with our pipe explanation (yes, of course they understood what we were saying). Well at present, because we're just finishing painting upstairs where our permanent bedroom will be and because we just started painting on the main floor in the room where we have been sleeping, we are now on the futon mattress on the living room floor.

Three nights ago, I was awakened by the sound of scurrying, no
rampaging, little feet in the ceiling. Oh. Great. We have a mouse. No big deal, I thought, as long as it's in the ceiling and not on the floor, I'm okay. It did keep me awake for at least two hours though. Then again tonight. More rampaging. I don't know where it got it, but I swear this mouse is on meth. (I know Jerry, of Tom & Jerry fame, often scurried, but he often crept too and why this mouse can't creep, I have no idea.) This time, however, 'our' 'little' mouse 'friend' made his/her way down the wall to the kitchen. We must've moved something since last time it came down because I'm quite sure I heard it collide with the recycling bin. (Now, we have a MOUSE. And it is a BIG DEAL.) Then it raced back into its hole and up the wall and across the ceiling. And back and forth.

Andbackandforthandbackandforthandbackandforthandbackandforthandbackandforth AND SO ON.

All this since about 2am this morning. Calculate with me, that's THREE hours ago! So I woke up. Then I woke Husband up so he could hear the noise and be assured that I'm not crazy, we really do have an unwanted house guest, but he naturally, after agreeing that 'yes, we have a mouse,' went back to sleep quite soundly. I on the other hand, laid here tossing and turning and fuming because that stupid mouse would not quit moving!
ARGH!!! So I had a few bathroom trips, I blew my nose as loudly as I could, I coughed a few times, and I finally turned the fridge water dispenser light on, all in an effort to scare the mouse away, because by this time, I'm wide awake and Mystery Baby is awake and redoubling its rib-kicking practices for what I can only assume is an upcoming dance extravaganza (or judo lessons), and now? Now I'm hungry to boot! I can't rightly put into words how much I hate getting up to eat in the middle of the night.

Fine, so I scared it enough that it didn't come down into the kitchen anymore, but that didn't prevent it from continuing it's antics in the ceiling. I have to conclude that this is a mouse that has obviously been here for a while. Anything that can run around in a ceiling that fast without running into something must know its way around. Then again, about 45 minutes ago, I heard what sounded like a mouse colliding with pipe. So either it finally woke up ANOTHER mouse that whacked it with a pipe to slow it down for a while or it just blinked for a nanosecond and ran into it on its own. What I'm secretly hoping happened is that it ran into the pipe and cracked its little skull wide open and its now laying in a bloody heap somewhere up in the ceiling. Unless that would mean that we'd be smelling rotting mouse in a few days, in which case, I'll revise my hope to either of the first two possibilities.

I know I shouldn't be afraid of a little mouse since in reality it's probably as big as my thumb (I said "in reality"), but it sounds as big as a pack rat! Sleeping beside a Husband who sleeps as soundly as mine does isn't quite as comforting as it could be either. I sleep with my back to his so I feel like we're both on the offensive, ready to ward off any mousely danger in the night. But any sudden movement has me jumpy and terrified that I'll roll over and wake up staring into a pair of beady little black mouse eyes. *Shudder*

At any rate, I'm guessing the mouse is stealing food from the cat bowl in the kitchen. At one point in my semi-conscious musings, I'd devised a plan to rig the bowl with a little bell to be sure, but I think just setting up the mouse traps Husband brought home the other day will be sufficient. The traps are hilarious. They come with fake cheese. You just pop up the little piece of fake Swiss and that's supposed to drive the mouse wild. I guess that means our mouse has fine night vision but a truly pathetic sense of smell. Husband said we'll add peanut butter just to be on the safe side.

- 'You mean, in case the trap doesn't work, it'll stick to the peanut butter?'
- 'No. Mice are supposed to be mad for peanut butter.'
- 'Oh. I hope they like organic.'
(Do you sometimes amaze yourself at the depth of conversation you can have with someone at 4 in the morning, even though you know that someone won't ever remember saying those words when they wake up?)

What I can't understand is that we have one of those plug-in rodent getter ridder things. You know, the device that emits a high-pitched noise that's supposed to keep mice, etc., at bay? I wonder why it quit working? And won't it be funny when someday, somebody goes to redo the living room ceiling and finds a hoard of cat food up there?

Anyway, Husband will set the traps tonight. The traps have two settings, Sensitive and Firm. Screw firm! I want one tiny claw to set that thing off. Oh I can hardly wait for that glorious snap! Will I feel bad? Maybe for a second. Then hopefully I'll fall right back to sleep. As for now? I think I'll go work on that online Sudoku I saved before bed and wait for Husband to get home. Church attendance isn't looking promising this morning.


erin k said...

Hey, there's nothing like a good mouse story for Sunday afternoon reading.

In our first house we had a very smart mouse, who liked Icy Squares. We knew he was there by the tiny teeth marks in the Icy Square on the desk. We set a trap with cheese, but he just ate it off. We set another trap with peanut butter. He ate that off too. Finally we decided to twist-tie the cheese onto the trap. Bwa ha ha. That got him.

Have fun.

ps please continue early morning blogging. it has been most enjoyable.

pps I am looking forward to Mystery Baby's dance extravaganza

bren j. said...

Well, you know Mystery Baby will be half Menno, so if it IS planning a dance extravaganza, we'll be nipping that in the bud pretty darn quickly!

twist-tying the cheese! i'll remember that! i'm hoping it only takes one night. we tried out the trap earlier. it's a doozy!