Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alive and well... I swear

First off, a HUGE thanks to all my friends, Twitter people, The Tens, and FB people who sent me notes and condolences about my cat. It was truly touching and made me cry on more than one occasion. It is greatly appreciated on all counts.

I promise I'll post soon with new food, music, knitting, stories, and the like. I've been a little busy with work and life with now. Then I'll be back to my blogging-ness.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I tried writing this post all day, but it was too hard.

For the first time since starting this blog, a post with the tag "Appreciations" hits very close to home. On Monday, my cat Midnight was put down. She had been in failing health for a little over a month, and she just wasn't the cat we all knew and loved. We knew it wasn't fair to us or fair to her. She was just shy of 18.

When I say I'm heartbroken, it's not hyperbole. My heart breaks that my cat is gone.

Last week when rat drama forced me to move back home for a few days, I got to spend some quality time with my cat. I also knew that this was probably going to be the last time I'd see her, so I made sure I said goodbye. And it was.

Monday after I found out the sad news, I went back to bed for awhile to cry (read: sob uncontrollably for a little over an hour) and Ricky rubbed my back and listened to me ramble and cry some more. During this, I came up with a list of my favorite Midnight memories:

--When we first brought her home, her name was Honey. We renamed her Midnight because... well, because she was black.
--Midnight used to like to sleep on my pillow by my head. She'd do this until I got the loft bed at age 22.
--When my mom married Leo and we moved to the house they live in now, Midnight came out of her shell a bit and became a little general and ran the place, keeping Millie in line in particular.
--Midnight was insanely jealous of Millie, speaking of. Any time someone was paying attention to Millie, she'd yell at them until they'd pay attention to her.
--Leo trained Midnight to eat from the counter. She loved yogurt. She also demanded she sit next to him at most meals.
--When I had leftover yarn, we'd make a wand with some yarn at the end and she'd chase it around and try to attack it.
--She killed at least one mouse in the house. Said mouse was left half chewed up in the bedroom. I found it.
--One time when Erin came to visit, Midnight confused her for me, and went over for love. When she realized it wasn't me, she flipped out and ran away. (her former shyness shining through)
--She'd keep Leo company at work and lie down on his desk in front of his keyboard or on his lap. He was so bemused by her I'm amazed he got anything done.

That's all I have for now, but there are 18 years worth. My mom used to call Midnight Mr. Jingles, because she still had all of her teeth and was healthy as a horse at an old age. And now, looking back, this is bittersweet. Then again, even Mr. Jingles passes after a long, full life.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The epic rat drama, a play in 4 acts

"'Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World,' said the Rat. 'And that's something that doesn't matter, either to you or me. I've never been there, and I'm never going, nor you either, if you've got any sense at all.'"

FB and Twitter friends have been following all week the story of me and the rodents who have made their way into my apartment. To be honest, I don't really like most rodents and this has been freaking me out all week. So I decided to blog about it. So here it is, my Rat Drama:

Prologue: Sunday Afternoon
I bought Q Tips from Target. This doesn't seem important, but they will play into the story in a day or two.

Act I: Monday Monday
In the morning I went to get a Q Tip from the closet, when I noticed that the new box of Q Tips was now empty and all over the floor of my bathroom closet. Both sides of the box were open and exposed, but as this was above a sandwich press I had used the night before, I thought maybe it was melted. Even still, I threw away the box and all the Q Tips I could reach and then went to work.

When I got home that night, I noticed what I thought was mouse poop behind the trash. I got a little nervous and emailed the landlord that I thought I had a mouse in the place. She said she had never heard of a mouse in that apartment, but to keep my eyes peeled for it.

Act II: Tuesday, aka the day shit goes down
I got home from work on Tuesday and saw that there was more poop behind the trash, as well as nibbles on an unopened tube of oatmeal. I also kept hearing rattling where my pots and pans are. I called Erin to fret about this when all of a sudden... the mouse in question ran out from my silverware drawer and ran behind the oven. I screamed. He then ran behind the couch and into the bathroom. Erin headed down to Salem.

Erin and I then investigated the apartment and cleaned it. We found a lot of mouse poop everywhere in the cabinet, as well as grapes. This was a little surprising, as I had thrown grapes out the night before, but tied them up in a bag. We then discovered the mouse had burrowed a hole into the cabinets and was snacking on my trash. We also discovered that he was stealing Q Tips, tampons, and cotton balls from my bathroom closet and forming them into a nest on a towel. Erin and I filled all holes we could find with steel wool, set some humane mouse traps, and cleaned up the mess and bleached everything. I went to sleep, but very unsettled.

Act III: Wednesday, things go from bad to worse
I woke up Wednesday morning to find in my bathroom the mouse bore a giant hole into the closet through the molding around the door. I took a few photos and panicked and sent them to my landlord. The landlord finally conceded that I had a bit of a problem on my hands and called an exterminator. Ricky then offered to spend the night until I was okay, because I was panicking so much.

Wednesday night we filled the hole in the bathroom with steel wool. When doing this, Ricky noticed that there was a mouse-sized space between the shower wall and the closet, where the mouse was probably hanging out. That night, at about 4am, we were woken up by the sound of the mouse crawling around and scratching in the wall by our heads. I started to cry and Ricky checked on the bathroom to see that the mouse had pushed the steel wool out of the hole. Ricky then stuffed more in there and we went to bed, unsettled and nervous.

Act IV, Thursday is when the shit hits the fan:
The exterminator met us Thursday morning and was weird and a little creepy. He then sealed all the holes with copper wire and foam and set traps in the kitchen, under the stove, and in the basement. Then he got to the bathroom and saw the hole in the wall and the mouse poop on the floor. This is how the conversation went:

Exterminator: Do you have pets?
Me: No... why?
Exterminator: That's not mouse poop.
Me: Oh God, what is it then?
Exterminator: I don't want to alarm you, but you have a rat in your house.
Me: EEEK!!!

The exterminator then set rat traps in the bathroom and kitchen as well as in the basement. He told me to be extra vigilant and check to see if I see anything out of the ordinary or more signs of the rat. I then tried not to cry.

So yeah, that's where we are. Ricky and I will be on the hunt for the rat, and hoping he's not going to do any more damage or die in my apartment.