Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stuck in critter hell...

I haven't been feeling incredibly productive lately. I've been writing a lot, but that's not something that many people in this world consider productive. And it's not an activity that reveals itself via fresh lines in the carpet or stacks of clean clothes. Writing is the long term goal, not the short term payoff. Anywho... this morning began normal as most. Kids up, Pop Tarts consumed, argument with Madalyn to get dressed 15 million times, and they're off. Freedom. I was on the phone catching up with my sister-in-law while picking up and stirring about, and I noticed Buddy, the dog, hovering over something in the yard. The kind of hover that only a moving, breathing critter could cause. I hollered out the door for him to leave it, the universal command that all dogs should understand and heed with no problem.

Buddy did not obey. So I put him in the garage and went to check on the unsuspecting critter. I found a tiny chipmunk, paralyzed from the waist down, lying in the grass. I knew I had to do something - if I didn't he'd be a mushy mess and I would never be able to allow Buddy to lick my toes ever again. So I got the shovel I use to pick up all the dog poop from the yard and lifted the wounded chipmunk. He, of course, panicked, and with the two good legs he had managed to pull himself over the front edge of the shovel. Great... this campaign of chipmunk salvation may prove to be more difficult than I had imagined. After two more efforts, the odd sounds of chipmunk fear squeaking out of his mouth (yes, they squeak... didn't know that until today), and a little soft baby talk to Mr. Chipmunk, I managed to get him to the tree line behind the fence where he could pass or be eaten by a stray cat (but definitely not by my brown-eyed, precious dog).

Let me rewind to last night when my husband and I sat side by side on the couch and were startled by the craziest noise we had ever heard in our lives. I looked at Scott, and he looked at me, and we knew there was a critter in between the drop ceiling and the floor above it. We could hear it scampering over the ceiling tiles. We've had a little issue with mice in the garage, but there's been no sign of any in the house and definitely no sounds of them having a party above our heads. Let me make myself clear... I am over the critters. I am a city girl. Always have been. I have never had any intentions at any point in my life of shoveling critters or putting out massive sticky pads in order to trap bothersome mice who have taken up their unwelcome residence in my home. I am beyond disturbed at this point. Every time I open the door leading into the garage, my eyes scan for any movement. Any time I am in the basement, I remain in a constant state of awareness of what may or may not be scurrying around at my feet.

This morning, after the chipmunk incident, I sat at my computer writing away on my destined to be best selling novel. I needed Carmex. If you don't know me, then you can't understand the helpless addiction I have to the medicated lip balm. It is not normal, but it's not damaging and therefore not on my list of things about myself that need to be fixed. So, I found a tube on the pool table, and as I unscrewed the red top, I heard it. A screech. A tiny little squealy, squeaky, screech. The sticky pad is an amazing invention, I tell you.

Just a few short weeks ago, I sat outside talking to my neighbor and she shared with me an incident of mice in her former home. She shared with me the sound of the mice as they lie on the sticky pad, the screeching sound they make. I didn't believe her. Now I do.

I am stuck in critter hell. The dog is maiming them in the back yard, and I have to deal with that. I've found them in the dog food. I've seen them stuck on the sticky pads in the garage under the water heater. I have heard them scurrying above my head on the ceiling tiles. I have now heard the sound of the dying chipmunk and the dying mouse in the same day. And I am over it. And the burning question I have for Buddy is this - why in the world don't you kill the critters in the garage late at night when we allow you to come in to sleep???? Doesn't that seem like the reasonable thing to do? To repay the kind lady that pets you even when you stink, that feeds you and bathes you and gives you treats and talks to you like you are the third baby she never wanted... Don't kill them in the yard, Buddy... get 'em in the garage. PLEASE.

Oh, and if it's not too much trouble, could you do it and have them lying right there in front of the door so I can make sure Scott sees them and disposes of them before leaving for work??

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