mouse tails, ew

Partly I stay up too late because after everyone else is in bed is the only time I can take my armor off and even somewhat relax, but usually I am not relaxing. There are things I need to get done without being bothered (and without bothering anyone else) and those things also get squeezed in when I should technically be holding down the bed. Like dishes. What is the point in running the dishwasher when people are still eating? And someone is always eating. Also, it is very discouraging to spend way too much time clearing the piles off the kitchen table and then, as soon as I sit down, someone comes in and puts something there. So, although I know it’s poor sleep hygeine, I do tasks late at night.

One other downside is, I am never actually done. I finally crawl into bed, not because I’m half-past tired, but because I feel ready to collapse. Then I usually have to get up again at least once because my OCD convinces me I need to check the stove knobs one more time to make sure none have gotten bumped and that the house is not filling with gas.

At some point late in every night there is usually an OH CRAP moment where I realize there is something I needed to do that isn’t done and can’t wait, some urgent thing that I had temporarily forgot but that my stupid brain is now serving up to me as a convenient dessert. Last night there were two. I had forgot to wash my CPAP cushion, and I had forgot to fill my pill sorter. So I did both those things.

I hate filling the pill sorter. For one thing I am always reminded–chaCHING–of how much this shit all costs. For another, the dogs want to mill around my feet, and Oliver wants me to feed him. He has three feeding stations. One is in the laundry room, and one on my desk. But I keep the Keep door closed at night to keep Tyrion safe from Artemis the ckatten, so Oliver also has dishes on the kitchen table. I know that is gross, but he is old and gimpy and not very vertical anymore. He still tries to jump, but sometimes misses. All three feeding stations are in places where dogs can’t hassle him (or eat the food) and where he can get up in increments, via the kitchen chairs in that room, or via a folding chair I have provided in the Keep. (My desk chair has wheels, so it is not appropriate for incremental leaping purposes.)

So last night I let both dogs and Oliver out around 1:00 a.m. and set up my pill sorter and then let them back in. They hadn’t gone out long because it was raining still and again, and had been waiting in the garage for readmission. And then, just as I was about to shut the door, here came the ckatten, who proceeded to drop a dead mouse on the floor right next the line between the living room carpet and the kitchen tile.

Both dogs run to sniff at it.

I looked for the broom and dustpan, both of which were missing from their usual spot by the door, so I dart into the galley part of the kitchen and snag a saucepot off the stovetop where I had set it to finish drying overnight after taking it out of the dishwasher so I could run a second load.

I raced back to the throng and slammed the pot down over the mouse, but not before noticing it was not dead. It was doing that tail twitch thing that I know so well, both from Oliver’s younger days and another cat I had named Rikki Tikki. Rikki was always and forever bringing live rodents in and turning them loose. Often Hannah would get them while they were in the tail-twitching stage and finish them off by tossing them into the air and chomping them like Cobie does with a Stuffeez. Once Hannah flang a sodden slobbery dead mouse across the room and into my coffee. SPLASH.

Anyway, I thought I would use the dustpan to scoop up the inverted pan and the mousebody both, take the whole shebang outside, and release, even though releasing a tail-twitcher is a crapshoot. Often they die anyway. Sometimes the cat just re-catches them anyway and polishes them off. (Oliver’s MO.) But sometimes they recover–maybe they were only faking? or maybe they were only in shock–and streak off into the sunset…or your house, depending on how successful you are at relocating them before the recovery occurs.

But that plan was a no-go, because as I mentioned, I couldn’t find the dustpan. I have one of those long-handled ones you can use without bending over, and which allows you to remove nasties like rodent carcasses without getting your hands too close. I know it is unreasonable that I have Tyrion yet despise other rodents. It’s the tails. I hate rodent tails. Especially when they twitch. My skin crawls at the sight. So I try not to hate on wild rodents, even though they carry disease and yadda yadda, but then I see their tails, which kind of lash around like worms, serpents, or tentacles, and I’m all, ICK GAG FREAKOUT. Kill it, kill it with raid, kill it with fire, KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT.

I try to overcome that because I know it is unreasonable, but the best I seem to manage is to not set the house on fire because there’s a twitching tail in it somewhere.

Getting back to the dustpans, I also have a regular short-handled one, but it’s downstairs because I only ever use it for sweeping up litter around the litterpans. My feet and legs have been tremendously swollen this week, and the stairs? At going on one-thirty in the morning? No, sorry.

I snarled at the ckatten who was up on the kitchen table polishing off the canned food I had given to Oliver, and which she had chased him off of while I was distracted with the mouse. Why are you up there eating cat food while a live mouse twitches under a saucepan in the middle of the floor, you hellcat? I poked her, and she jumped down and started sniffing around the pan.

So what I did was, I stuck a box of soda on top to weigh the pan down, wrote T-Moth a note, and went to bed.

Then I realized he would not see the note until he had tripped over the moused-up boobytrap in the kitchen doorway, so I got up, wrote him a note, and taped it to the bathroom mirror where I could hope he would see it before he stumbled over the boobytrap, possibly releasing the mouse into the house.

The note apparently worked, because he left me one of his own. It said, “I tried to get [the mouse] but it was STILL ALIVE. Ran into the garage. [The ckatten] followed it. Sorry.”

So this is one of those stories with no satisfying ending. And yet, this is the end.

Have a good idea today.

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