Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Don't Even Ask for Pictures. I Wasn't About to Take Any.

Well, good morning! Are you enjoying your breakfast? Have a little coffee, didja? What's that, a Pop Tart? Mmm, those are good. I'm having the usual oatmeal, myself. Gotta get that fiber in and all. Anyway, I have a really, really, horrifically gross story to tell you. OK? You ready? Can you stomach this?

4 a.m. last Wednesday: Nabby started barking in the guest bathroom. The Mr. got up to inspect, then came back and announced, "We have a mouse." Great.

The last time we had a mouse, I was home alone in our old house. I strolled into the kitchen, and there it was, just camping out on the counter, defiant, as if to say, "This is my house too and I won't move and you can't make me, so I'm just going to sit here and admire my kitchen. Could you get back on your side of the line, please?" I called the Mr. to whine, but since he couldn't really do anything, I then called a guy we work with and begged him to come over and take care of it, pleeeeeaseohmygod. He was all excited, because, hey, cute little mousey. However, he was indisposed at that moment, so he said it might be a few hours. That's fine, I said. I can just hide in my room. But then it came time to go to work, so I peeked in the kitchen and the mouse was no longer in sight, so I canceled the call for assistance and left. We never did see the thing again.

Back to Wednesday morning, the Mr. said he saw the mouse peering out from behind the sink and Nabby had it cornered. I ran to get the trap we have, which is the kind that zaps the mouse when it goes for a little morsel of peanut butter you've put inside. And who could blame them? Peanut butter really is good. I'll bet I'd have trouble resisting, too, even in the face of a little electrocution. We shoved the trap in the bathroom and slammed the door shut. Meanwhile, I sprinkled bait behind furniture just in case the mouse brought friends. Then we went back to bed.

Later that morning: I had to take the Mr. to the airport to catch his flight to Indianapolis. Before leaving, I asked if he had checked the bathroom. "No, I don't have time." He's a closeted chicken! I'm out and proud, get used to it, and no way am I going in there. He asked me to call pest control at some point and have them come out and take a look. Well, that I can handle.

Thursday morning: Pest control arrived. The guy said he doesn't see a major bug problem, but he did see some mice droppings. After he outlined the treatment, I took Nabby outside and waited. When I came back in he said, "I went into that bathroom where you said the mouse was and there's blood."
"Um...huh?"
"Yeah. Blood!"
"From the mouse? There wasn't any blood when we closed the door in there, and we haven't opened it since."
"That's waaay too much blood to be from a mouse. Ain't no mouse you got in there!"
"Meep."
"I don't know what's going on in there."
"Did you see the mouse?"
"Nope! I just closed the door back up!"

I know what you're thinking. First of all, what kind of pest control person just closes up the door? I can do that myself and it doesn't cost a cent. Second, why didn't I make him go back and look harder, and if it "ain't no mouse," what the hell is in my bathroom? Well, I come from a little school of thought that says if the door is closed, in isn't there. Door closed=no problem! See how that works? It's neat. Who needs the guest bathroom anyway? I wasn't really using it. I will happily cede the guest bathroom to the mouse if he and his blood just leave me and my family alone.

Plus, the thought of blood in our bathroom was, frankly, unbearable and disgusting, and I wasn't in the mood to force the issue or hear anymore about it. I'm like the cop friend in "Garden State" who doesn't want to hear about the time he was doing coke off the toilet: "Lalalalalala!" But I don't know from disgusting, as you'll see later. Anyhow, I figured that if a mouse died in there, it would just shrivel up and go away without a lot of trouble, right? We can all go on with our lives.

After pest control left, I called the Mr. Now, I debated whether to tell him what the guy said about the blood because I knew he would try to make me go into the bathroom and look. Sure enough he asked, "Well, did you look?"
"Um...nope."
"Are you going to look?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"It's blood! There's a mouse! I can't handle it. God, it's so gross. I'm going to barf just thinking about it."
"You're just going to leave the door shut? You're not going to go in there?"
"That's pretty much the plan."

And that's how the rest of the week went. Nabby kept vigil by the bathroom door, waiting for her little buddy to come out and I pretended like our house had just lost a bathroom.

Monday night: The Mr. came back home, and braced himself for the Blood of Mystery. I sat downstairs and watched "The Comeback."
"AGH! OH MY GOD!"
"What?"
"It STINKS IN HERE!"
"What stinks?"
"AGGGGHH!"
"What's going on?"
"FLIES! Everywhere!"
Uh-oh.
"There's a DEAD RAT IN THE TOILETRIES BASKET AND IT'S ROTTING! JESUS!"

Oh, man. I just threw up in my mouth a little typing that. I started to go upstairs when the smell of rodent death hit me, and I could see flies of death everywhere. I can honestly say that it didn't smell until then. I smelled nothing all week. I thought whatever was in there was still alive, because every once in awhile, Nabby would go nuts and bark and scratch at the door. I figured it was wandering around in there, and she wanted a piece of it. But Ol' Ratty Boy had packed it in.

The Mr., bless his heart, took care of disposing the rat, basket and all. He said he didn't look at it too closely, but held up his hands to indicate that it measured roughly 7-8 inches long, including the tail and that it was a little shriveled. Gag.

I peeked into the bathroom after the rat was gone. Pest Control dude waaaay understated the extent of blood. It was the Valentine's Day Massacre. Blood on the walls. On the curtain. In the bathtub. On the toilet. Freaking everywhere. Jason came by and hacked that rat to pieces with a machete is what it looked like. And the poop. The rat took advantage of the fact that he was in an actual bathroom. And then, as a final middle finger to us all, the rat decided to lay its rotting carcass in my toiletries basket, thus destroying years of hard work collecting hotel mini shampoos for the comfort and enjoyment of all seven overnight guests we have ever had in this house.

The prevailing, but still implausible, theory is that Nabby (now aka "Killer") got a piece of the rat when she spotted it, and it frantically ran all over the bathroom over the next few days while bleeding to death, thus making the bathroom resemble something we'd have to disclose when we sell the house. Thing is, we have a hard time believing Nabby would actually bite another animal like that. She likes to tease and play, but she doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

In talking to our neighbors tonight, we were informed that there is an entire NEST O' RATS behind one of the houses around the corner from us that's being rehabbed. Our neighbors looked off their deck one night and saw them having a little meet n' greet. The owner of the house is going to put out bait and traps, or so he says.

So, who's coming to visit?