The Old House: A Tragic Tale About House Mice

DSCN6186So I had a bit of a breakdown this weekend.

Grant and I live in a rental house that is approximately 100 years old. With living in a house this old, I have had to face and grow used to all sorts of crawly things. Until this weekend, in fact, I was very proud of myself – I have become a master wasp killer (sometimes I have to assassinate up to 6 a day in the house), I am no longer fazed by the giant hairy spiders that blend in so well to our outdated brown carpet, and I don’t freak out so much about rollie-pollies on the rugs. Insect realm – dominated. So suffice it to say, I never expected the absolute frenzy I went into when I discovered that a band of mice had not only moved in under my kitchen sink, but had found their way into my kitchen drawers as well. My kitchen drawers that contain all my cooking necessities. My kitchen drawers which hold silverware, spatulas, can openers, etc etc!!!

Of course, I didn’t discover this misfortune until after dinner on Friday. I was washing dishes and noticed a chunk had been taken out of the silicone spatula I had just been using to flip quesadillas. I took a closer look and with much squinting saw that this missing chunk was the result of tiny teeth. Mouse teeth. So I cautiously opened the drawer where the spatula came from and saw what I feared the most – droppings. Everywhere. I tore open the rest of the drawers and they were ALL CONTAMINATED!

I seriously almost died.

The only thing I could think for about fifteen minutes were the words “Bubonic Plague.” After the shock wore off a bit, Grant and I ran to town to get DeCon and mouse traps and of course a little frozen yogurt to temper the surprise of it all.

The next day I got busy scouring every inch of the kitchen. My mania reached its culmination when I started questioning the viability of the dish soap I was using and wondering if it was worse to ingest mouse poop or Lysol.

When it was all said and done we did catch two mice (and somehow, after all the terror they put me through, I was still saddened by the sight of their limp little feet) and my kitchen is cleaner than it ever has been. Neither Grant nor I have contracted the Bubonic Plague, either, which is a good sign, I think.

Living in an old house has its ups and downs, but ultimately, I wouldn’t change it for a thing. There is character here, and the creaking floors, holes in the sideboards, and cracks in the walls are merely reminders that we aren’t the only ones who have lived here, that there are stories in these walls.

“She lay for a long time listening to the mysterious sounds given forth by old houses at night, the undefinable creakings, rustlings, and sighings…which sounded like the long murmur of the past breaking on the shores of a sleeping world.”
― Edith Wharton, The Buccaneers


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