There isn’t much that scares me. I worry about nearly everything, but I’m not afraid of much. I used to think I had claustrophobia and acrophobia, but I’ve been in a cave several hundred feet below ground without freaking out and I’ve flown a couple of times (one was a 14 hour flight) also without freaking out. Snakes and spiders don’t bother me. I don’t want them crawling on me unexpectedly, but if I know it’s going to happen I’m fine and the sight of either doesn’t make my adrenaline surge. No, I only have one thing I am truly afraid of… mice.
I know being afraid of mice is irrational. But if I see one, the adrenaline surges anyway. Oddly, I’m not afraid of pet mice or pet rats and I can’t explain why. I just know that if someone has pet mice, I’m fine with them, ditto pet rats. But a wild mouse or rat, yeah, that I don’t handle well. Mice are the only thing on the planet that will make me scream like a girl and climb furniture like a freaking cartoon character.
When I’m confronted with a wild mouse or rat, I have a full body visceral reaction. My knees go weak, my stomach flops as if I’ve just gone over a hill really fast, and my adrenaline surges. This is followed by the hebe-jeebies. I break out in goosebumps and a chill goes down my spine and I begin to shake. I just cannot handle them.
A few weeks ago, we discovered one of the nasty things managed to get into our pantry (it’s a freestanding cabinet). We cleaned it out, then pulled it out to inspect it for holes and blocked up the only one we found. And felt secure enough to put the stuff back in it and put it back in place… and for a few days it was fine and then the thing was back. So we broke out the traps. The only traps we had in the house were flip traps, so we baited them and set them up, some under the cabinet and some in the cabinet and we waited.
So at 12:30am I was almost asleep… and I heard one of those traps flip. This was followed by Kelly excitedly running into the bedroom to get me. J is currently out of town. So I was going to write a note for my mom… “Trap under cabinet flipped about 12:30. If you would please remove it before I get up, that would be fabulous.” As I’m looking for a pen, I hear the trap rattle. Oh hell no. And then a squeak and more rattling. Yeah, sorry mom… Kelly is now super excited and trying to get under the cabinet (Kelly will chase mice if she sees them and she’s caught a few). I go get my poor mother out of bed. She comes to the dining room where the cabinet is and I’m like “I’m sorry, I just can’t. If people ever bust into our house while we’re home, I’ve got it, but you will have to deal with the mouse. I’ll be in my office when it’s gone.” And I came downstairs; heart racing, mouth dry, hands shaking, knees feeling weak… I plop down on my couch. A few moments later mom comes into the garage to get the hammer and some pliers. Blah… good grief I’m going to faint.
She goes back upstairs. A few minutes pass and she comes back down. The mouse is not dead, it got out of the damn trap. Uh, what? So, we have an injured mouse in our house? You have got to be kidding me. I won’t be able to sleep possibly for days. Because I am sure at some point I’m going to be awakened by Kelly jumping into bed to give said mouse to me, possibly still alive. And even if it is dead… it’s still a mouse and dead mice bother me as much as living mice. So, instead of sleeping, I am writing this blog post and considering going back to work for the night, because at least if I sleep during the day, I can shut and lock the bedroom door and my mom can deal with any injured mice Kelly might capture.