When I started this blog, my household included two adolescents, a toddler, two old-ish cats and a young-ish dog. (And Sputnik the hamster, may he rest in peace, though he only figured largely into stories when he was missing or dead, so you can draw your own conclusions about that.) These days, our older kids have moved away, making Small One pretty much an only child, and she's in 1st grade, making her not such a Small One any more, but for our purposes, that's how she'll forever be known.
Our animal household has shifted, as well, due to the passing of our kitties, and we now have two old-ish dogs and a young-ish cat. (And Rosie the fish, though, like Sputnik, I can't imagine she'll loom too large unless she dies. Or escapes. But that's unlikely. But it would make a good story, for sure!)
Unfortunately, this year we've also been dealing with some unwanted furry occupants of our home, in the form of mice and (shudder) rats. Now, I know rats are supposed to be excellent pets, etc, etc, and I've known some mice personally (I'm thinking of you, Carvis Williams, Carvis Williams Jr, Carvis Williams III, and Mink Livsey) but these are not domesticated rodents. These are the roof rats and other unpleasant creatures, sneaking into my house from underneath and above, causing general mayhem. In short, they've got to go.
It all began when I noticed a few droppings under my sink in the kitchen, next to the garbage can. Not being brutal people, we put a no-kill trap under there, and moved the garbage can out, and waited. Nothing. A few more droppings, but we did not see any movement, and what they left behind was so small that we could only assume it was mice. Now, I know mice can carry diseases and all that, but they're awfully cute, and really, the Cinderella in me wants to make them little pants and teach them how to sew. However, when the Man picked up an unopened box of crackers and discovered that it was empty, I knew we had to draw the line. (Not that I didn't admire the accomplishment- sneaking an entire box of Cheeze-Its out through a dime sized hole in the bottom of the box is quite a feat.)
Enter the Mousie Men. I could call them exterminators, or pest control guys, but around here, we prefer the term Mousie Men, because it sounds friendlier. I asked my friendly pest guy (that's, as we say in the South, a whole nother story) for advice on rodent control, and he directed me to his company's team of trained Mousie Men, who came confidently clomping all around my home, and informed me that we'd be rodent free in 2 weeks or less.
So, yeah. That was 3 months ago. And in an upcoming post, I'll tell you why I'm sitting here right now, listening to an entirely new to me Mousie Man clang around in my crawl space.
But in the meantime, I will tell you about a bright shining moment in the Mousie Man experience. See, my kitchen was so afflicted by the rodents that I ended up having to stop using a third of my already woefully inadequate kitchen cabinet space. Understandably distressed, I was talking to the head Mousie Man about their process, and whether I'd ever feel comfortable putting things back into my kitchen cabinets.
"Don't worry, " he said, "because we come in here, we seal everything up, we set out traps, and we clean everything with this extremely powerful disinfectant. I mean, it kills every germ you can imagine." Here, he lowered his voice, about to impart to me a secret previously known only to Mousie Men and their kin... "It kills the AIDS virus."
Does it? Is it possible that Mousie Men know how to cure AIDS and just haven't passed along this information to the NIH and the CDC yet?