Which is totally awesome.
I’m sure you’re all rolling your eyes and thinking, “There’s no way that’s awesome.” But I assure you it is.
I mean, just to give you a hint as to what life is like hanging out at home with my parents, this is my mom:Plus, I get to live a barn.
Yes, a barn.
And I don’t mean that in the figurative sense. Like, “Oh, my house is so big it could be a barn. Where did I put my car keys again? Hmmm, they must be in the second kitchen. How silly of me to think I’d left them in the first kitchen.”
No, I mean I literally live in a barn.
You see, my family lives on a farm, and a few years ago my parents decided to renovate one of the barns to make it into apartments for guests to stay in.
Or, you know, so their adult daughter could live there for an indefinite amount of time until she decides what she wants to do with her life. Again.
The outside is still kind of barn-ish. In a good way, of course.
While the inside of my new digs is quite cozy and apartmenty-looking.
All in all, it’s a pretty awesome set-up.
Well, for me, at least.
I’m close enough to my parent’s house that I can walk there in my bathrobe and flip-flops if need be. Yet far enough away that I have a little privacy. Not that I really need privacy as I have yet to get a social life. But still.
Plus, I got a pretty good deal on the rent. Because, you know, I kind of have an in with the landlords.Despite all the perks, living in a barn does have its drawbacks, though.
Like the fact that my nearest neighbor is a peacock. And, in case you don’t know, peacocks are loud. Like, really, really, freaking loud. Like, imagine a car alarm and a tea kettle had babies. And those babies were peacocks.
Plus, it’s pretty much impossible for me to walk from my apartment to my car without accumulating some amount of manure on my shoes.
And, let’s just say, I don’t think the animal kingdom got the memo that this is no longer a barn and that they are no longer welcome here.
I get a lot of flies. And other random insects that decide to pay me a visit.
And, well, lately, I’ve been having a little mouse problem.
To be honest, I’ve had a mouse problem for a while. I just chose to ignore it. I’d find little mouse turds around, but then I’d pretend they were just poppy seeds. Even if they were suspiciously turd-shaped. And in my closet. Where, you know, poppy seeds aren’t generally known to hang out.And, then, as the kids say, shit got real.
You see, the other week, I was eating from a bag of trail mix, when I noticed a little hole in the bottom of the bag. A hole roughly the same size as a little mouse-mouth.
I think I should mention here that I like to buy the high quality kind of trail mix. You know, the kind with the chocolate in it.
Staring at the hole in the bottom of the trail mix bag, I knew something had to be done.
That night, I set out two traps.
And before you all lecture me on how I’m a horrible person and how I should learn to live peacefully with the mouse instead of killing him and accuse me of being some kind of rodent-ist, let me just share with you this picture:
Yes, that is a picture of a my much younger self holding my pet guinea pig. Who just so happens to be dressed as a flamenco dancer.
Didn’t you spend your childhood dressing your pet guinea pig in a custom-made flamenco dancer costume?
That must have just been me.
So, yeah, I don’t hate all rodents. In fact, I have something of a soft spot in my heart for certain rodents – especially ones that look adorable in ruffles.
I just hate this rodent. Because, seriously, you guys, HE ATE MY CHOCOLATE.
It would be one thing if the mouse had gnawed a hole in the box of Kashi Go Lean that I bought three months ago back when I was convinced that I was totally going to start eating healthy. The same box that I never bothered to open because there’s no chocolate inside.
But, this mouse had to go and help himself to my super high quality chocolate trail mix.
NO.So I gobbed up the traps with peanut butter and went to bed hoping the mouse’s death would be swift and not too painful. Because I may have been feeling vengeful, but it’s not like I’m Liam Neeson or something.
In the morning, I tiptoed out into my kitchen to survey the mouse massacre.
The only thing that had been massacred was the peanut butter.
Both of the traps had been licked clean.
Which I didn’t even think was possible. The reason why I used peanut butter was because, unlike cheese or solid food, mice aren’t supposed to be able to get the peanut butter off the trap without the trap going off.
I was obviously not dealing with your typical mouse.
Oh no, this was a whole different kind of mouse — some kind of mother-freaking, peanut-butter-licking ninja mouse.The next night, I loaded up the trap with even more peanut butter, hoping that maybe the mouse would be overly cocky after his conquest of the traps the night before. Maybe this cockiness would make him careless.
But when I woke up, the peanut butter was untouched.
I briefly hoped that this might be a sign that he had moved on.
And then I heard a busy little gnawing sound in the corner of my bedroom behind my bookshelf. He was sending me a message.
The message: “I know where you sleep.”
And: “I’m hungry. Give me something else because peanut butter isn’t cutting it.”
That’s when I knew I had to start getting a bit more creative.
I trolled some online forums for tips on what kind of bait to use on the traps. I tried everything from chewy dog treats to liverwurst. I even thought about using mini Snickers bars. Until I ate them all.
I set up a bucket with water and birdseed – a tactic my sister had suggested. Apparently, the mouse will jump in the bucket to get the birdseed and end up drowning. To make it easier for the mouse to jump in the bucket, I even set up a chair nearby like a high-diving platform. I briefly toyed with the idea of adding a Baywatch-like lifeguard platform to give the mouse a false sense of safety, but figured that might be taking things too far.Nothing worked.
Not only was the mouse not getting caught, he was getting bolder.
One night I woke up to the sound of him dumpster diving in my kitchen trashcan.
Another night I heard him skittering across my bedroom floor.
Then late last Saturday night, I was in my living room grading some papers and catching up on some reality TV, when I looked up and saw him nonchalantly staring at me from across the living room floor. Like, “Oh, I see you’re up. This is inconvenient. But, whatever. Since you’re up, why not fix me a little something and leave it on that silly little trap of yours?”
I’m sorry. You can’t just go around eating my chocolate and interrupting episodes of The Glam Fairy and expect me to be okay with that.It was time to call in the big guns.
Or, err, big cat.
Her name is Dot, and she’s one of my parent’s barn cats. And, despite having lived most of her life in the barn, she’s adjusting quite well to life in my apartment.
Maybe a bit too well.
In fact, I rarely ever see her move from the couch. Occasionally, she’ll get up to accost my ankles in an attempt to get me to pet her or feed her. But then she’s back on the couch.
Every time I open the door, she backs away really slowly with this look on her face like, “Oh no. I’m not going out there again.”
And she has yet to catch the mouse.
But, on the bright side, since she’s moved in with me, I have yet to see or hear any signs of the mouse. Maybe he’s finally caught on to the fact that he’s not wanted here.
Or he’s laying in wait, planning an assault on my apartment some late Saturday night when I’m up watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Just in case, I’m going to keep the cat around.
Besides, I think she’d look really cute in a flamenco costume, don’t you?Had any close encounters with the vermin-kind? How did you get rid of them?