Halloween Night, Just Before Midnight…

This is what I know when I wake up with a feeling of heavy pressure on my chest: I am not having a heart attack. Heavy pressure means the dog has to go out.

He doesn’t nudge, or whine, or paw. He walks up my body, front feet on chest, rear feet on stomach:

Wake up wake up wake up wake up WAKE UP.

My eyes open.  18 pounds of terrier scans my face with intensity.  If his head is cocked while he scans, I know I’ve been snoring like a lumberjack.  He waits for me to blink before heading for the edge of the bed.

Mom? I gotta go…open the door, K?

I’m not thrilled about the midnight potty run.  Five nights in a row, around 8 pm, there’s been a strong wafting of Eau de Skunk…right next to the house.  (Despite the fact we live in the city, and no skunk has sprayed, the on again off again Eau de Skunk we’ve experienced over the past few months has made me greatly afraid that I still have Skunk Karma.)

I peer outside.  Inhale.  Process the results: cold, wet leaves.  Grass. No skunk. Safe.

I let the dog out, wrap the sofa throw around my shoulders and sink into the cushions. Our home owners association doesn’t allow dog doors.  I have to wait.

Waiting: Jane falls asleep sitting up. The dog loiters. Jane dreams of skunks.

There’s some sort of grand council in a courtroom. I think I’m on trial. A severe looking skunk peers over his half glasses at me, his Judge’s robe perfectly placed on his shoulders.

Now what have I done? Why me? Why am I in Skunk Court?

At first, I think the scritching noise is the skunk judge shifting his gavel on wood. It gets louder. I hear a plastic container rumple, followed by some determined gnawing. I realize I am not dreaming…

My eyes open.

Oh crap. We have mice. From the sound of it, very large industrious mice. Professional hard-hat mice. And they are having a go at redoing the area behind the washing machine.

mouse

Image by Brian_Kellett via Flickr

Is that…a saw…?

I snag the dog and bring him inside. He looks disoriented. I woke him up. How long was I asleep?

“You’re lucky I don’t stand on YOUR chest”, I say to him. He yawns. Pads down the hallway past the laundry room.

And how could we have mice, when I am the Queen of OCD cleaning, anyway? There’s nothing for them to EAT. I steam clean the flipping floor.

My eyes rest on two bowls next to the dryer. One for dog food. One for fresh water. Great. A welcome wagon. Why didn’t I knit them little hammocks, while I was at it?

Disturbingly, the construction noises (now behind the dryer) not only don’t stop, they don’t tone down. Brave mice. Little mice should be afraid of the dog…shouldn’t they?

Oh lord. Please. Don’t let it be a rat.

I have to go to bed pretending I don’t know there is…something…rezoning our laundry room.  Shaun can NOT handle rodents.  Rather than live in a house in which a mouse was found, she would gladly set the house on fire.

It has to be a stealth mission if I want to save my great grandmother’s love seat and clock.

Luckily, Shaun has some hearing loss.

Dad’s funeral is going to be out-of-town: she’ll be gone for a few days. Long enough for me to take care of the…mi..

…a terrible thought enters my head. Those are some loud gnawing noises. Definitely a rodent that could be as big as a rat.

What if…?

What if my skunk karma is still…intact…?

Thirsty Skunk

Image by Penh via Flickr

…to be continued, after much angst, appliance moving, trap setting, and hopefully no need for Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover…

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5 thoughts on “Halloween Night, Just Before Midnight…

  1. greyhorsematters

    Hope it’s not a skunk. My Maggie dog got sprayed once and it was very bad. I once came around the corner in the kitchen and imagine my surprise when I saw a chipmunk happily munching on the dog food. Got a have a heart trap and relocated him eventually. Good luck with all this.

    Reply
  2. Liz Goldsmith

    Nothing can be as bad as the time my husband saw a small weasel dragging a mouse into our garage . . . at which point we realized they were living in our house! Good news is that they ate all the mice (which is why they had to bring them in from outside). Bad news is they spray like a skunk when they are surprised by a cat or a dog. Terrible odor! Vicious creatures. We set traps for them for months but I think they got hungry and left. Maybe now I can open the closet door again without wondering if there’s a weasel cowering in the back!

    Reply
  3. Cyndi (Dreaming)

    I certainly hope it is a small rodent making a big noise. We had one that was gnawing on an upstairs floor joist (yeah…keep gnawing and the entire house will come right down on top of you, stupid mouse!) The sound was transmitted along every piece of wood that connected to that joist…so it went across the ceiling and down the walls, inconveniently echoing down the bedroom wall at my head….I was up pounding and pouncing and sweet hubby slept through it all!
    So, good luck with your appliance rearrangement and capture! Take no prisoners!

    Reply
  4. jenj

    Oh jeez. Having had both a skunk in the house (NOT DOING THAT AGAIN EVER THANKYOUVERYMUCH) and having had a rat in the kitchen (destroyed our dishwasher, the little bastard), I am hoping that the sounds you were hearing were just leaves rustling in the dryer vent.

    Please? Tell me it was leaves? Or maybe a lost kitten that got stuck and needed rescuing?

    Pleeeeeze?

    Reply

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