I know I’ve told you about les chats – but did I ever tell you about la souris?
My first year in New York was, I’ll admit, a lot of late nights that had nothing to do with my job.
We’d go out for a beer after work and the next thing I knew, it was 4 in the morning and we were belting out nineties hits in the middle of the irish pub across the street.
I’d go home. Go to sleep. Wake up (late), eat breakfast (always), go to the gym (maybe), and go into work.
Eat. Work. Drink. Sleep. Repeat.
My room was messy. Clothes on the floor. Make-up containers covered my dresser. My bed was un-done and the floor of my closet was a pile of shoes and purses. At least they were in the closet.
One Sunday (my day off) I decided it was finally time to clean. The common area was almost always clean even though my room wasn’t so I polished that up a bit, then headed to my bedroom.
I picked up a jacket from the floor and screamed as a mouse scurried out from under it to the space under my dresser.
I was alone.
For a girl that grew up in a pretty rural town, complete with cows in the field behind my house and a neighbor that drives a horse and buggy on weekends (seriously), I’m ashamed to admit that I started to whimper and may have ran out of the room.
In my defense – mice belong in a field or somewhere outside – NOT in my red wool coat.
I was standing in the kitchen when it came scurrying out, and I prompted scrambled to the top of my dining room table and called anyone I could think of to help me.
Laughter first, followed by some helpful tips.
All I could think was, “This is what I get for living in Harlem.”
It was cheaper living, more space, and on the 33rd floor with incredible views. The elevators were always broken though – I’d frequently climbed up or down those 33 flights – and apparently, the building also came with mice.
I took a deep breath and started kicking clothes from the floor of my bedroom into the clean common area – the safe area. I didn’t want to risk reaching down and having a mouse scurry near my hand. I’m not sure why I thought a mouse could take me down, but whatever.
I had to find the hole where these mice were coming in.
By the time I finished cleaning my room was sparkling, and I had found where the little bugger had chewed through the corner of the rug and gotten into the apartment.
To keep them from visiting, I did what any smart, college-educated person would do.
I duct-taped the hole until I was convinced there was no way anything could bit through that much tape.
I encountered a neighbor in the elevator on the way down and figured I’d ask him what he thought I should do about mice.
He looked at me very simply and said, “Get cats. Where there’s one…”
I stifled the nauseous feeling that rose and just nodded.
I hate cats.
Bell et la Bête, er…la Souris. Bell and the Beast, er…the Mouse.