Saturday, December 10, 2005

Winter Count - January

The Winter Count was a Native American tradition that helped keep the history of the tribe before they had written records. The would take each month and make a pictograph of the major event that happened for each month in the year and it is called a Winter Count. (click on the link to learn more about it.)

So the Winter Count for January 2005...

So why Mickey Mouse? Well January of 2005 we had a mouse in our house and there is NO WAY I am going to post a picture of a real mouse.

Some background first...

When I was little 3 and 4 years old, my family lived in an old house that was kind of on outskirts of the town. It was a farm house before the area started building up out there. It had a dirt basement and was filled with mice. We had a lot of them throughout the house.

As I child I had mice run over me while I was sleeping or playing. They would jump out at me when I would open my dresser drawers. SO - because of those childhood experiences --I am deathly afraid of them.

We have 2 cats so really I have never worried about it here, but knew there was a chance of them because the house backs up fields. Well my carefreeness because of the cats, was thrown out the window.

Right before we left for Christmas vacation (Dec. 2004) our little girl cat became obsessed with a few points in the kitchen especially in front of the stove/oven. She would sit,look, sniff and try to get under it for hours. Well, I did not think much about it as she has gotten lots of toys under there before. But the thing is she had never has been that obsessed about it when a toy got under there. So that should have been my first clue.

When we got back from vacation and the cats acted extremely unusual in the bedroom - right after we let them out from their travel crates. They were stalking and it looked like they were hunting but there was nothing (as in toys) in there to stalk or hunt at that time. I just thought they lost a toys somewhere that I could not see - such as too far under the bed.

Then a few days after we were home they would stalk near the fridge and especially in front of the pantry door. Whenever I would open the pantry door and both cats would be right inside sniffing around. And our girl cat even climbed on things on the pantry floor. (We store cases of diet coke, toilet paper, packages of bottled water, multi-packs of kleenex). Our cats never climbed on things in there before. It was like they knew that is not something they should do. But every time I have opened the door they were there climbing and nosing at things. So finally on January 7th they were acting so weird around the door again - being obsessed about it. I was busy cleaning and I said okay go for it. I opened the door and I went to clean the bedroom. I can see the pantry from the bedroom so I heard them both in there. And girl cat was meowing quite a bit. I went and moved something she was pawing at...I set it in the kitchen and went back to the bedroom. Well unfortunately or fortunately - depending on how I look it - it left little room for the hiding mouse. I heard the little girl really scrambling and I turn around to tell them okay that is enough. I step into the kitchen and that is when I see IT...running from the pantry into the kitchen..heading towards the stove.

I SCREAM! And I kept screaming! And I scared our boy cat. His tail got huge. And he was freaked from me screaming - not from the mouse. I jumped on the bed grabbed the phone and called Master. The boy cat went to look but then came back to look at me - where I was still pretty much screaming and now crying which freaked him out more. Yes, I know it is a little mouse.

Master had only been at work maybe 40 minutes if that - when this happened. His work phone rings and I punch in His extention. He answers and all I can do is cry out, "REAL MOUSE REAL MOUSE!" I am not sure how many times I said it but I know it was at least two.

He says, "okay honey take a deep breath calm down."

I said, "real mouse real mouse," quieter this time.

He said, "where is it?"

I said, "in the kitchen I think under the stove."

He said, "What did the cats do?"

I told him that I scared our boy cat and that the girl cat did not get that the mouse was not in the pantry anymore so she was in there still.

He said, "Okay I am on my way home."

I knew he was ready to try to reason with me but I was crying and sobbing...and well frankly out of control. But He tried just a little anyway.

He said, "you do know that you probably scared the mouse?"

I cried, "yes." But I kept on crying.

His co-workers know that I have a fear of them as they have them at the office and I have seen one there. I did not freak out like I did at home, but I got a little shaken there. So he went to tell the office manager and then his immediate boss that his girl was crying and screaming and scared because she saw a mouse in the house. A REAL mouse.

When I moved in with Master, I took all the cat toys that looked like real mice and put them in a box. Because even the fake mice that looked like real ones scared me. Now all the cat toys that are mouse shaped are in bright colors - hot pink, lime green, purple and orange.

So I stayed on the bed and held the phone until Master came home. He was laughing, but at the same time very understanding of my irrational over the top fear.

He moved things and tried to find the mouse, but He couldn't. But He did discover where it is probably living or the path that it kept He went and got some traps and put them in places along the path. We ended up catching 2 and Master took part places where he felt they might have come in and put steel wool around the holes where pipes come in. And since then we have not had a problem. I thought we had another not too long ago but it was a false alarm....thank goodness!

For about a month after that I did not walk in the house without shoes. I did not sit on the floor. When I would walk into the kitchen I would make lots of noise in order to scare any mice that might be in there. Yes, this is all true!

Also when He got home I had not taken my shower yet but was scared to go in there. He had to scope things out for me before I went to take my shower. He then got my slippers checked to make sure mice were not in them. I knew I needed to have my feet covered as I would totally freak out if the mouse ran over my bare feet. So I was in my slippers all day - that day.

I know it is silly that I have this I am much bigger then mouse. But it is a fear that I don't feel I will be getting over any time soon. Although I could see the humor from the otherside....from Master's view and outside observers. And am glad that I could amuse them. I am lucky that I have such a wonderful Master that came home and took care of it though...and was very understanding of my irrational fear.

Master's much funnier version A Mouse Story.


  1. While I'm sure you'll never forget the mouse experience, I know I never will either. I know it was so traumatic for you but I have to admit that both your recounting and M's where quite fun to read. :)

  2. I reread his account the other day and in the middle of it I was laughing so hard I was crying. He asked me what I was reading I told him and then he said well then I should read it to you! It made it even more funny as he did you know tones and voices with make it more "dramatic" lol It was very funny!

    I am glad you enjoyed reading them!


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