For the last few days here at the farm I’ve been using the quickly fading evening hours to do some cleaning up around the house inside and out. Part of the reason I am not a huge fan of fall comes from knowing that with the gentle turning of the weather all those creepy crawly things that are perfectly happy outside start looking for ways to move inside for the winter.
Once I got past the two-hour ritual of chasing crickets around the house with the end of the hose from the shop vac, I had settled into my chair to watch a little bit of television when I heard the unmistakable sound coming from the kitchen of another of the country’s cool weather visitor. I’m still unsure of why the mice seem to think that my kitchen needs to be their winter home, but about this time of the year I have to start stocking up on poison and sticky traps. What I have learned is that it really doesn’t matter how many times I clean the counter and wipe out the drawers it never seems to fail that one small brown fuzzy creature eludes me for a week or so.
After fighting this for a few days I had a long discussion with the cat concerning his complete lack of accomplishing his purpose for being around and the fact that freeloading is greatly discouraged here. The cat, to his credit, looked at me puzzled and meowed as if to say, “You’re the one feeding me twice a day you big dork.” Obviously the cat is in cahoots with the freeloading chickens at my house and cannot be trusted at all to put forth any effort in helping me, so I must go it alone.
I dutifully cleaned yet again, tossing and throwing and wiping down things with bleach. As I ended the end of the latest cleaning marathon I remembered what I had read about the habits of mice and placed plenty of poison around the house in various places. I then went to bed to dream of the joy of a mouse-free home.
Coming home from work I decided that nothing I saw in the refrigerator looked good so I decided to go with the old standby which meant a baked potato would be the fare for the evening. I noticed that there were no tell-tale signs of my fuzzy friend which made me wonder if the “come to Jesus” meeting I had with the cat had done some good after all. As I opened the bag of potatoes that I bought just two days before and reached in the bag I suddenly felt that maybe I had given the cat too much credit as my hand, grasping for a large potato to make for supper, grabbed what can only be described as the hairiest potato I had ever felt. Suddenly realizing that potatoes don’t have tails, it occurred to me that I should let go and then looked down to see the hole chewed into the sack and the body of my nemesis tucked neatly inside where he obviously had settled in to have a snack.
Needless to say I threw all the potatoes out for the chickens to eat (Stinking freeloaders could at least have laid a few eggs considering they get only the best veggies as treats), bleached my hand then drove to McDonalds for supper. I think maybe I’ll stick with instant potatoes for a while if that’s alright with the cat. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.