Of Mice and Women

So, for the last few days, I’ve been sharing my living space with a mouse. And not just my mum, who I sometimes call a velvet mouse because she is soft and tiny, but an actual little mouse. Almost cute in its own way, but still managing to strike abject terror in our hearts.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a visitor of the rodent family. The last time, it was the pivotal reason I became vegetarian. Killing a small animal, who is only looking to survive, with poison isn’t my idea of fun. And even now, if there was a humane way to rid my house of this mouse, I would take it. But I don’t have an option. Poison it has to be, because it is so tiny, traps are useless. In India, we only have those metal cages with wide bars. I saw this little guy disappear through a crack under the door; the mouse trap would be child’s play.

For now, we’ve got him barricaded in the kitchen. And he’s taken the poison slabs we put out. I suppose it is just a waiting game now.

In the interim, I found two old posts about mice and rats, which I realised are far funnier than my current, rather sombre one. So pasting them here for some laughs.

Mouse in my house

(Apologies for the title. I cannot for the love of anything compose decent titles. They usually come off as bad puns.)

I was right to fear coming to this miserable city (Mumbai – for those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter). (Have I said how much I love Twitter? I do. So much. Total awesomeness. On so many levels.) I came back yesterday to a house with inch-thick dust on everything, no food in the cabinets and, as I discovered later, a small very unwelcome visitor. The first two I could and did deal with, but the last one was a doozy. I have an all-abiding terror of all things small and rodent-like. I especially detest rats, although mice are cute from a long long (very very long) distance. They are like gerbils in a way, and I used to play with gerbils. (Not to cut to the end, but this is how I manage to stop shrieking hysterically.)

The mouse was playing (!) in the bathroom, jumping from one pipe to another in (what I considered) highly inappropriate glee. Not only was the little menace in my house uninvited, it was actually making merry too. Thank goodness my dog isn’t here – she would have made friends with it, I’m sure. She really is very silly.

I couldn’t stay out of the bathroom area for long, for obvious reasons. So I mustered up a little courage, armed to the back teeth with a broom and bug spray (my reaction to all unwelcome guests) and additional stimulus being provided in needing to use the afore-mentioned facilities, I slowly approached the door.

In a most dramatic way, I slowly slid the bolt, and opened the door by an infinitesimal crack. I peered in, hoping to see it so I could remove it altogether, and praying devoutly that it had already disappeared.

Prayers were answered. It had gone. Where – I don’t know. Will it come back – I don’t know. Where it came from – I don’t know. Do I tremble every time I go in, and jump with fright at the merest brush – Absolutely.

And another:

Out you get!

Ever had a rat in the house? I have, repeatedly. Ok, that was an exaggeration, it was 3 times. But being a delicate female (LOL), I am terrified of the rodents (this part is true). The first two times, I was really very traumatized, well, too shaken up to laugh about it at any rate. The third time however, my funny bone came to my rescue.

My mom and I had just returned from Pune, and we indulging in the very pleasurable task of cleaning up. We were in the process of dusting the bedroom. We split the room in half and started from either end. I decided to leave the pile of suitcases to the last, thinking that it was the most painful to clean so we could tackle that later. Thank God!

We started pulling away each suitcase, to clean them. Till just the cartons with my mother’s fabric samples were left. Then we saw ominous signs of rodent infestation; there were scraps everywhere. Holy crap, we groaned, we had another rat. My mother, usually the most pessimistic about things like this, confidently announced that the rat must have departed. I, with very little knowledge about the furry monsters, agreed thankfully.

She was about to move the carton to inspect the damage, when I pulled her back. Can you hear that, I demanded in a sibilant whisper. Shit! It’s still in the carton. We looked at each other in dismay, and proceeded to empty out the room. We barricaded the other doors and left the balcony door open.

Then, armed with insect spray and long-handled brooms, we gingerly advanced toward the solitary object in the room. And my mother pushed it aside with her broom, and the rat promptly ran straight toward yours truly. Who in turn, let out a maidenly shriek of fright, and proceeded to gas it with mosquito killer. Exactly. See why my funny bone kicked in?

The rat, not a whit harmed by the noxious stuff, ran under the bed. I meanwhile spluttering thanks to the gas, hopped off the floor onto the bed dizzily. We sat back to back, watching the floor. The rest was pretty boring, since we spent an hour on our perches knocking and tapping on every conceivable surface, trying to get the rat out. Finally, after running under the cupboard, then up it, then down it, it finally decided to leave us, and exited through the balcony.

We shut the door hurriedly and proceeded to do a war dance around the beds.

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