I walk into my house from work this afternoon, through the laundry room which has a door to the garage. I notice something amiss: the little door to the water heater is open. Upon further inspection I see the piece of insulating foam that sits between the water heater’s chimney going up into the attic fell and pushed the door open.
“That’s odd”, I think.
As I walk into the living room, I could swear I heard something in the kitchen. Something. I go there, I look around and I see nothing.
“That’s odd”, I think again.
I spend the next few hours in the living room, watching TV, reading the news. Sitting next to the kitchen. No noises, no problems at all. Time to take a nap.
The phone wakes me up a couple of hours later. Then I hear some noises again: in the kitchen, then the vertical blinds in the living room (man how I hated having those in my room back in Riata), then I hear the distinct sound of little feet running around, the tiny claws hitting the pergo floor right outside my room. Clickity clack. Clickity clack. I must add it scared the sh*t out of me. I turn on the lights, put on shoes and open the door. And there it is.
No, not the intruder… but what it left behind. And let me tell you, it left behind plenty. Little black turds on the hallway. In the living room. By the subwoofer. By the sliding door to the backyard. By the printer. By the laundry room door. All over the kitchen floor. No ordinary mouse can shit this much (nor pee much, as I recently learned) – of that much I was sure. I was looking at a radioactive mutant mouse, a huge rat, a racoon, a squirrel, or even worse – the nastiest of them all: a tlacuache (to the faint of heart… do not follow link).
Not knowing exactly what I’m up against, I head over to HEB in order to stock my arsenal. I get a bunch of traps. Today I learned that when it comes to pest control, being humane is expensive. The cheap traps are the ones that kill them dead. And since first and foremost I’m a regiomontano (being human a distant second), I got the cheap ones.
As I’m unloading my shopping cart full of mouse traps; the cashier, a sharp, young looking fella asks me if I’m having mouse problems (“No, Sherlock. I’m reenacting a Tom and Jerry cartoon” I think to myself). I tell him that for all I know it’s a squirrel. He said that these traps won’t catch a squirrel, that I need to sit down and wait it out with a pellet rifle in my hand, Texas style. I’m actually keeping his suggestion in mind as a potential Plan B.
Then, as I enter my house, there it is. I see the enemy eye to eye…